Welcome to the #UELConnected wellbeing portal
The University of East London takes the wellbeing of students, staff and external partners very seriously. The world is rapidly changing and some people may be finding life challenging or stressful. We strongly encourage our community to take time out regularly, step away from screens and look after your wellbeing.
We are all part of the University community and distance should never get in the way of a good relationship. The University will continue to post advice, support and ideas to help you succeed in your studies/work over the next few weeks on our official social media channels.
Like any relationship you get out what you put in so please do comment on our posts, let us know your creative ways of coping by using the hashtag #UELConnected and perhaps write a piece yourself. We are a community and together we can be strong. We are creative and together we can be amazing. Even if, just at the moment, you may not feel that you can be kind. You can smile. You can laugh. You can make the good things contagious. If you do that you can help. You can be UEL. #UELConnected
The five ways to wellbeing
There are five ways to wellbeing and, while it might feel harder to do these in the current situation, this page is here to give you ideas.
Connecting with others is a very important part of our mental wellbeing - whether that is with friends, family, course-mates or even your neighbours. The lockdown has meant the launch of many new creative and interesting channels so find the community that works for you.
Connect with others to make sure that they are doing okay. It is good to talk. If there is someone you have been meaning to get in touch with but haven't then use this time to reach out to them.
Connecting with others sometimes means asking for help. We all need help and support from time to time and the Employee Assistance Programme continues to provide psychological support even during the lockdown for University of East London staff. University students have access to Togetherall. Do connect with them if you are feeling anxious or low or need to talk to someone to help you manage difficult times.
If you would rather not communicate by talking to someone you can log onto the Togetherall (Click the 'Register' button, choose 'I'm from a university or college and enter your University email address) This fabulous resource means you can access a range of courses, advice pages and interact creatively with others on the Togetherall. It is an anonymous system and is monitored by clinicians 24/7.
2. Be active
Exercise and activity are so important to our wellbeing. The Government's advice during the lockdown is to exercise or be active outside once a day. Make sure you take this up and explore your local area. Green spaces and water are shown to improve our wellbeing so getting out into nature could give a boost to you.
UEL Sportsdock have put on an exercise programme for you.
3. Take notice
Taking time to reflect and become aware about the world around you can be calming. While the wider world might be scary at the moment, slowing down and noticing the little things can really help you feel a sense of some control. Appreciating that chat with a friend, taking a deep breath, noticing how you are feeling, preparing to take part in a mindfulness or yoga class are some of the ways you can take notice of the little things and help you cope with these unprecedented times. There are a lot of good things to notice, even now, but we have to work to find them, but finding them helps you to be more mindful in your life, feel calmer and more in control.
4. Keep learning
Learning new things has been a constant in your life since you were a baby. People need the challenge and purpose of learning as well as the benefits learning new skills and acquiring new knowledge brings.
Learning new things and the benefit that comes from achieving a goal is not limited to your academic work. As we are in lockdown introducing new challenges each day will help you manage. It can be anything from learning to cook a new recipe or challenging your friends to a virtual bake off. Setting achievable, and in this case, delicious goals boosts are wellbeing as we experience the pleasure of completing something new. Be creative and learn to sew, crochet or knit. Many people are learning to knit two hearts – one for the coronavirus patient and one for their family or learning to play a musical instrument. Many online sites are offering free access during the COVID-19 lockdown e.g. Fender where you can learn to play the guitar or ukelele.
For more ideas and to enter a whole new world of important skill browse LinkedIn Learning which offers video courses taught by industry experts in software, creative, and business skills. The Ted Talk channel on You Tube which has a vast array of experts sharing their knowledge on a myriad of subjects. The Open University have launched a series of new, free courses which anyone can complete.
The world famous Harvard Happiness course is available online. Given the current situation this is learning we probably all need.
Giving to others has been shown to be one of the surest ways to increase our mental wellbeing. Helping other people makes us feel better about ourselves as well. Everyone wins. It may seem difficult to do during lockdown but there are opportunities to volunteer your time. Giving to others can be as simple as smiling at other people or listening properly to other people or being grateful to other people.
The clap for our carers works because generally we are not thankful enough to all those people who help us. Thanking others for what they give can also help us recognise what we give and where we can give some more.
Mental wellbeing resources
To help you maintain your wellbeing, we have brought together a series of resources which are available and can be used if you feel you need them. We have listed these resources below in alphabetical order. Click on the accordion to view more about the resource and a link which will take you straight there.
10Today provides some insightful short exercises based on tai chi which serve as a useful energiser to help kickstart your morning or afternoon.
A monthly calendar packed with daily activities to keep you and your loved ones busy during social distancing. Available for all ages.
A blog post written by communicator, strategist and writer, Alastair Campbell, about how to cope with self-isolation.
Anxiety UK is a user-led organisation, run by people with experience of living with anxiety, stress or anxiety-based depression, supported by a high-profile medical advisory panel.
Blackbullion aims to provide effective and impactful digital financial education to students.
Business Coaching are hosting a free webinar series to help teach you how to build resilience both in and out of work.
A list of free, online boredom-buster resources.
A free resource download bringing you six different resources to teach you how to build resilience.
- Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)
Members of staff at the University have access to EAP, a suite of wellbeing services, offering you a structured way to work through physical or mental health issues and financial difficulties. The resource is free to use and confidential.
Public Health England have created a dedicated page to bring together resources to help support the public's mental health during this difficult time.
- Feeling distressed or suicidal
Christmas can be a challenging time for many people. If you are struggling or feeling low, depressed or even thinking of hurting yourself please remember there is always someone wanting to help you. If you are worried about someone else and are not sure what to do you can also contact these support services.
Samaritans – 116 123 available to lend a listening ear 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you don't want to talk email firstname.lastname@example.org and a trained Samaritan will respond within 24 hours.
Hopeline – 0800 0684141 is for those thinking about suicide and those worried about someone else – or Text 07860 039967 You can find lots of important resources to help prevent student suicide on the Papyrus website.
An interactive website which gives tips and tricks on how to refocus your mind during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Headspace brings resources together online so more people can experience the benefits of meditation anytime, anywhere. With tips on guided meditations, animations, articles and videos, all in the distinct Headspace style, this is a resource to check out. Watch the introductory YouTube videos.
A blog post about how to cope with living back with your family. Especially after living away from home for a period of time.
The government have a dedicated page to help you make informed decisions regarding your wellbeing and mental health.
An online resource provided by the Mental Health Foundation which outlines some top tips for working from home.
The Mental Health Foundation is part of the national mental health response during the coronavirus outbreak. Government advice designed to keep us safe is under constant review and will be different depending on where you live.
An online platform providing support, with forums, live webinars and videos focused on professional and personal development. Mentor Your Mind joining instructions. The code to join is: 2z9ib16
Mind is a charity who provide information to support and empower people with a mental health problem.
MindSET is a free, an interactive online resource to help young people (16-30yrs) manage feelings of anxiety, overwhelm and distress. It's hosted by young mental health advocates and experienced therapists, sharing concrete skills and tools that can be used immediately. What started as a response to lockdown has now become a vital support to students studying at home or managing life back on campus. Skills are often from DBT (Dialetical Behaviour Therapy) evidence-based practical skills focussed form of therapy that actually works and can create huge changes in your life and the way you think. Email email@example.com with any questions.
Mind charity have developed a page full of puzzles and activities to keep your brain active.
Every Thursday at 7pm (GMT), the National Theatre are streaming an iconic play for free.
- Newham Mental Health Services
The NHS East London Foundation Trust's freephone service is available on 0800 0730066 for Newham, 0800 0730003 for Tower Hamlets and 0800 0730006 for City and Hackney. The service is for anyone who lives or works in Newham, Tower Hamlets and City & Hackney and may be struggling with mental health. The service is provided by mental health professionals and gives support and advice to those who may need it.
An app developed by the National Health Service (NHS) to help you manage and maintain your mental health.
Courtesy of Julian Dominique, one of the University's personal trainers, all University staff will have access to his free online Personal Training services.
Posturite gives a few tips and tricks about how to do some exercises from your workstation to ensure you keep your body moving and flexible throughout the day.
Christian van Nieuwerburgh, Professor of Coaching and Positive Psychology at University of East London, is featured in the Conversation giving his top six evidence-based ways to look after your mental health during lockdown.
A toolkit designed to share tools for how to sleep and rest better.
SportsDock are hosting a series of online events to help keep you fit and active during this time.
SportsDock has a wellbeing blog to inspire you with tips and tricks about maintaining your wellbeing.
A free ebook has been written to give you tips and tricks about how to look after yourself during these uncertain times.
Commissioned by over 120 organisations globally, we're an online service providing access to millions with anxiety, depression and other common mental health issues.
Woebot, our chat-based tool, is the delivery mechanism for a suite of clinically-validated therapy programs that address many of today's mental health challenges, from generalised anxiety and depression to specific conditions like postpartum depression, adult and adolescent depression, and substance abuse.