Live well

  

To live well is to be healthy, and health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being. Health and happiness go hand in hand, and therefore it is important for us to enjoy the moment.

 There are several contributing factors that need to be considered when maintaining a healthy lifestyle:

 

Drink for Wellbeing

It is important to try to drink at least 1.6 litres of fluids each day to replace what you lose when you breathe, sweat and urinate. However, it is also worth considering the type of fluids you are drinking. 

Swap sugary drinks for water or a diluted juice. At the very least, as a recent University campaign suggests, make 'Every Other One Water'. Your body will thank you as water contains no sugar and has huge benefits for your skin, body, mind and wallet. Cutting down on sugary will also help you cut calories from your diet. For example, did you know that 500ml of cola contains the equivalent of 9 teaspoons of sugar?

Try to have some water between each caffeinated drink, swop to herbal teas or change to decaffeinated tea / coffee. As well as the sugar content (a small latte contains around 120 calories and a white coffee around 18 calories), high levels of caffeine can lead to difficulty sleeping, irritability, stomach upset or raised heartbeat. Anything over four cups of tea or coffee a day can have an adverse impact and further details can be located at 'How much is too much caffeine?'

A large 250ml glass of wine, meanwhile, has 250 calories and four pints of beer will notch up 680 calories, equivalent to a McDonald's Double Cheeseburger and small fries. Reducing alcohol could also mean that you feel better, look better and have more money to spare.  Women should not regularly drink more than 2 – 3 units a day and men should not regularly drink more than 3 – 4 a day. A large 250ml glass of wine is 3.3 units, 1 bottle of wine is 10 units. A can of 4% lager, beer or cider is 1.8 units, a pint is 2.3 units. Exceeding these limits could lead to liver damage, heart attacks, reduced fertility and some cancers. It also suppresses your breathing, giving you a less restful night’s sleep and it is recommended that you make every other drink water, choose singles instead of doubles, drink small rather than large glasses of wine and halves instead of pints.

Never leave your drinks unattended.

Try to avoid binge drinking, which is defined drinking eight or more units of alcohol in one session if you are a man, and more than six units in one session, if you are a woman. It is worth noting that 1 in 5 24 year olds have had sex they later regretted. Also, if you are caught drink driving you risk a fine of up to £5,000, a minimum 12-month driving ban and a criminal record.  To find out how much you’re really drinking go to the NHS Change4Life pages to use the Drinks Checker or download the Drinks Tracker app

Further information can be found at Impact of Alcohol

For Help and advice on Drinking well contact Student Services or call Worcestershire Pathways to recovery on:

Evesham 01386 444 380

Kidderminster 01562 823 211

Malvern 01684 578 368

Redditch 01527 406920

Worcester 01905 721020 or 019050724853

Website

Eat for Wellbeing

Eating a balanced diet will improve your health and can give you energy throughout your day. Balance is the key to getting your diet right.

5 a Day

As well as maintaining your five a day, fruit and vegetables are a good source of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Fresh, frozen, canned, dried and juiced fruit and vegetables all count, as does a smoothie or unsweetened, non-concentrated fruit juice.

Visit the NHS pages to discover more reasons why you should eat your 5 A Day

Meal Times

Try not to skip breakfast as it will reduce snacking before lunch. Wholemeal cereal, such as Weetabix, with a handful of fruit is filling, nutritious and tasty and lunches prepared at home are usually cheaper and healthier. Overall, aim to feel satisfied, not stuffed and healthy snacks such as nuts and seeds, chopped fruit or veg with dips will provide a quick energy fix and prevent you grabbing a high fat or sugary snack.

Shopping Tips

It is worth considering 'cheaper supermarkets' such as Aldi and Lidl. Buying fruit and vegetables that are in season will keep the costs down. For example, strawberries and raspberries grow in the summer months and corn on the cob in Autumn. Write a list and stick to it to avoid buying unhealthy snacks, or ready meals that are usually high in fat and sugar.  Frozen and tinned vegetables and fruit are healthy and can keep the costs down, but avoid fruit in syrups or vegetables in salted water.

Essential items for the student cupboard include pasta, rice and noodles, gravy granules, olive oil, salt and pepper, dried herbs, baked beans, soups, beans, sardines, pilchards or tuna, pesto, tomato puree, cereals and long-life milk or soya milk.

Exam Time

Good nutrition is even more vital at times of stress and it is important that you do not let healthy habits slip. A few ideas to help you, include the need to remain hydrated, along with enjoying a healthy breakfast, eating foods such as Blueberries, Goji Berries, fatty fish and nuts as they have been found to improve brain functionality. Avoid foods that contain sugar, fat and carbohydrates as these can make you feel tired and sluggish.

If you are concerned about your diet or have any conditions that you think are affected by your diet then you can arrange an appointment to see a nutritional therapist at the McClelland Centre’s Nutritional Therapy Clinic.

Sleep for Wellbeing

Feeling tired impacts on your concentration, memory and your ability to perform daily activities at work and at home. Adults need approximately 7 to 8 hours sleep per night to ensure optimal physical and mental functioning. 

Tips to help you get to sleep include keeping your room cool. Rituals matter too, as they give your body cues that it's time to slow down and sleep. Listen to relaxing music, read something soothing for 15 minutes or have a caffeine free drink. Avoid TV in bed or using your laptop or tablet and switch off your mobile phone. Otherwise you could be awakened in the night by texts and Facebook notification.

Regular exercise can help you sleep well but not if you exercise within four hours of going to bed. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulates, so will prevent you getting to sleep when you have them in the hours before you go to bed. A warm glass of milk, however, actually works! Finally, wake-up well and seek some bright light as it will stimulate your body.

If you really can't sleep...

Do something boring until you feel sleepy, have a warm glass of milk or do some relaxation exercises. For further advice and help on how to sleep well visit our Counselling and Mental Health pages. 

 

Think for Wellbeing

Mental wellbeing improves the quality of our lives in many ways including better physical health, faster recovery from illness, fewer limitations in daily life, higher educational attainment, greater likelihood of employment and earnings, and better relationships.

We all get stressed at times; positive stress can help us achieve a goal, but can’t be sustained. Negative, self-defeating stress has a negative impact on our psychological and mental wellbeing.

If you do find yourself getting stressed, try to chill out and take some ‘me' time. Deep breathing can make you feel calmer and linking with friends can be invaluable too. Talking about your concerns can help to keep them in check. Exercise, meanwhile, helps to release natural chemicals that make you feel better. Keeping a diary, planning your time and adhering to a budget can help you feel organised.

If you are worrying about your studies try talking to your Academic Tutor, or, for non-academic queries visit Firstpoint and they will guide you to the right person, or book an appointment with the counselling and Mental Health Service. As a member of staff, try talking to your line manager if you have concerns or contact Human Resources if you would like to access external counselling support. 

Happiness

Research has demonstrated that happiness is a key factor to wellbeing and feeling good. As your happiness increases you become more compassionate, creative, energetic and emotionally and physically healthy.

Why not tell a close friend/family member how pleased you are to have them in your life or check in with someone who needs some support. Concentrate on the positives in your life as opposed to focusing on the negatives and remember that experiences make you happier in the long run, rather than material goods. Finally, make a conscious effort to smile at people you see. 

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to the present moment, using techniques such as meditation, breathing and yoga. Mindfulness exercises help you become more aware of your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and surrounding environments, so that instead of being overwhelmed by them, you are able to manage them.

Research has found that Mindfulness can also help with anxiety, depression, sleeping issues, addictive behaviours, working productively and in reducing sickness levels. The University provides regular mindfulness sessions for both staff and students. For further information please contact Rod London on r.london@worc.ac.uk or wellbeing@worc.ac.uk.         

A quiet place

Sometimes you need a quiet place where it is easier to think. At St Johns Campus there is the small garden beside Woodbury and also the labyrinth, which provides a meditation area. On City Campus, walk down the hill and rest on the grassy banks overlooking the racecourse and river.

Remember, you are not alone and don’t forget to talk to family and friends. If you would like help or advice on dealing with stress or improving your mind-body wellbeing please contact cmh@worc.ac.uk  students) or wellbeing@worc.ac.uk

Alternatively you could contact Samaritans on jo@samaritans.org

Mental Health matters....be mindful of yours