Some ideas for boosting your mental health and making the most of this time, wherever you find yourself this summer.
- Connect with others – reach out to friends and family. Plan when you can next meet up, so you have something to look forward to. If you’re staying on campus, check out the the Student Support and Wellbeing events calendar for ways to meet new people such as the Walking Buddy and Just Coffee initiatives. Kent Union’s Postgrad Summer programme offers lots of social events and upskilling opportunities, both online and on campus.
- Get out in nature – spending time in nature can have huge benefits for our mental health. If you’re at Medway, the Rochester Lawn has benches, a covered area and a trail gym for you to explore. Based at Canterbury? Check out the new Canterbury Wellbeing Map and discover more places to relax and unwind. We’re super lucky to have the Kent Community Oasis Garden at our Canterbury campus (located at the end of Park Wood).Join students, staff and members of the community for relaxed gardening sessions throughout the summer – check out the calendar or follow the KentCOG on Instagram for more details.
- Caring responsibilities – Are you a student or staff member trying to juggle childcare over the vacation? Check out Kent Sport’s children’s holiday camps with discounts for Kent staff and students. Everyone with a Kent email address can also access Togetherall, a free online mental health platform where you can join discussions and get support on being a caregiver, whether for elderly relatives, children or disabled people.
- Exercise regularly – exercise is a great way to let go of frustrations and improve your mood as well as increase your fitness. Check out Kent Sport’s campus routes, to guide you through campus, or you might consider using the gym over the summer break, going to fitness classes, booking in for a fitness appointments or using the Kent Sports Clinic – all available at Kent Sport throughout vacation.
- Get enough sleep – sleep is vital to allow both your body and mind to recharge. If you struggle with your sleep, check out this free online Togetherall course: How to Improve Your Sleep.
- Relaxing reading –Whether you are able to get away this summer or enjoying a staycation, staff at the Drill Hall and Templeman libraries have shared some books they have enjoyed recently. You can check out the recommendations virtually on our summer reads reading list online and via the physical displays at both the Templeman and Drill Hall libraries from 5 July 2022.
- Eat well and stay hydrated – we all know that eating well and drinking plenty of water is good for us, but we often forget just much it can affect our mood. Check out the Blurt foundation’s blogpost about foods that boost mood and energy.
Student Support and Wellbeing continues to operate throughout vacation
Remember that all of our disability, autism, specific learning difficulties and mental health support teams are working throughout the summer, so you can still contact us to book appointments. Follow @UniKentSSW on Instagram for tips and advice on staying well and connected all summer.
The Mental Health Team consists of Mental Health Advisers, Counsellors and Student Mentors. Mental Health Advisers are specialist practitioners who can offer mental health advice and support. They can provide short term focused interventions to promote wellbeing and support students to develop coping strategies and help put in place an ILP or ‘inclusive learning plan’ if required. We also have a free confidential Counselling service for all Kent students, offering a safe space to those experiencing problems such as anxiety, depressed feelings, and emotional difficulties that may or may not be connected to student life.
Written by Miriam Sandiford and Natalia Crisanti, staff, on 05.05.22; amended 01.07.22
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