There are lots of activities and events that you can take part in that can help improve your wellbeing. A list is shown below and will be updated reguarly.
Wellbeing Activities - Monthly Focus
Below is a list of activities and initiatives that the Wellbeing Team will be focusing on every month that you can take part in.
Stress Awareness Week (2nd-6th November)
We can all experience stress in our lives at times. For some of us a little bit of pressure can be beneficial and help us to perform better while others may feel anxious or overwhelmed. It is important to be able to manage how you are feeling so that it doesn't become too much and have an adverse effect on your health.
Alcohol Awareness Week (16th-22nd November)#AlcoholAwarenessWeek is a chance for the UK to #getthinkingaboutdrinking. We know that #alcohol consumption has an impact on our #mentalhealth and vice versa.Many use alcohol to help cope with difficult situations, with over a quarter of us reporting to have drunk more over lockdown.
At @wearetogetherall_,has a wealth of resources to help you manage your relationship with
alcohol & our supportive community is available 24hrs a day if you are struggling.
You don’t have to cope alone, everyone can register for FREE at https://bit.ly/31OplDR
Discounted Flu Vaccinations
The University is pleased to confirm that we have secured discounted flu vaccines for staff with Bairds Pharmacy. Due to the current restrictions this service will be delivered in the King Street Practice and not on campus. Due to the increased cost per vaccine this year and PPE requirements the cost payable to employees is £12.50.
Please download and complete the Private_Consent_Form_-_Flu_Vacs_2020.pdf and bring it to your booked appointment along with your payment.
All members of staff should stick strictly to their booked appointment time and should not attempt to come into the pharmacy any earlier/later. You will be expected to wear a face covering (unless you are exempt) upon entering the pharmacy and while receiving your injection. There will be some seating spaced out within the pharmacy for you to wait until your are called for your injection.
If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID19 please remember to cancel your appointment and follow the national guidance.
For staff in the Shire or Tayside we would be delighted to offer the same price and ask that you contact the pharmacies directly to arrange a suitable time. The service will be available at the pharmacies in Dundee, Keith, Banff and Fraserburgh. Please bring along your ID badge to your appointment to be eligible for the discount.
This October we focused on BeWell Week 2020 and World Mental Health day.
Monday 5th October marks BeWell Week 2020. Due to current restrictions, this year’s BeWell Week will be delivered virtually. Keep an eye out on the University of Aberdeen's Instagram stories for top tips and resources promoting positive lifestyle choices all week.
Monday is SleepWell, for top tips for a good nights sleep visit the Mental Wellbeing section.
Tuesday is BeSafe, have you downloaded the protect.scot app?
Wednesday is BeActive and Sustainability, visit Active Travel for more information.
Thursday is Support Services, see Workplace Wellbeing for services available to University staff members.
Friday is Self-care, see Mental Wellbeing for resources.
Saturday is World Mental health Day, see tab below for more information and a link to resources.
World Mental Health Day
The theme for October World Mental Health Day 2020 is Mental Health For All- greater investment-greater access, Everyone, everywhere.
The focus is on highlighting the need for greater investment in mental health, particularly in light of the effects on mental health of Covid.
- Previous Months
Organ Donation Week (7th-13th September)
When a loved one dies it can be an emotional time for many people and the decision to donate a person’s organs after death can be particularly hard. It is important to tell those closest to you what you want, and by visiting the NHS Organ Donors Register website you can have the opportunity to decide what happens after you die. Organ Donation Week starts on September 7th, visit the website for all the facts and information on donating. https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/
World Suicide Prevention Day (10th september)
This year’s theme is 'Working together to prevent suicide’. The International Association for Suicide prevention have produced a short film that gives an opportunity to think about our connections, to empower discussions & reduce stigma. If you would like to watch the ‘Step Closer’ video you can do so via: https://youtu.be/ndjcJAaOVdg.
If you have been affected by suicide and need support, please visit : https://uksobs.org/
Any new mum can experience postnatal depression in the first year after having a baby and it’s important to ask and accept help when you are struggling.
If you are finding it hard to cope contact your doctor or visit the MIND website for information on resources available when seeking help.
There are many ways you can help to keep your heart healthy. Quitting smoking, cutting down your alcohol intake and maintaining a healthy diet are just a few.
For more ways to keep your heart healthy visit the NHS website.
Counselling is a ‘talking therapy’ which gives you the opportunity to explore issues which are causing you concern or distress. If you are ready to seek counselling to address whatever challenges you are facing, you should not be embarrassed. Talking about feelings can be hard at the best of times and asking for help is not a sign of weakness. For many people the fear of being stigmatised by others often leads them to avoid seeking professional help for mental health issues. People who go to counselling are finding a treatment for their mind and emotions, the same way a doctor would treat your body. A good counsellor will listen without judgement and help you to develop coping skills to process emotions and feelings in a healthy way.
The women of today live very different lives and face different stresses and responsibilities. Due to contraceptives and perhaps illness our cycles may be different too. But fundamentally our needs haven’t changed. Every woman deserves the best healthcare, and their needs will change at different stages of their lives.
For many people, looking after a terminally ill partner, friend or family member at home is “just something they do”. They don’t think of themselves as the person’s carer.
Carers are responsible for looking after people who need help due to disability, illness or frailty. They work with both young and old people meeting various needs in their day to day life. These workers help with shopping, making meals, laundry, dressing, cleaning, washing, and other duties.
Caring can be a hugely rewarding experience but carers often find it challenging to take care of their own wellbeing whilst caring. Its impact on all aspects of life from relationships and health to finances and work should not be underestimated.
Looking after your own health and wellbeing can help make sure you have the energy to look after your friend or family member. Remembering to take breaks when you can and finding time to do things for yourself is very important. You could try to build in some time for yourself into your day - even if it's just for 10 minutes. You might relax with a book, enjoy a hot bath, call a friend - whatever makes you feel good.
Men's Health Week
June 15-21st 2020 is Men’s Health Week where the focus is on getting men to become more aware of health problems they may have or could develop and support them to take positive steps to address them.
You will find the Men’s Health Forum Man MOT here it has Do-it-Yourself health checks and challenges. The MOT takes you through a set of checks and challenges you to get healthier. There are 25 challenges in all.
Look at the section How’s your head? You will find a set of questions asking you to say how you feel- not what you think or know, but what you feel. Be honest! There’s a set of challenges towards improving mental health.
Share your achievements over the week at: firstname.lastname@example.org or UoaStaffWellbeing on Facebook.
June is Bike Month and we are encouraging and inspiring people to take up cycling as a form of exercise and as a form of transport.
Cycling is a great way to keep fit and active. It is also great for your mental health and wellbeing. During the month of June, we will be sharing facts, inspiration and information about bikes and cycling. We will also participate in the national celebration of cycling during Bike Week. Please join us by grabbing your bike and going for a ride.
For facts and tips on cyling safety and suggested cycling routes visit Active Travel.
Mental Health Awareness Week
This year Mental Health Awareness Week focused on kindness. The Mental Health Foundation chose kindness as the topic because research has helped us to understand more about the powerfulness of kindness and the relationship this has to our mental health.
Acts of kindness seem such a personal experience, but we know they are really powerful in strengthening our relationships, reducing isolation and building communities. During Mental Health Awareness Week, we took time to reflect on acts of kindness we have experienced and how it made us feel, we took the time to reach out to others and reminded ourselves just how important it is to take care of not just our own mental health but other peoples too.
Talking about your experiences of mental health can help to remove stigma and make you feel less alone. We all need help sometimes, so don't hesitate to ask when you need it, or to assist someone when you can.
Please take some time to watch some of our incredible staff and students opening up about their experiences of mental health last year in this short video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOaPmVDznwE
Exercise is not all about getting a "perfect" body, living in the gym or running a 5k every morning, there are a lot of other benefits to physical activity. Take the quiz to see if you can guess what other positive benefits there are.
Join our step challenge during National Walking Month this May.
Walk, dance or clean your way to good health and feel the benefits that even small steps can make. Regular walking inproves mood, reduces anxiety, aids sleep and keeps your heart healthy. In line with the governments advice to stay at home and to only participate in one form of exercise per day (walking, running or cycling) we may need to get creative to get our steps in.
How will you make yours count?
- Walk/Run 1 mile = 2,000 steps
- Cycle 30 min = 7,000 steps
- Gardening 30 mins = 3,500 steps
- Housework 30 mins = 2,500 steps
- Dancing 30 mins 3,000 steps
- Yoga 30 mins = 2,700 steps
- Painting/Decorating 30 mins = 3,000 steps
- Washing Car 30 mins = 3,000 steps
- Joe Wicks Workout = 4,000 steps
- Cleaning Windows = 3,500 steps
- Create a TikTok dance video = 2,000 steps
- Bonus Points for dressing up and sending pics = 10,000 steps
To get involved you can sign up to the Happy Feet challenge to submit your weekly step total.
You could also use this challenge to help students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. More information. To support our COVID-19 525 Appeal, just log your steps, donate £5.25, and then nominate your colleagues to do the same.
Don't forget to like our UoAStaffWellbeing and Student Life pages on Facebook to see regular updates on the leader board.
Stress Awareness Month
Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure. It can affect how you feel, think, behave and how your body works. You may have physical signs (such as headaches, tense or sore muscles, or trouble sleeping), emotional signs (such as feeling anxious or depressed), or both.
It's important to recognise the symptoms of stress early. Recognising the signs and symptoms of stress will help you figure out ways of coping. Healthy habits, including regular physical activity such as walking, can help reduce or prevent some of the harmful effects of stress. Many people find exercises that focus on breathing and muscle relaxation can also be helpful.
Housebound Movement Challenge Bingo
Take part in the Housebound Movement Challenge Bingo.There are physical, mental and social activities to take part in along with prizes to be won for the best photo with the funniest caption and a special prize for the most innovative team activity.
You should provide evidence by uploading at least 4 photos showing your participation throughout the month of April and aim to complete 18 squares. Your photos may be used for future promotional purposes.
- Best photo prize – funniest caption
- Special prize - most innovative team activity
Completed bingo card and photos to be emailed to the wellbeing team by 24th April at email@example.com
University Mental Health Day
Thursday 5th March is University Mental Health Day, join us as we inspire conversations and get talking about student mental health.
University Mental Health Day brings together the university community to make mental health a university-wide priority and create ongoing year round change to the future of student mental health.
To find out more about mental health problems and how they can affect us visit MIND
Nutrition and Hydration
Your food choices each day affect your health. Try to make the effort to eat well, eat regularly, and enjoy what you eat.
Why not try some of these simple changes to your diet:
- Make half your plate fruit and vegetables.
- Switch to whole grains.
- Try fat-free or low-fat milk.
- Choose a variety of lean proteins.
- Swap sugary drinks for water.
Keeping hydrated is crucial for health and well-being, but many people do not consume enough fluids each day. If you’re feeling thirsty you’re already dehydrated so don’t wait until you need a drink, sip small amounts throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated. The body is affected even when you lose a small amount of fluid.
World Cancer Day
World cancer day is the ideal opportunity to spread the word and raise awareness of cancer in people’s minds and the world media. This global event takes place every year on 4 February and aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by encouraging individuals to take action.
More than one third of cancers can be prevented. Another third can be cured if detected early and treated properly. Through raising awareness we can reduce fear, increase understanding, dispel myths and misconceptions, and change behaviour and attitudes.
Time to Talk
Thursday 6 February is time to talk day so lets get involved to help end mental health discrimination. Choosing to talk about mental health breaks down barriers and can save lives.
We want to encourage everyone to have a conversation about mental health – whether that’s texting a friend or chatting to a colleague.
Dry January is a chance to ditch the hangover and save some serious money by giving up alcohol for 31 days, not to mention all the benefits to both your mental and physical health. Download the DryJanuary app Try Dry
- Free Mindfulness Course
A free mindfulness course to help you during lockdown and beyond.
Join our free online mindfulness course. Guided by experts, you can dip in and study anytime.
- FutureLearn Courses
Have you ever wanted to create your own adventure game using Python? Would you like to learn how apply negotiation strategies to your life?
Using your University username and password you are now able to gain free upgraded access to a variety of online FutureLearn courses until the end of December. Comprising hundreds of courses from some of the top-ranked institutions in the world, there’s something for everyone.
Signing up is simple: once you reach the FutureLearn Campus landing page, enter your University credentials. If you don’t already have a FutureLearn account, you will be prompted to create one. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Language Groups
Conversational language groups have moved online! Please join. The staff group has joined forces with the student language cafes and staff at RGU. We meet regularly to practice conversing in different languages.
The main groups we have at the moment are French, German, Spanish, Italian and Arabic. However if there is enough interest in practicing other languages, then new groups could be formed. To join an existing group please contact one of the hosts below. To start a new language group please fill in this online form.
For Arabic, please contact Sue Bradley.
For French, please contact Elaine Fitzgerald.
For German or Norwegian, please contact Claire Bell.
For Italian, please contact Ailhlin Clark.
For Spanish, please contact Chloe Bruce.
All levels are welcome- you can join in the conversation as much as you feel comfortable with.
Hope to see some new people soon.
- UoA Collections Big Draw
UoA Collections Big Draw Activity Page
As part of the international Big Draw festival this year, we’ve created an online activity page inspired by the University of Aberdeen Collections. Dip in and Draw!
Drawing from the Collections
Visit our webpage and take a 15 minute time out to draw along with one of our curators. This is not about creating a masterpiece. It's about enjoying time out with paper and pencil. We've chosen a jade water buffalo, a hawk from the Aberdeen Bestiary illuminated manuscript, a woven ball and a plant illustration for you to doodle.
Drawing Without Seeing
Have a go at our "Drawing Without Seeing" challenges where we describe a mystery object and invite you to draw what you think it might look like. How close can you get?
We hope you will enjoy this resource and draw inspiration from our collections.
- Virtual Bookclub
Hosted by the Multi-faith Chaplaincy every Friday at 4pm.
- Corporate Games
After the hugely successful Games debut in 2019, we are bringing the ultimate multisport festival back for Round 2.
Open to all staff - regardless of age, gender, sporting ability or level of fitness. For details of each event including competition dates and training times please see the brochure and to sign up to the event(s) contact The Wellbeing Team
Following UK and Scottish Government advice in respect of the current coronavirus pandemic, all upcoming events have now been postponed until further notice.
We had great fun taking part in the fitness challenge! It was a tough challenge but with a great team effort we finished in 7th place on the leaderboard.
Can you spot the university team members in these photos?