Welfare at Leeds: simple self-care

When you’re constantly working to deadlines, taking time for yourself is often far down on your list of priorities. LUU Welfare Officer Martha’s here to give you some ideas for when you just need to relax.

There is often a perception that at University it’s a waste of time and resources to take a break to self-care. This is not the case. Your time studying can be more effective if you give yourself the space to rejuvenate and reenergise. Motivation can also be increased when you’re excited about attending an interesting event, cooking a meal you love, or partaking in an activity you enjoy. It’s important to involve yourself in activities and hobbies which fill you with positivity. Over-working is negative for your physical and mental health and wellbeing, and it is also bad preparation for working life. Self-care is key to positive health and wellbeing.

Self-care can include setting aside time each day for extra-curricular activities, whether this be revisiting an activity you have done before or trying something completely new. This doesn’t have to be a physical activity either. It could be reading your book, trying crafts such as crochet or practicing the instrument you’ve been trying to master since year 7. It could be making the time to see a friend you haven’t for a while, or trying out that edgy coffee shop you haven’t been in before.
It also doesn’t have to cost you any money, as Leeds has plenty to offer which won’t break the bank. There is free entry to Leeds Art Gallery, the Henry Moore Institute and Leeds City Museum. Closer to home the Parkinson Building houses the Stanley and Audrey Burton Art Gallery which also has free admission.

There is also free self-care to be found in the abundance of nature Leeds has to offer. Some of the most picturesque places to visit (which are all geographically opportune for students) include Roundhay Park, The Hollies in Headingley, the Meanwood Valley Trail and Meanwood Urban Farm. These all offer a green, leaf-filled, river-running experience which will make you feel you are a million miles away from the concrete jungle of Hyde Park, Woodhouse and Burley.

Whilst living at University it is also easy to let your eating habits get disrupted by a new hectic lifestyle, which often has a lack of routine. It can also be hard to learn how to budget for food if you’ve never done so before. Kirkgate Market offers affordable food deals which are perfect for shopping on a budget. A healthy diet is important for effective self-care, but this doesn’t mean living off celery and hummus. It means eating a balanced diet of food which you enjoy. For interesting recipes which won’t leave you penniless check out Jack Monroe’s website ‘Cooking on a Bootstrap’.

Take time this term to explore what simple self-care measures you can put in place to rejuvenate yourself and keep your health and wellbeing in check. Events to check out: Lake District with GIAG and GOGA 11th March, 07:30-19:30 Mindfulness Café, Mondays, 2:30-4pm, LUU Room 2 GIAG Trip to Whitby, 4th March, 9am-7pm Lishi Tai Chi, 3rd March, 2:30-4pm, LUU Room 6 Board Games Night, 22nd March, 7-9pm, LUU Room 2 Easing the Pressure: Building Resilience, Wednesdays, 3:30-4:30pm, LUU Room 1.

Martha Clowes

(Image courtesy of: http://www.mindful.org/what-is-mindfulness/)

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