Be kind to your mind

We're here for you

It's been almost seven months since the UK entered the first stage of COVID-19 restrictions and we continue to experience restrictions. Whilst we, as a Students’ Union, recognise that steps need to be taken to suppress the virus, we also acknowledge these are difficult and worrying times for students, and are likely to cause distress and anxiety. We will continue to be here to support all our students. Where possible we have tried to keep our activities and services open in a covid-safe way and in-line with the latest government guidance. Please click here to find out which of our spaces are staying open.

We understand that the world can seem quite a scary place right now and we know that many of you may be in isolation. Whilst undergoing these measures, it's crucial that you look after your own mental health and wellbeing!

This is why we're relaunching our 'Be Kind To Your Mind' campaign, centered around giving you tips and resources for looking after yourself during these periods.

Please ensure you're keeping up to date with the latest advice from the NHS and the Government on the situation, as well as the latest updates from Queen Mary, University of London.

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Look after yourself and others

With the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, we acknowledge that the lack of connections is a huge factor in ensuring that we are able to keep our mental health in the best state that we possibly can.

Mind, the mental health charity, have created a great list of resources that has a list of different recommendations to ensure that you are looking after your wellbeing during this time. Whether this be tips for looking after your wellbeing or trying to deal with anxiety around wearing face masks, they have lots of different advice for you!

We've also got a few suggestions of things you can try to ensure that you are still connecting with other people;


Netflix/Amazon Watch Party

Why not try this extension that lets you watch Netflix with your friends or their Amazon Prime equivalent. It synchronises the video playback and adds a group chat function, so you can watch your favourite shows and movies with friends!


Rave

Rave operates in a very similar way to Netflix Party, but Rave allows you to watch videos on YouTube, Netflix, Vimeo, Reddit and more and is available on both mobile and desktop. You can also use voice notes alongside text messages in Rave, which adds to that real-life simulation.


36 Questions that lead to Love

Although originally designed to find love, the New York Times have published 36 questions from psychologist Arthur Aron, which are used to explore whether intimacy between 2 people can be accelerated. Why not give it a try with your housemate or other friends and see how your relationships develop?


Online Events

Our student groups have been working hard this year, to ensure that they can still deliver high quality events and activities throughout the pandemic. Head to our What’s On page to see what events are running, and you can take part in! Remember, to attend some of the society events, you may have to purchase membership, so make sure you check before attending.


Student Groups

A great way to connect with new people is through our Clubs & Societies. We have over 300 different groups for you to join, including Societies, Sports Clubs, Volunteering Groups and Student Media outlets that you can join, and connect with like-minded students!


Executive Officer Recommendations

Your six Executive Officers have supplied us with some recommendations of shows or films that they have been watching over the last few months, so if you’re stuck inside and having to isolate, why not check out some of these and get to know your officers better:

Shamima:

  • Haikyu!
  • Attack on Titan
  • Your Name
  • It’s Okay Not To Be Okay
  • Crash Landing on You

Mat:

  • The Umbrella Academy
  • Glow Up
  • Modern Family
  • American Horror Story
  • TED Talks

Tiana:

  • Avatar the Last Airbender
  • The Legend of Korra
  • New Girl
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Kim’s Convenience

Cameron:

  • Sense 8
  • The Crown
  • Disenchantment
  • Dead To Me
  • GLOW

Jack:

  • Gavin and Stacey
  • Nighty Night
  • Big Mouth
  • Absolutely Fabulous
  • This Country

Obviously, staying active can be quite the task when we're advised to stay inside as much as we can. However, there are still ways in which you can keep exercising, even if you're in isolation.


Get Active

Get Active is operating weekly pop-up sessions in Library Square, every Wednesday from 2pm-4pm. All equipment is provided, so just pop along and say hello. Typical sessions include but are not limited to Badminton, Tennis, Teqball, Panna cage football, Spikeball and cornhole


Wellbeing Walk

Take a break and join us on our weekly Wellbeing Walks. The Wellbeing Walk gives you the opportunity to get active, explore the local area and meet new people. Regular routes include our Victoria Park loop, Regents Canal and Limehouse Basin.


Qmotion home circuits

Our staff from Qmotion Sport and Fitness Centre have created a simple at-home circuits session for you to follow if you’re struggling to find the right workout for you or you’re having to self-isolate! Click here to see the full list of workouts and get started!


Yoga with Adrienne

Yoga with Adriene provides yoga for all, whether you want a more intense practice or something to calm the mind. She also has a dog that features heavily in her videos, win win! Back in January, she also did a 30-day 'at-home' challenge, which created some great content for your own at-home yoga.


PE with Joe Wicks

Joe Wicks became a household name during the last lockdown, and he’s back! He’ll be uploading videos three times a week to his YouTube, with a focus on ‘mood-boosting’ workouts! His new ‘Wake Up With Joe’ videos can be seen on his channel, alongside all of his past at-home workout videos!


Down Dog

With the Down Dog app, you can design your own yoga video focusing on whatever flows/movements you prefer so every practice is different and is tailored by you. It is also completely free and incredibly easy to use, and you can find this on the app store.


Infectious disease outbreaks, like the current Coronavirus (Covid 19), can be scary and can affect our mental health. While it is important to stay informed, there are also many things we can do to support and manage our wellbeing during such times.

Headspace App

Headspace is an app that teaches you how to meditate. You can access the basic version for free or the premium version free with Spotify Premium or by paying a subscription fee. There is now an additional free section called 'Weathering the Storm' which will be available for the next few months.


Insight Timer App

A free app offering 35,000 guided meditations, the largest free library of its kind, to help with sleep, anxiety and stress. The meditations include a variety of different techniques, each one aimed at relaxing and putting your mind at east. Click here to explore their library.


ASMR

ASMR, which stands for autonomous sensory meridian response, describes a relaxing tingling sensation that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine that can happen when someone listens to certain sounds.You can find ASMR videos on audio platforms like YouTube and Spotify.


Executive Officers Recommendations

Before they were elected as the leaders of your Students’ Union, all 6 Executive Officers studied at Queen Mary over the past few years. They’ve given us some recommendations on what they like to do in order to be mindful and protect their mental health during difficult times:

Cameron:

  • Yoga
  • Face-mask (beauty one)
  • Read a book
  • Classical music
  • Walking (if not self-isolating)

Tiana:

  • Go for a walk with a friend or listen to music
  • Bake something tasty
  • Kitchen Dance Party!! Alone or with flatmates
  • Do something creative: practice playing an instrument, try some drawing, write your life as a sitcom - even if you've never done it before and hold yourself to no standards to take the pressure off
  • Watch something lighthearted that makes you feel good

Jack:

  • Guided meditation/mindfulness using an app like Calm or Headspace, or a free Youtube video
  • Take a walk to a local park or green space
  • Watch videos of cute animals (baby goats are one of my favourites)
  • Do a quick five minute job that doesn’t take much thinking (like cleaning dishes or folding laundry) to give you a quick sense of accomplishment
  • Make a list of things you’ve achieved

Mat:

  • Go for a walk/run (Victoria Park is amazing!)
  • Take part in BLSA's Lockdown Antics - just follow @officialblsa on Instagram
  • Organise a Zoom Quiz with your friends or family
  • SMD students can join an Connecting Practice Isolation Huddle if they are feeling isolated or lonely every Monday lunchtime.
  • Try some Yoga - just youtube an online class

Shamima:

  • I like to socialise with my friends – video call them or share memes with them throughout the day; it’s nice to know other people are with you during these difficult times and sharing this moment with them is a blessing regardless.
  • Listen to music – listening to music and vibing on your own is super therapeutic!
  • Go for walks – love going for long walks to clear my head and realign my sanity
Duolingo

We’ve all downloaded Duolingo to try to become fluent in another language, only to have ignored the reminders to train. Now is the perfect time to pick it back up & learn a new skill! With their free mobile or desktop app, you can learn 30+ languages online with bite-size lessons.


Learn outside your subject

We know that whilst completing a degree, it can be all-consuming. So, why not take advantage of this time and read outside of your degree subject to gain some knowledge in other areas of interest. Queen Mary Library has some great online resources for all subjects you can view for free! Alternatively, why not explore other online courses available to broaden your horizons and boost your CV.

  • OpenLearn: This is a platform from The Open University, providing FREE short courses based on many of their degree modules. Courses range from a couple of hours to much larger and more substantial in length, and span a huge range of topics, so there’s something for everyone! They also provide free certificates of completion so these are great for your personal development, your CV, and employability. Find out more.
  • FutureLearn: This is another great platform providing free online courses from a variety of world-leading universities and other institutions. The courses are free to participate in - some require payment for certificates but many provide free certificates so make sure to check what is required! Find out more.

Podcasts

They have fast become a staple in people’s lives & nows your chance to expand your horizons. Podcasts are a great, relaxed way of gaining knowledge whilst completing other jobs or tasks. See our list of recommendations to listen to during the lockdown below;

  • No Such Thing as a Fish
  • Radio 4 In Our Time
  • The Reciepts Podcast
  • That Peter Crouch Podcast
  • Dear Joan and Jerica
  • Game of our Lives
  • The High Low
  • Adulting - Oenone Forbat
  • The Guilty Feminist
  • Off Menu with Ed Gamble & James Acaster
  • The Moth
  • Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness
  • TED Talks Daily
  • Heavyweight
  • S Town
  • Reveal
  • Serial
  • Happy Place

YouTube

Like podcasts, YouTube has a wealth of videos that are very informative and can help you to learn or refine some of your skills in your free time. We've created a small list of recommendations below, but feel free to suggest anymore you think should be added:

  • Vsauce
  • Yoga with Adrienne
  • The Sorry Girls
  • Joe Wicks
  • Pro Home Cooks
  • Tasty
  • Smarter Every Day
  • TED-Ed
  • Easy Language

Executive Officer Recommendations

Here are some recommendations of some great podcast that your Executive Officers have been listening to over the past couple of months:

Tiana:
  • It’s Been a Minute
  • Black Gals Livin’
  • Slow Burn
  • Under the Arch

Cameron
  • Today in Focus
  • The Guarding UK: Politics Weekly

Jack
  • ZeroToFinals (medical revision)

Want to hear a little bit more about how you can get involved in volunteering? Listen to your Mile End Volunteering Officer, Aleksandra, and Volunteering Board representative, Tasmiah, talk about your options: Introduction to Volunteering at Queen Mary 2020-21.

Click here to read more about some of the exciting Volunteering Opportunities currently available.