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Did you know that this week is Mental Health Awareness week! The theme for this year is “Anxiety” using the tag “#ToHelpMyAnxiety”

There are many things that can lead to anxiety including study stress, relationships, starting a new job plus much more.

What is anxiety? The Mental Health Foundation has a page which offers information about anxiety and the things that can relate to it.

How can you combat anxiety?

  • Learn a new skill - Take time to focus on something you enjoy.

  • Exercise - Any kind of fitness counts as it builds your self-confidence and can help you sleep better.

  • Self care - It is important to take time to look after yourself. This could be having a bath, practicing mindfulness or decluttering a space in your life.

  • Let go of technology - Set yourself boundaries on social media, limit any negative news to ensure that you can focus on positive things.

  • Breathe - Try a quick breathing exercise. 4-2-4 breathing is a good place to start; Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 2 seconds and breathe out for 4 seconds. Repeat for a few minutes.

  • Get creative - Do something that is not a part of your course that is creative. This could be writing a fanfiction story, scrapbooking or just having a doodle.

  • Listen to music - Music can help boost your mood or you can listen to songs that reflect your mood.

And don't forget our free smartphone app - OCA Wellbeing - which is designed to support you by developing your resilience, study skills and overall wellbeing.

The app has a dedicated section where you can look at tips and tricks to support you in managing your anxiety. This includes breathing techniques, tips on focusing on the moment and a podcast on how to lift your mood.

The app also includes Charley, a digital wellbeing coach who can help guide you to build and maintain your wellbeing plan.

This is available to all OCA students. Accessible through the Google Play and iTunes App Stores, to register and use the app all you need is your email address. When you sign in, you will be asked to confirm your email address and click on the link in the subsequent email to get up and running.

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Richard Dalgleish
Richard Dalgleish

I think these are all helpful ways to tackle anxiety. My only slight concern is that each might, at first glance, appear to be a solitary thing. Self study can be isolating so I would suggest that some of activities listed but maybe shared with a friend or a group? I suppose that if a person feels anxious being with others that might not help. Complicated to know what is best but thankyou for sharing and getting me thinking about this.

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