Looking after your wellbeing

It is normal to feel sad, stressed, confused, scared and angry during a crisis. It is important that we all look after our physical and mental wellbeing, especially if self-isolating at home. There are some great resources out there to help support your mental health, and some boredom busters and ideas to keep you staying positive while staying indoors.

A list of useful websites that have a range of advice and tips:

Wellbeing Support from Imperial College:

Please remember that while support services are not physically open, staff are available to support you remotely. For College support services check the Student Support Zone pages for the most up-to-date information, and the College's dedicated Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates and resources

Kelly Greenwood, Student Wellbeing Advisor for EEE, is still available to support you. You can email or contact Kelly via Teams. Video call appointments are also available prearranged.

Also remember that if you are still staying in halls of residence that your Hall Wardens are available to help you.

Mental Health Crisis:

If you are experiencing mental health crisis during this time and need urgent help you should contact either your doctor, the crisis lines below, or go straight to A&E.

  • Students living in Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, Hillingdon, Brent, Camden and Harrow with a mental health crisis can contact the NHS 24 hour Crisis Line number on +44 (0)800 0234 650
  • Students living in Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham and Hounslow with a mental health crisis can contact the NHS 24 hour Crisis Line number on +44 (0)300 1234 244
  • Students living in Wandsworth with a mental health crisis can contact the NHS 24 hour Crisis Line number on +44 (0)20 3513 4421
  • Students living in Berkshire with a mental health crisis can contact the NHS 24 hour Crisis Line number on +44 (0)300 365 9999

Other urgent mental health support:

  • Samaritans - for people experience high levels of distress including suicidal feelings. Call 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org, this service is 24 hours.
  • Nightline - offers a confidential listening, support and practical information service for students in London. They are open from 18:00 overnight to 08:00, Monday - Thursday during term. Call 0207 631 0101, text 07717 989900, or email listening@nightline.org.uk.
  • Shout crisis text service - offers a 24 hour text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. Text 85258.

Boredom busters for coronavirus self-isolation

Preparing for coronavirus isn’t just about stocking up on tinned goods and toilet roll, its also important for us to find ways to combat boredom when self-isolating for the toll it can take on our mental health. Below are just some suggestions of things to do to combat boredom while at home.

  • Board Games Dust off the board games and get involved in some friendly competitionwith your fellow self-isolators! Just remember if a Monopoly sesh turns sour, there is no escaping to cool down, and it looks like we will be stuck with our fellow self-isolators for some time yet!
  • Books Do you have a small library of books that you never have the time to ever sit down to read? Now might be the opportunity to do so! So once you’ve exhausted Netflix, pick up a book. Why not even start your own virtual book club with friends?
  • Marie Kondo Your Crib! If like me you have had to do some frantic tidying to be able to video call shame free, why not spend some of your newly found spare time completely de-cluttering. Forget spring cleaning, this is all about Corona Cleansing, so Marie Condo your crib and maybe disinfect everything as you go!
  • Films and TV Programmes Netflix, Netflix, Netflix! I’m sure finishing all your Netflixseries has been the top of your self-isolation list of things to do. If your aim over the next few weeks is to become a professional couch potato, then why not also sign up to other platforms providing free trials like HayU and Amazon Prime.
  • Work it! Whether you have work or study to do from home,now is the time to work it! The first week of isolation is a good excuse to avoid the gym, but we are all heading towards cabin fever, so get active at home! There are lots of online workouts that you can follow and lots of workouts you can do with no equipment needed –I’mtalking lunges, squats, weights, push-ups –do weights with your books or stockpiled tins of tomatoes if you have to!
  • Keep Connected Keeping in regular contact with friends and family during this difficult time will help us all feel connected, and will help you feel like you’re not losing touch with the outside world. Talking to others helps maintain cognition and prevent depression. While we can’t socialisein bars, clubs, restaurants, why not set up virtual socials when you would normally see these friends and order food in instead!
  • Cook up a storm! Now is a good time to brush up on those cooking skills and get creative with those store cupboard essentials we all rushed out to buy. There are lots of great posts circulating on how to get cooking and baking with as little as three ingredients. So while many of you students may have mastered cooking pasta, with this now in short supply, why not develop a new signature dish!
  • Learn to meditate During times of anxiety and stress, meditation can be useful for helping you manage your headspace. So whether you’re a regular meditator or a novice, why not take up the 31-day meditation challenge
  • Video Games For any of you that once loved video games (before Imperial took over your life!) you will now more than likely have some time to pick this back up as the occasional hobby. While there once would have been a time where your parents might have banned your video gaming, when all self-isolating together I’m sure an hour or so will be encouraged in an effort to ensure we all still like each other at the end of this pandemic!
  • Learn something new What better time that to keep your brain active and learn something new or pick up a new hobby.

So for all students who tell me you don’t have time to include hobbies and activities for your wellbeing around your studies, now could be the perfect time to learn something new and keep positive.