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5 steps to start your day calmly and with a clear head.
At Host we’re passionate about the health and wellbeing of students living with us in our student accommodation. From drop in sessions with our on-site staff where you can chat about anything to regular social events, we create a welcoming home from home. We get that uni life can be full of stress, worry, anxiety, or at times, can just create a feeling of doom and gloom that unfortunately can really affect your mental health. So, on University Mental Health Day (Thursday 5th March), we say – just take 5 and clear your head.
In the marketing department we attempt to follow the methods of Dr Rangan Chatterjee, in his book Feel Better in 5 (We highly recommend the book). Feel Better in 5 has become our go-to when the office stress levels peak. We just take 5, use one of the mindfulness methods, work it all out, analyse the situation, and work our way through the problem. And you can do the same!
To help you work through it, we’ve adapted Dr Chatterjee’s 5 Step Release method as a way to start your day calmly and with a clear head. Here’s how…
Grab a piece of paper and write an answer or a few bullet points for each of these steps:
Step 1: Something that’s niggling at you or that you’re anxious about today.
What’s on your mind? What’s dominating your thoughts? It could be something happening today or later on in the week. Is it an assignment, exam, sports fixture, a date?
Action: Whatever is dominating your thought process write it down.
Step 2: Something that you can do to prepare for or prevent it.
With the problem identified, ask yourself, what can I do to prepare myself for what’s happening? Or even prevent what’s on your mind from happening. By being proactive in dealing with those issues, it’ll help to calm any anxiety you may have. But its not just that, by doing something practical about it, the action of just doing ‘something’ will help you feel better about the situation.
Action: If you have a presentation coming up for example, prepare for it by focusing on those few key points that you absolutely must get across.
Step 3: A reason why it’s more than likely not going to be as bad as you fear.
Let’s face it we all think it’s going to be worse than it actually is. As Dr Chatterjee says, “our minds naturally try to prepare themselves for the worst-case scenario and we can easily start to believe that things are worse than they actually are”. Reality is its almost certain that you’re going to pass that assignment and you’ll smash that presentation, but if you forget or mess up a bit of it, don’t worry about it, no one is going to hold it against you and the chances are they’ll never realise you did make a mistake.
Action: Write down a more realistic view of the problem by completely disregarding that worst-case scenario.
Step 4: One reason why you know you can handle the situation.
This is where positivity comes in to play. Ask yourself is it really that bad? Chances are you’ve been through much worse, we all know how nerve-racking it is waiting for A level results day, or those first few nights away from home in fresher’s week, and look you survived it.
Action: Think positive and write down how you know you’ll get through the situation.
Step 5: Give yourself at least one upside to the situation.
Look for that silver lining, as they say, every cloud has one. What’s the upside to the situation? Could be that assignment was the last one before exams, or that presentation was worth a massive chunk of your module’s final grade.
Action: Write down at least one positive that you think will come out of the situation.
Inspiration of 5-point plan: Dr Rangan Chatterjee, Feel Better in 5. Your Daily Plan to Feel Great for Life.
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