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8 eCampus tips and resources to help with your well-being

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It’s Mental Health Awareness Week from 26 September to 2 October 2022, and eCampus NZ has some great tips and resources available to help with your mental health and well-being.

1) Create boundaries

Working and learning from home have become more popular in recent years. Therefore, it is important to create clear boundaries between study and home life. This will help you to manage your mental and emotional well-being.

The most effective way to achieve balance is to set up a workstation that you use solely for study. Ideally, you’ll have a desk and a comfortable chair in a space away from distractions.

If you are studying in a space that is used for other purposes, pack up your workstation at the end of the day. This will help you and your whānau make a clear distinction between study time and leisure time. If you have a home office, only go in during hours you have set aside for study or work.

2) Make a schedule

When juggling various commitments, it is important to plan ahead and organise your time carefully. Decide when you’ll study each day in advance if you can, and don’t forget to set aside time for family, exercise, relaxation and pursuing your hobbies and other interests.  Using this weekly planner template is a good place to start!

3) Study safely

According to WorkSafe New Zealand, spending much of the day seated can lead to strains and injuries. Taking regular breaks is key to staying healthy if you’re spending large amounts of the day at a desk or sitting in one place. Try to interrupt computer use and time at your desk with tasks that will get you moving, such as hanging out the washing, doing the dishes, or taking an exercise break.

If you’re sitting down for an extended period of time, build regular, short pauses (micropauses) into your work by taking a moment to stretch; taking your hands from the keyboard and hanging your arms by your side; totally relaxing your shoulders, arms, hands and fingers; and looking away from your screen to focus on an object in the distance.

WorkSafe and ACC have produced a guide on how to prevent computer-related health issues. The guide includes information on how to set up a safe workspace and use a computer safely.

4) Stay connected

Online doesn’t mean learning alone. Dedicate time each week to connecting with your classmates and course facilitator through forum posts and messages. This will keep you motivated, ensure you have a support network, and boost your well-being if needed.

5) eCampus NZ student advisors

If you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or just feel like you need some extra support, please reach out to your student advisor.

You can work together to figure out how you can balance your study and your other commitments going forward. They can also connect you with other support services.

Your student advisor can also connect you with the on-campus and online support services provided by your enrolling institute.

6) Support available through your enrolling institute

If you’re struggling and need to talk things through, it’s important to ask for help. Click on the name of your enrolling institute to find out more about the counselling and student support services available to you.

7) Need to talk? Contact details for well-being services

  • 1737 is a free service for New Zealanders who are feeling down, anxious, a bit overwhelmed or just need to chat. Free call or text 1737 to speak with a trained counsellor, any time of day or night. This service is completely free.
  • Lifeline – 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 – a free and confidential crisis helpline service
  • Healthline – 0800 611 116 – for health advice and information
  • Depression Helpline – 0800 111 757 or free text 4202  – to talk to a trained counsellor about how you are feeling or to ask any questions
  • Anxiety Helpline  –  0800 ANXIETY (0800 269 4389) – provides free national 24/7 support, information, and advice about managing anxiety and stress
  • Alcohol Drug Helpline – 0800 787 797. The Helpline operates 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. It is a fully confidential, free professional service with trained addiction counsellors.
  • 0800 Hey Bro – 0800 439 276 – this number is set up for men who are afraid they’re going to harm a family member
  • Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
  • OUTLine NZ – 0800 688 5463 (OUTLINE) – provides confidential telephone support for people in the LGBTQIA+ community, available evenings from 6pm–9pm

8) Well-being apps

There are some great well-being apps out there to help us all look after ourselves.

Take a breath

The Take a Breath App is developed by doctors and scientists and teaches you the science around breathing.

Price: Free (there is a premium version, but there are plenty of features available at no cost)
Available on: IOS (App Store), Android (Google Play), desktop.

Mentemia

Mentemia is a free app, developed by Sir John Kirwan, and backed by the Ministry of Health. It gives you the tools to make small daily steps that create big changes for your daily well-being.

Price: Free
Available on: IOS (App Store), Android (Google Play)

Melon

Melon is supported by the Ministry of Health as an online tool to help Kiwis through the impacts of COVID-19.

Price: Free
Available on: IOS (App Store), Android (Google Play)

Calm

Calm is a popular sleep, meditation and relaxation app which is designed to help users improve sleep quality and reduce stress and anxiety.

Price: Free version available. If you do decide to get a subscription, it’s a good idea to make use of their 7-day free trial.

Available on: IOS (App Store)Android (Google Play)desktop.

Headspace

Headspace promotes mindfulness techniques that can help with mood, focus, and coping skills.

Price: Free – the free version includes ten short meditations and other resources to help you understand meditation.

Waking Up

Waking Up is another meditation app – perhaps best suited to the more experienced meditator.

Price: While Premium subscriptions do come at a cost, Waking Up offers free accounts to those who can’t afford to pay here.

Available on: IOS (App Store), Android (Google Play)

These apps are not intended to be a replacement for professional advice. If you need help now, visit the Mental Health Foundation website.

Check eCampus NZ’s support site Tō Tautoko for more advice and resources on staying happy and healthy when you’re learning online.

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