Take notice: Unplug

Does anyone still remember the video “Look up” from 2014? Despite the popularity back in the day, it seems that we have all forgotten the message behind the video. Between deadlines, socials, and the pressure to be productive, it can be so easy to get wrapped up in our super busy lives that we forget to take some time for ourselves. For example, when was the last time you relaxed? And I don’t mean binging Netflix or scrolling through your phone, but actually spending time connecting with yourself and the world around you? When life gets too much, maybe it’s time to take a break and uncloud our thoughts. Here are some ideas…

Take a walk through nature

With the wide range of parks in Manchester, there’s always somewhere to go to look at natural scenery and take a leisurely stroll. For those near campus, Whitworth Park (and the art gallery) or Platt Fields are popular choices and for those looking to venture out, a day out in Tatton park or Heaton Park can be equally as rewarding. For those wishing to do more, why not try hosting a picnic or go picture taking with some friends? Some parks even offer activities for the public to get involved in.

Try something new

Manchester is an incredibly diverse city with an array of activities for everyone. Get involved in a new activity allowing yourself to focus on something different for a change. Some ideas include…

Be spontaneous with friends!

When we were kids, our favourite pastimes would be simply hanging out with friends and using our imagination to think of the craziest activities to engage in! Why should this be any different now that we’re adults? Playing board games, watching movies, cooking together or simply hanging out for the sake of catching up – Not every event requires detailed planning and scheduling, sometimes simply connecting with friends and going with the flow of the day can be a lot more adventurous and fun!

Spending alone time

When the world becomes a bit too stressful, perhaps it’s time to unwind and spend some time alone. Listening to a podcast or music playlist can be a good way to destress (and trust me, it’s much more relaxing than listening at full volume on crowded public transport on a Monday morning!). Living space, a bit too messy? Declutter and donate unwanted items, a clearer space can make you feel calmer and more comfortable. Maybe try out a new recipe, get creative or journal to help take notice and better understand your inner thoughts and goals.

Connect and give!

One way to feel better is actually to give and help someone else. Not only can this give you the opportunity to gain new experiences be inspired (or inspire others), it also gives you the chance to do something good for the community. Volunteering opportunities can be found during the universities volunteer fairs or online via the volunteer hub. Hours of volunteering can also be tracked towards Stellify or the Manchester Leadership Programme.

See http://www.volunteers.manchester.ac.uk/ for more details.


Written by Student Wellbeing Champion, Jessica Chan