Make your health and wellbeing a priority as you study online
UPDATED 3 August
The last few months have been challenging for everyone and there will be more challenges as we enter a new period of restrictions.
While you continue with your studies online we want to ensure your study experience is a positive and enjoyable one – but for this to happen you need to prioritise self-care and to look out for warning signs that you’re starting to struggle.
How to recognise if you’re feeling stressed or anxious
Some of the common signs of anxiety or worry include:
- feeling fearful about your health or the health of your family
- feeling helpless or frustrated about a loss of control over your day-to-day routine
- withdrawing from other people or feeling scared to leave your home
- tearfulness or sadness
- uncomfortable physical symptoms such as a racing heart, a lack of appetite, an upset stomach, and/or headaches
- increased symptoms of any chronic health problems
- changes in eating habits
- irritability or anger
- lack of energy or motivation
- changes in sleeping habits, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, or experiencing nightmares
- difficulty concentrating
- increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other substances.
How to manage feelings of stress
There’s a range of ways you can maintain your health and wellbeing:
- Prioritise self-care. Try to maintain a balanced diet and ensure you’re getting enough sleep. Exercise regularly – outside when possible for maximum benefits to your mental health! Make time to do something you love every day.
- Know that your feelings are valid. Pay attention to your emotions and recognise that they may fluctuate at times. Talk to a friend or download an app like Smiling Mind to practise meditation.
- Stay in touch with others. While physical distancing rules are still in place, it’s now a bit easier to catch up with friends and family, so make the most of the eased restrictions. See people you’ve been missing over the past few months and share how the situation has affected you. As you study online, make sure you regularly visit the discussion board on your unit site via DeakinSync. Follow Deakin Life on Facebook or Instagram to stay in touch with what’s happening across the University.
- Stick to your normal routines as much as possible. As you study from home, try to wake up at the same time each day, prepare your breakfast as usual and dress like you’re heading to class to get yourself in the right frame of mind.
- Stay up to date with accurate information. Deakin has a dedicated team coordinating the University’s response to this global event, and we’re closely monitoring and responding to the latest expert advice from government and health authorities. Our FAQs provide the most current information and are updated regularly.
Where to go for help
- For emergency, 24-hour support, contact LifeLine or SuicideLine.
- Make a free and confidential telehealth appointment with a Deakin counsellor or with one of our doctors at a Deakin Medical Centre.
- If you’re not ready to talk to someone one-on-one, visit our Ask Counselling blog, which contains questions asked by Deakin students and answered by CAPS counsellors. You can browse the questions by topics, such as anxiety, loneliness or family problems or ask a question yourself. All questions and responses are anonymous.
- Access a range of mental health resources in the eWellbeing section of DeakinSync.
- Our International Student Advisers provide advice, support and encouragement to international students on a range of matters.
- Contact Safer Community if you need to disclose a sexual assault or harassment, if you’re experiencing family violence, if you want to report inappropriate or threatening behaviour, or if you’re worried about something that doesn’t feel quite right.
- Deakin’s Multifaith Chaplains offer compassionate support to everyone, whether religious or not. Our chaplains are available for phone consultations.
If you’re still not sure where to go, just contact Student Central, who can direct you to services right across the University.