Remember to look after your wellbeing as you study online
Whether you’re starting your study in Trimester 3 or you’ve been learning online throughout the year, there’s certainly been many challenges to overcome in 2020. Congratulations on persevering and sticking with your study plans!
We want to ensure your Deakin experience is a positive and enjoyable one. To succeed at your studies, it’s crucial that you put your health and wellbeing needs first, heed warning signs that you’re starting to struggle and ask for help if you need it.
Recognising that you’re feeling stressed or anxious
If you start to experience any of the following signs or symptoms of stress and anxiety, it’s time to take stock of your overall health and wellbeing. These signs and symptoms 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
- excessive 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 your sleeping habits – finding it hard to fall or stay asleep, or having nightmares
- finding it hard to concentrate
- increasing your use of alcohol, tobacco or other substances.
Effectively managing these feelings
There’s a range of things you can do to put your health and wellbeing first:
- 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 some restrictions remain, it’s now easier to catch up with friends and family. 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. Read about the many benefits of attending your live online classes.
- Stay up to date with accurate information. Deakin is 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.
Getting appropriate help
It’s so important to seek help if you need it. For emergency, 24-hour support, contact LifeLine or SuicideLine.
Deakin also has a range of support services that you can access from home:
- Make a free and confidential telehealth appointment with a Deakin Counselling and Psychological Support (CAPS) counsellor or one of our doctors at a Deakin Medical Centre.
- Visit our Ask Counselling blog, which contains questions asked by Deakin students and answered by Deakin CAPS. 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 Hub.
- Contact Safer Community to report or make a disclosure of sexual harm (recent or historical, and either on‑ or off‑campus); to report domestic family violence or problem behaviour; or to access support. All assistance is confidential.
- Deakin’s Multifaith Chaplains offer compassionate support to everyone, whether religious or not. Our chaplains are available for phone consultations.
Still not sure where to go? Just contact Student Central, who can direct you to services right across the University.