10 Tips to Stress Less at University

Uni tips

The '10 Tips to Stress Less at University' Campaign is a State-wide initiative led by WayAhead Mental Health Association NSW in collaboration with Western Sydney University, with support from University of New South Wales and Australian National University.

The tips were created with students, for students. The tips provide overarching self-directed strategies that can be engaged with to support a student's management of stress and to promote their wellbeing. To learn more about the Campaign and the research process, please visit Stress Less at Uni Tips

The Campaign resource featured above and the individual 'tip' graphics were also created by a Western Sydney University student, Tabarak Abdellatif.

You can download the tips and respective graphics  here to share on social media. Make sure and use the hashtags #stresslesstips and #studentwellbeing so we can follow your journey.

Supporting engagement with tips at Western 

Student health and wellbeing is a priority for the University and we have a number of initiatives running to support you in engaging with these tips. Click on the headings for each tip below to explore the current initiatives being run which can support you in activating the respective tips.

1. Connect with friends and socialise

  • Movie Night!

The Anime Academy runs a movie night every Thursday and Friday. Sessions are currently being held online via Discord until further notice.

You can find out more about the communal movie nights under the Anime Academy’s ‘Upcoming Events’ section in WesternLIFE platform, here.

  • Friendly Friday’s

Friendly Friday’s are a group gaming event run every Friday, with different computer games being showcased each week. This event aims to bring gamers together to make lifelong friendships.

Get more information under the Anime Gaming Society’s ‘Upcoming Events’ section in WesternLIFE platform, here.

  • Anime Screening

Each week participants watch a new anime together via screen share within a dedicated AGS Discord server.

Get access under the Anime Gaming Society’s ‘Upcoming Events’ section in WesternLIFE platform, here.  The discord Link can be found here.

  • Live Bingo!

Every Thursday Campus Life runs a Bingo event where participants can learn some fun facts about the world, win cool prizes, and have a whole lot of fun.

Grab a bingo card and join the session by registering under Campus Life’s ‘Upcoming Events’ section in WesternLIFE platform, here.

  • Student Life Trivia

Student Life Trivia is held multiple times a week, with events covering both standard general knowledge as well as a weekly themed event every Friday.

General Trivia is held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays @ 11am and Themed Trivia on Fridays @ 2pm

All sessions can be registered to under Campus Life’s ‘Upcoming Events’ section in WesternLIFE platform, here.

  • Between The Covers: Western's Book Club

Between The Covers is a great place for students to share their love of books with like-minded students, explore different views on various books, and learn (and share) suggestions for future reads.

Join out virtual bookc club conversation through the Campus Life’s ‘Upcoming Events’ section in WesternLIFE platform, here.


External Opportunities
  • Houseparty App

Houseparty is a FREE social networking service that enables group video chats to make connecting with your friends effortless. Participate in either one-one-one or group chats, with a bunch of games to enhance to socialisation experience. More information here.

  • Pinot & Picasso

Pinot & Picasso is a fun ‘paint and sip experience’ where you can BYO wine to a guided painting workshop to get creative and have some fun! Tickets run for around $59.00, or alternatively, you can now bring the whole experience home with a Pinot & Picasso Art Box! Boxes contain 3 canvases, all the painting equipment required, a wine voucher, and $50 off your next booking. More information here.

2.Take a break and change your environment

  • Wellbeing Cafes

Wellbeing Cafes are an online setting where we encourage you to share a coffee and a conversation with peers and the Mental Health and Wellbeing Promotions team. The informal sessions are hosted via zoom and encourage you to take a break, check-in with peers and practise social solidarity.

Keep up with the latest opportunities by following the MHWb Promotions Team’s socials on Instagram and Facebook 

  • Campus Life and Sport Forums

Online forums are a great opportunity to take time out of your day to connect with other likeminded students. There are a variety of topics from movies, zoo cams, craft corner, book club, reviews, fitness workouts, healthy recipes and so much more.

The ‘Zoo Cams Links’ within the ‘All Things Streaming’ forum is a great resource where you can change your ‘virtual environment’ by exploring zoos all around the world from the comfort and safety of your own home!

You can access Sport Forums here and the Campus Life forums here


External Opportunities
  • Opal Concession Fares

Full-time tertiary students can access concessions to help with the cost of public transport in NSW. This is available to both local and international students, based on eligibility criteria, which met allows individuals to use a concession ‘Opal card’ for use on NSW trains and buses. More information here.

  • Hikes and Walks NSW

Visit NSW provides a list of over 500 great hikes and walks across NSW. Discover by location, setting, and accessibility. More information here.  

3. Listen to music

  • Streaming Services

As a student you can take advantage of discounted rates and free trials for a number of streaming services. See below:

Soundcloud Go (50% Off for students)

Spotify Premium (50% off for students or a 60 days free trial)

Amazon Music (90 days free trial)

Apple Music (90 days free trial)


External Opportunities
  • 'Tunes for a Happy Headspace' Spotify Playlist

headspace Campbelltown’s Youth Reference Group have curated a list of 3-hours’ worth of some of the best tunes to elevate your mood and get you into a happier headspace. More information here.

  • Music Streams

Now is a fantastic time to be able to find and tune into a whole variety of music streams from almost every genre you can think of. With platforms of choice ranging from Twitch and YouTube, even to Facebook, there’s something for everyone. See below for just a sample of great sources to keep an eye on:

Billboard ‘Live at Home’

Ministry of Sound

Discogs 'Homespun'

Quarantsream

Insomniac Events

4. Make time for yourself

  • PASSOnline

PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) are collaborative and informal study sessions facilitated by your peers; senior students who have successfully completed the unit and can help you exceed your study expectations.

Weekly sessions are free. Just check the website timetable, click the link and join in!

  • Yoga

The Western Social Sports Club are running weekly online beginner level yoga sessions on Tuesdays (9am-10am) and Thursdays (3pm-4pm). Sessions are facilitated by a qualified yoga instructor.

Check out the Western Social Sports Club’s ‘Upcoming Events’ section in WesternLIFE platform, and sign up for a yoga session, here.

External Opportunities
  • Abelton Live 10

Ableton Live is a flexible music creation software which makes it easy to write, produce, and record your own tracks. Ableton is currently offering a 90-day free trial for you to practise with the software and learn some new skills. Additionally, full-time students can save 40%. More information here.

  • Fanatical

Fanatical is an online video game retailer which sells a whole variety of games, as well as e-books and other e-learning tools, for great prices. There are also great bundles which package content together so you can play some fun games or learn a new skill. Students also get 5% off with a ‘Student Beans’ discount. More information here.

  • Lush

Lush is an ethical, hand-made cosmetics company selling a variety of products which would be great to ‘treat yourself’ with, from bath bombs to face masks, and much more. Lush also have a ‘5 Pot Program’ where customers can return 5 old black pot containers (purchased from their stores) to receive a free face mask. More information here.

5. Speak to someone you trust

  • eCounselling

eCounselling is a confidential online service that allows students to ask a counsellor questions from the comfort and privacy of their own computer; simply send an email to ecounselling@westernsydney.edu.au from your student email account or visit the counselling webpages for more information here.

NOTE: Responses given are of a general nature only and are not intended as a replacement for seeking a counsellor. This service is also not intended for crisis situations. Lifeline is available 24 hours a day on 13 11 14.

  • RU OK? Training

The online RU OK? training session is a one-hour virtual course supporting community members to recognise the signs and increase confidence to engage in conversations surrounding suicide.

You can register to attend a free online workshop and receive a jointly branded certificate of attendance, here.

  • MATES

MATES provides first year students with an opportunity to connect with other new students and mentors in later years of study. This helps new students meet and network with other students and gain knowledge and skills to settle into life at university. The MATES program is currently online, and the mentors are meeting and catching up with students online via zoom sessions and other online platforms as well as via email and phone calls. Some sessions have fixed times and others are arranged between the students at convenient times.

Learn more about MATES here.

External Opportunities
  • Lifeline 24-hour Telephone Crisis Support Service

13 11 14 is a confidential telephone crisis support service available 24/7 from a landline, payphone or mobile for individuals experiencing a personal crisis or having thoughts about suicide. Trained volunteers will answer your call and can listen, provide immediate support, and provide referral information where necessary. More information here.

  • eheadspace

eheadspace provides free online support and counselling to young people 12 - 25 and their families and friends. Services include group chats and one-one-one sessions led by trained health professionals to support your wellbeing. more information here.

6. Get moving, be active

  • Live Campbelltown Workout

WSUBoxing are running a fitness challenge providing filmed daily workouts, nutrition tips and tricks. The challenge also has a group chat integrated to connect peers and keep participants accountable.

Join the challenge through Western Life here.

  • Westerns Virtual Fitness Mission

Western's Virtual Fitness Mission encourages students to get moving and take on the challenge of completing a custom 345km course that links all campuses using a street view virtual environment. The mission creates a great sense of community with highlight feeds, chat functionality, the ability to upload and share pics and get a range of interesting statistics and fun facts along the way.

Join the Virtual Fitness Mission under Sports section in WesternLIFE platform, here.

  • The Push-Up Challenge

WSU Sport are launching a Push-Up Challenge to raise awareness and funds for mental health, particularly headspace.

Join the Push-Up Challenge under Sports section in WesternLIFE platform, here.

  • GWS Giants 'Workout of the Week' Content 

AFL Sports team Western Sydney Giants have developed a series of fitness and nutritional content exclusively for our students. Check under the Sports Forums on WesternLIFE to find great ‘Workout of the Week’ content plus more here.


External Opportunities
  • Exercise Right At Home 

Accredited exercise professionals from the Exercise Right campaign have put together a range of filmed workouts to complete in the safety and comfort of your own home. Their site also has some fantastic blog posts and other resources to help you get active. More information here.

  • Hikes and Walks NSW

Visit NSW provides a list of over 500 great hikes and walks across NSW. Discover by location, setting, and accessibility. more information here.

7. Nourish your body

  • Virtual Soup Kitchen

Virtual Soup Kitchen is run every Wednesday by the Multifaith Chaplaincy. Participants can prepare a different dish each week within the hour with groceries provided, to be picked up at the Campus Living Village front desk.

For more information or to register for a evening of wholesome cooking, visit the Multifaith Chaplaincy’s ‘Upcoming Events’ section in WesternLIFE platform, here.

  • GWS Giants 'Recipe of the Week' Content

AFL Sports team Western Sydney Giants have developed a series of fitness and nutritional content exclusively for our students. Check under the Sports Forums on WesternLIFE to find great ‘Recipe of the Week’ content plus more, here.

  • Activity Booklets

Campus Life have created fun booklets filled with a variety of activities such as Sudoku, recipes, crosswords, language study, challenges, at home workouts, meditation, goal setting, movie watch lists and more. Completed booklets can also be submitted to go in the draw to win great prizes.

You can access and download booklets from the Campus Life's ‘Upcoming Events’ section in WesternLIFE platform, here.


External Opportunities

  • Hello Fresh

HelloFresh is a meal-kit company which provides fresh food at home to make easy, wholesome home-made meals. HelloFresh offers 40% off your first box + an ongoing 10% student discount for a 12-month subscription with UNiDAYS. More information here.

8. Practise mindfulness

  • 15 Minute Meditation via Zoom

Multifaith Chaplaincy are hosting 15-minute meditations at noon on Mondays and Fridays.

To get more information or join a mindfulness session visit the Multifaith Chaplaincy’s ‘Upcoming Events’ section in WesternLIFE platform, here.

  • Relaxation Recordings

The WSU Counselling service provides access to audio recordings for brief relaxation sessions, progressive muscular relaxation and mindfulness relaxations. Access recordings, here.


External Opportunities
  • Headspace: Meditation & Sleep

Headspace: Meditation & Sleep is an app filled with guided meditations on a variety of topics, from managing stress, to anxiety, productivity, sleep, physical health, and more. There is a great free version of the app or access the full library with a subscription. more information  here.

  • Aura

Aura is a meditation app which provides a suite of content to reduce stress and practice mindfulness. Users can choose from guided personalised meditation exercises, to soothing music, and even practise gratitude journaling all within a dedicated app. More information here.

9. Spend time with family and loved ones

  • Accidental Counsellor Training

The three-hour zoom training session is a practical mental health training workshop teaching basic skills and principles to individuals who may find themselves in a 'support role by accident’; either needing to support a friend, colleague, peer or family member in times of stress.

This training ensures you are well equipped to confidently assist your loved ones to support wellbeing and maintain meaningful relationship. To get more information on the free workshops and to register for a sessions, visit Free Training.

  • HOW TO Forums

Campus Life have created a HOW TO forum which is a hub where students can find instructional information on how to complete various activities. There are many activities within these forums that can be completed with loved ones to support meaning connections, such as HOW TO plant a herb garden and HOW TO make home made soap.

Learn more about HOW TO here.


External Opportunities

  • Netflix Party

Netflix Party is a way to watch Netflix with your friends and family online with an integrated chat feature. The browser extension is FREE and only requires one user (the host) to have a Netflix subscription. More information here.

10. Get enough sleep

  • Sleep Easy Relaxation Session – 12 Minute Audio Recording

WSU Counselling service provides a collection of relaxation audio recordings, including a 12 minute ‘Sleep Easy relaxation session’. This audio recording guides you through a set of muscular tightening and releasing exercises with the aim of relaxing your body and improving sleep. Access the recording here.

We endeavour to update the links and content of the above sections weekly. Check back for more exciting opportunities.

Useful resources

  • To learn more about WayAhead's '10 Tips to Stress Less Campaign' for the Community, go to Stress Less at Uni Campaign
  • For more information on student facing health promotion initiatives on campus please join our Facebook Group or follow us on Instagram.
  • To learn more about our suite of FREE mental health and wellbeing training opportunities, please visit, Wellbeing Training

Useful contacts

  • For more information on the research project, contact Rowena Saheb, Mental Health and Wellbeing Promotions Coordinator or Dr Arianne Reis, Senior Lecturer, School of Health Science.
  • For more information on how you can engage with the above opportunities at Western, contact Taylor Mortimer, Mental Health and Wellbeing Promotions Support Officer
  • For more information about the Stress Less at University Campaign contact Asha Zappa, Mental Health Promotions Officer, WayAhead.
  • To contact the University's Wellbeing Services, visit Student Wellbeing
  • If you are in crisis, please contact the Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511, Lifeline on 13 11 14, Emergency Services on 000, or present to your nearest Emergency Department.

Acknowledgements

We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge:

  • The Stress Less at University Project Team: Rowena Saheb, Dr Arianne Reis, Dr Sandro Sperandei, Andrea Maria Earl, Dr Nerida Klupp, and Asha Zappa.
  • The wonderful students and staff members from Western Sydney University, University of New South Wales and Australian National University who generously provided feedback to support the development of the tips.
  • The Stress Less Design Competition entrants and judging panel, for their time, expertise and support of the project.