Whether this is your first experience of higher education, or you’re returning after a break from study, the start of the academic year is an exciting time and it can sometimes seem a bit overwhelming! With so much to take in, from finding your way around campus (Bonus points if you’re based at Strand and have managed to locate the Chesham building, which is notoriously difficult to find!), to navigating the transport system if you’re new to London, to establishing your social group; it can all go by in a bit of a blur.
People often talk about ‘being in the moment’ and, whilst this can sound a little cringe-worthy to some, it’s worth unpacking what this can look and feel like and how it can help. When we’re rushing around, trying to get ourselves organised and fit in our many different commitments, we often don’t even notice the world around us, much less what’s going on for us internally. Sometimes, it’s important to slow down and check in with ourselves, notice how we’re feeling in our bodies and minds, ask ourselves which aspects of our lives feel fulfilled and which might need a little tlc. And who can we reach out to so we can achieve that? Taking notice of the external world, too, can help anchor us in the present, rather than being caught up in thinking about the past or stressing about the future.
This was probably best summed up at one of our Welcome to King’s panel discussions. When one of our new students asked the very helpful question “What one piece of advice would you give to us at this point in time?”, there were many useful suggestions, including this point from the Counselling Service; “Just breathe!”.
Savour the Moment Challenge
- Take some quiet time to yourself to check in and notice how you’re feeling at the moment. Use our wheel of wellbeing tool to help you do this. Think about each segment and rate your wellbeing out of 10 to identify your areas of strength and development. If things are a little out of kilter, what could you do to restore that balance? Perhaps our wellbeing toolbox can provide a good starting point.
- Identify some times and places to carve out some quiet time for reflection on your own wellbeing. Spent 20 minutes reading, meditating, or just sitting with your own thoughts. Why not try out the following spaces and see how they feel:
- Wellbeing room, Maughan Library
- Chaplaincy rooms – there’s one on each campus
- Strand and Guy’s chapels
- Try out our 20 minute vinyasa flow yoga tasters
- Try a Be Active yoga class
- Check out the mindfulness sessions run on a weekly basis during term time by the Chaplaincy. Click your campus to find out where and when.
- Take notice of and really savour three things a day that give you pleasure as a starting point. Use your senses to guide you. Was it a beautiful view over the Thames, your favourite song or podcast on the way to lectures, the smell of your shower gel, the taste of your morning coffee, the feeling of a cool breeze? Sometimes it’s the small things that ground us and bring us back to the present to take us out of our racing thoughts.
For a recap of the different support services available on campus, check out Tuesday’s ‘Welcome and Never Stop Learning’ post