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Skills for good health

Mindfulness and meditation

While there are some differences between mindfulness and mediation there is very good evidence that both practices are useful in maintaining good mental health. Most importantly, do some research and find a practice that you are comfortable with so that you continue to use the practice which best suits you. Then, be patient and consistent with your routine – feeling the benefits may take some time.

There are many types of Mindfulness and Meditation.

Mindfulness is learning to train your attention to the present moment without dwelling on what has happened in the past or worrying about what might happen in the future. Mindfulness provides many physical and psychological benefits. Mindfulness can be developed over time with practice.

Benefits of practicing meditation and mindfulness:

  • Reduce stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms
  • Increase resilience and peace of mind
  • Enhance cognitive performance e.g. concentration and memory
  • Improve study and work performance
  • Improve relationships and overall wellbeing

A good explanation of the differences between meditation and mindfulness can be found here.

Meditation

Meditation comes in many forms. Some examples of meditation are:

  • Loving kindness meditation
  • Visualization meditation
  • Mantra mediation
  • Breath awareness meditation

Try a quick and easy mantra meditation - So Hum Meditation

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is learning how to be fully present and engaged in the present moment, becoming aware of your thoughts and feelings without distraction or judgment. Try this simple ‘leaves on a stream’ mindfulness exercise:

In any meditation or mindfulness practice you will find yourself distracted by thoughts about things which may be worrying you. It is natural that your mind will wander but part of the meditation / mindfulness practice is being aware of when this happens and being able to gently redirect your mind back to your mindfulness or meditation practice.

Studying your chosen course can be a very busy time and sometimes looking after your mental wellbeing doesn’t take priority. Any good routine should include time to do the things which you find enjoyable and relaxing.

Time management & procrastination

What is procrastination?

Procrastination means: ‘to put off till tomorrow’. Procrastination can be characterised as a breakdown in our ability to regulate and organise our thoughts and efforts to achieve an important outcome for ourselves within reasonable time.

Procrastination often occurs when we perceive negativity or unpleasantness in aspects of an upcoming priority. Typically, we substitute a less important activity for the more important one. This pattern of delaying and postponing things can overtime make us feel anxious and stressed.

Tips for time management

What you think, will directly affect how you feel, which will directly affect what you do. Understanding between your thoughts, feelings and actions are important to overcoming procrastination.

You do have control over what you think, however it is important to acknowledge that it can be hard to ‘just change your thoughts’. Sometimes certain thoughts have been around for so long that you can feel like you have no control over them. Take time analyse your thoughts – write them down – sometimes people can get caught up in ‘thinking traps’ that affect how they view a situation. Here are some tips to examine the evidence of your thought and find a more ‘balanced’ view of the situation:

  • Stop avoiding
  • Estimate the time the task will take
  • Make lists
  • Give yourself reminders
  • Prepare study tools and eliminate distractions
  • Determine the best times of the day for study
  • Set aside time for others thoughts
  • Reward yourself
  • Organise support

Stay connected

People with strong family or social connections are generally healthier than those who lack support network. Make plans with supportive family members and friends, or seek out activities where you can meet new people, such as a club, class or support group.

Student events

Eynesbury ensures students who elect to study in Adelaide take full advantage of the opportunities that the city has to offer. Our focus is to provide all students assistance with the transition into Adelaide and provider greater integration with all local and international students.

Eynesbury arranges a broad range of activities for students both on and off campus. Our BBQ's and bushwalking activities are popular as they provide students with the opportunities to relax and meet others.

Study Adelaide organises many sporting and social activities for international students in Adelaide. Popular activities include; The Lord Mayor's Welcome Party for International Students, Dundee's Wildlife Park, Twenty20 Cricket and BBQ Lunch, Day Tours, Learn to Surf and free tickets to soccer and Australian Rules Football games. Follow Study Adelaide on social media or sign up for a newsletter.

Volunteering

Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and make new friends while contributing to the community. Volunteering also allows you to gain some work experience skills to help you in the workforce once you graduate.

Clubs and societies

Your chosen University will have many clubs and societies you can join. You can often join in the activities before you start.

Students can join a local community or sporting club with the assistance of the Student Experience Coordinator. See what’s on this month or contact the Student Experience Coordinator here https://www.eynesbury.navitas.com/student-experience Creating and maintaining relationships is very important to mental good health. We are social beings who naturally seek connection with others. Friends and family are very important for times when we need support. They are people who we can celebrate our successes with, and who we can turn to in times of need.

Stress management

Stress is part of everyday life, everyone experiences stressful times in their life. Stressful situations for international students may include meeting high academic demands, being in new environment, living away from home for the first time, sitting exams, managing finances, finding a study/life balance.

Positive management of stress results in positive emotions such as enjoyment, satisfaction, enthusiasm and excitement.

Finding ways to increase coping resources will help students decrease the stressors that life will throw your way. Here are some practical tips:

  • Get a hobby or two
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat a balanced daily and avoid caffeine and alcohol
  • Learn and practice relaxation techniques
  • Use calming breathing techniques
  • Establish and make use of a good social network – talk with someone you can trust
  • Develop good study habits: study in short blocks take breaks
  • Remember to keep a balance between study and leisure
  • Practice positive thinking
  • Develop assertive behaviours – learn to say ‘no’ if you don’t want to do something

Useful mobile apps

Mindfulness

Smiling Mind A web and app-based program developed by psychologists and educators to help bring balance to people's lives.

My Life Options for checking in on how you are feeling. Based on your answers the app offers different meditation practices. It also teaches you meditation and monitors your progress.

Insight Timer The most popular app in the World for Meditation, Sleep, Anxiety and Mindfulness

Calm This app has been designed for sleep, meditation and relaxation. This is a great mindfulness app for beginners through to advanced users.

The Desk Aims to support Australian tertiary students to achieve mental and physical health and wellbeing. It is an online program that provides strategies and skills for success, resilience and wellbeing.