Students telling students how to look after themselves


Update 22/1/20: I completed the same exercise with some physiotherapy masters students…

I’m a qualified health professional. That means I spend large amounts of time telling people to look after themselves. I have to admit, I enjoy it. There is something delightfully naughty about writing articles on health and wellbeing, whilst pushing large quantities of chocolate into my gob.

Now whether or not anyone is listening to me is another matter. There is no shortage of people telling you how to live your life. It turns out lots of people enjoy the feeling of self-importance that comes with telling other people what to do.

I make the assumption that as a student, you might find the advice of other students to be a little more relevant than the advice of a tragic 40+ year old psychologist. In the field of persuasion, we’d say ‘you are more likely to do something if your peers (people like you) are doing it’.

Fortunately, I got to spend a couple of hours with Dietetics students the other day (update: and also some Physiotherapy students) and I asked them their most common methods for looking after their health and wellbeing, including their mental health. The list includes some pretty standard items (exercise, sleep etc) but it has a number of items that had never occurred to me (e.g. skincare, window shopping).

So if you are thinking that you should give yourself a bit of a health/wellbeing upgrade, see whether or not anything on the list might be suitable. I have listed them in no particular order.

  • yoga
  • Netflix
  • reading
  • drinking water
  • exercise
  • sports
  • gym
  • retail therapy
  • cooking
  • time with pets
  • time outdoors
  • socialising/ spending time with loved ones
  • sleep
  • naps
  • healthy eating
  • brushing teeth
  • meditation
  • sewing
  • debriefing with friends (i.e. talking about difficult topics, not the removal of underpants)
  • face masks (skin care, not Eyes Wide Shut)
  • tanning
  • massages
  • waking up early
  • family night
  • gratitude
  • journalling
  • doing nails
  • stretching
  • watching YouTube influencers
  • hugs
  • cleaning
  • mobile phone games
  • long bus rides
  • tidying
  • crochet
  • ASMR
  • plant watering
  • prayer
  • movies
  • skin care
  • diary scheduling
  • study breaks
  • phoning a friend
  • puzzles
  • work on self-appearance
  • soul food
  • nature sounds (rustling trees and lapping water, rather than cow farts)
  • window shopping
  • bedtime reading
  • podcasts
  • reflection on the day
  • singing
  • making lists
  • music
  • phone avoidance/ time away from phones
  • goal setting
  • more sex
  • altruism
  • accept your mistakes
  • visualisation
  • love yourself
  • seeking help/ speaking to experts
  • speaking out
  • removing toxic people from your life
  • take up a hobby
  • positive self-talk
  • add small walks to your day
  • pushing yourself out of your comfort zone
  • try taking a different perspective

Got something you want to add to the list? – let me know –

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Health Information Healthy Lifestyle Well-being

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