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An image of Hayley - Valleys Steps Wellbeing Practitioner

Happy New Year

New Year, New Habits

 With the start of the new year, it is the ideal time to make small changes to be the best version of you. Even the smallest of changes can have a huge impact on your mental wellbeing and stress levels.  

The ability to adapt our habits is more important and useful than most of us realise. Simply having an action plan and simply a “To do list” can de-clutter your mind and allows you to do the tasks you’ve been meaning to do. By visualising and representing your tasks on paper (or digitally) it can help you prioritise and map out those things keeping you up at night. 

Bedside notes

Got things in the back of your mind whilst you’re trying to get to sleep? Keep a notebook handy on your bedside table – it allows you to jot down any clever ideas that may have popped into your brain, but most importantly allows the tasks and ideas to leave your mind and be put to paper. Remember to jot down even the smallest of tasks, (even putting the hoover round your bedroom in the morning) it’s surprising how the small things add up.


They may seem incredibly boring and pointless but believe it or not they are incredibly useful – not only for your academic studies but for social events and personal deadlines. Whether it be a digital or traditional calendar, it will help visualise your upcoming events and allow you to prioritise your daily plans. By adding your weekly routines onto your personal calendar, it allows you to view your current commitments and base upcoming events and study sessions to your preference.

Enjoy the small things

Although this may seem very pedantic, when we’re at our lowest points we forget to enjoy the smallest of things. For example, going downstairs for a cuppa with your mum or having a nice long bath. Switch your phone on silent or leave it under your pillow for an hour (it isn’t as hard as it sounds, I promise). In this digital world there is always something we could be doing, somewhere we could be going or an essay we could be getting on with. However, enjoying the small things in life forces us to step back and appreciate those things we take for granted.

Give yourself a break!

If you keep giving yourself a hard time, sooner or later you’ll run out of charge! Studying for a qualification isn’t meant to be easy – that’s why they are so valuable. Unfortunately, as students there seems to be a culture of pressure and competition. This can be seen in almost all classes, but one point to remember is that you have your own timeline, your own circumstances and your own strengths. Everyone is on their own path in life and all of us face different obstacles along those paths, but the key is to realise that there is no one solution to our problems. Don’t waste your time trying to be someone else or ignoring how you truly feel – we’re all only human.

By Alex

Postgrad Student USW