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Being healthy and figuring out how to de-stress is different for everyone. Here’s a few things you can do to keep the positive vibes flowing.

You might find that thinking about other people, the planet and your own health helps you put things in perspective and help you cope with the crazy, stressful time that is Year 12. So, if you’re ever feeling overwhelmed, give some of the following a try.

1. Connect with people

There’s no doubt that family and friends play a big role in keeping us happy. So as much as you’re encouraged to commit time to study, it’s also important to spend time with people – who you can laugh with and lean on for support.

Studies have found links between social connections and health – so get out there and make time for your friends and fam.

TIP: there are loads of clubs and societies at UOW to help you find your people.

2. Just stop for a minute

Whether it’s reading a book in the backyard, watching the sunset or going out on an adventure – it’s important to not only find but appreciate your happy place. It’s amazing what you can notice when you’re mindful of your surroundings. Take the chance to pause, breathe and gain a new appreciation for things you see every day.

Studies show that practicing mindfulness can reduce stress, help you focus and boost your memory.

TIP: Sleep pods, bean bags, massage chairs or even simple things like sitting on the grass by a pond are all a part of wellbeing at UOW.

3. Be enviro friendly

You’d be surprised how good you can feel when you’re contributing to something bigger than yourself, like the planet. Grow some herbs, walk to school or take your re-usable bags to the shop, there are so many ways to be more earthly.

UOW researcher Dr Xiaoqi Feng is part of a team currently studying the effects of green spaces on our health.

“With prior evidence, including our own, suggesting that exposure to greenery helps us feel well and live longer, healthier lives, this suggests that green spaces do more than ‘pretty up’ our neighbourhoods,” she said.

TIP: find yourself a cafe that supports keep-cups – there are several on campus at UOW (which also give you a handy discount).

4. Get spiritual

This doesn’t mean you need to deck your room out with crystals, or to go to Church every Sunday – do what’s good for your spirit. That could be volunteering, helping out a friend, making someone smile or buying someone a coffee.

TIP: if you think you’d get a kick out of volunteering, check out all the opportunities available through UOWx.

5. Challenge your brain

You don’t have to be in class to learn something new and enjoy it. Find a hobby, play a board game, learn an instrument or get creative – keep that mind active.

TIP: many UOW students make the most of our MakerSpace (fitted out with 3D printers, VR, audio and video equipment, a carving machine and other creative gadgets)

6. Move your body

Sometimes we tend to take an “all-or-nothing” approach to exercise, when really any kind of movement is good. Some people like to hit the gym or run marathons, but even a walk with a friend or a leisurely dip at the local swim spot is better than sitting on the couch. Love your body and treat it kindly.

TIP: Whether you’d prefer some free yoga and yoghurt of a morning, a leisurely swim or even a casual run with friends, it’s easy for UOW students to get moving at all the various sporting facilities at UniActive or join in the parkrun events throughout Wollongong on a Saturday.

Check out all of UOW Wellbeing’s activities and services, and see why UOW students are among the happiest and most satisfied in Australia.

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