We sometimes hear of ‘wellness’ or ‘wellbeing’ spoken of as some kind of new-fangled concept, but actually, the idea of being mindful of our mental and emotional well-being, as well as our physical health, goes right back to the sixteenth century, and was first used in the English language by Thomas Hoby in his translation of Castiglione’s The Courtier. And in these new and unusual times we find ourselves in, it is more important than ever to look out for and to look after ourselves and our peers.
I’m really happy to have been asked to lead on promoting wellbeing in our department, initially through a series of blog posts. Over the years, I’ve personally benefitted from the input and support of wellbeing professionals, and the best advice I can think of to give to you is not to wait until a crisis to seek guidance. Of course, if you are already in crisis, it is not too late, either.
So in this first post, I will do two things. I will point you in the direction of York St John University’s own wellbeing and welfare services and opportunities, and I am also asking you to email me with your well-being tips, your queries, the resources you have found helpful, or even your pitches for your own well-being blog posts. These can all cover a range of topics, from Covid 19, to LGBT, Disability, or BAME experiences, to mental health in general, and I hope to get more suggestions from you yourselves. This blog is your space, reflecting your community and your experiences. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and put Wellbeing in the subject line.
Our lovely wellbeing and welfare team have been working hard all summer to ensure that they can continue to support you safely during this pandemic. Check out their welcome video here. You can also book to have 1 – 1 online wellbeing chats or welfare chats. A wellbeing chat gives you a chance to talk about any mental wellbeing concerns you have. A welfare chat is an opportunity for you to talk about challenges you are facing.
Crisis information is highlighted at the top of the webpage, but if you scroll down you will find further information about Mindfulness sessions, about the YSJ well-being app, and about Together All, our 24/7 online support community, including professional support.
So as you can see, we’ve got lots to offer you. There is also chaplaincy support available. The chaplaincy team are there for people of all faiths and none.
I’m looking forward to hearing from you with your ideas.
Wishing you all the very best this semester, Saffron.
Dr Saffron Vickers Walkling, Senior Lecturer in English Literature.
Departmental role: Wellbeing.