Many students struggle with stress and anxiety from time to time, particularly when juggling exams, coursework and life in general. Over the past year, however, students have had to face more stresses than usual. The pandemic has affected everyone in one way or another and we’ve all found our own ways to cope.
One of our Digital Marketing students has turned to Mindfulness to help manage stress and has found it so helpful, that she chose to share this newfound passion with her fellow coursemates. Megan Shipton led a Bitesize weekly online session with students to give tips on how to use Mindfulness effectively, sharing useful resources and even her own self-published book focusing on gratitude awareness and breathing methods.
“My interest in Mindfulness began while studying – I tuned in to myself and realised the importance of looking after my mental health. Mindfulness is something I try and tune into on a daily basis. By practising mindfulness techniques such as yoga, meditation and breathwork, I feel more present. As a mindfulness advocate, being present is so important when working or doing college work.
My favourite ways to practice mindfulness range from meditation and yoga to listening to podcasts. I try to find what works best for me in that moment by listening to how I feel. Sometimes, just taking a step back from everything and going for a walk helps me to feel more mindful and connected to myself.
‘Being Mindful’ is the short book I self-published, focusing on using gratitude awareness, breathing methods and guided imagery to help readers feel more mindful. Also, Mindfulness is different for everyone, however, the book shows that we can all use our own mindfulness techniques to create meaningful connections with the world around us.
Personally, the best piece of advice I have received is to take each moment as it comes. By focusing on the present moment, we are not thinking about the past nor worrying about the future. It is important to live presently and make the most of that moment whatever it is. Too often, we are trying to live as our future selves by stressing about our work or other tasks, when fundamentally all that matters is the here and now. If you are feeling stressed try to take a moment to remember what is important to you right now, whether this be prioritising work or focusing on yourself.
There are so many amazing podcasts and apps out there to help you on your mindfulness journey. At the moment, I am listening to Radio Headspace and The Alan Watts Audio Experience podcasts on Spotify. These podcasts are helping me understand the importance of perception and creating a positive environment in my mind. I also really recommend the Calm app, which is great for meditation and sleep.”
We’re loving these fantastic tips from Megan and can’t wait to take a look at her book. If you’re struggling at all and are in need of more wellbeing support, remember that anyone at Milton Keynes College can access free online mental health support with Togetherall, any time, any day. Whether you’re struggling to cope, feeling low or just need a place to talk, Togetherall can help you to explore your feelings in a safe supportive environment.