Former 'student nurse of the year' shares top tips to keep healthy during lock down

Former 'student nurse of the year' shares top tips to keep healthy during lock down

In uncertain times, a lecturer from the University of Cumbria in Lancaster is keen to keep students’ spirits up while simultaneously updating them on the positive support available during lock down.

Positive podcasts’ is the brainchild of healthcare lecturer, Zoe Butler from the Lancaster campus of the University of Cumbria, who wanted to share with students ways to stay physically and mentally healthy at home during lockdown and also inform them of developments while they are off campus.

Each podcast takes the format of a ten minute bite sized interview with Zoe and a guest from the university where they discuss a particular topic and share advice.

Zoe said: “I was really looking for a way to share the good work that’s going on at the university despite lockdown and so I thought the most accessible way would be to record short podcasts which can be listened to at leisure.

“In these podcasts we will share top tips from people with the know-how here and good practice.”

She continued; “You don’t have to be a student here to listen as some of the advice as it applies to anyone navigating lockdown and whatever the new normal becomes as restrictions ease.”

Zoe, now 24 and living in Kendal, is a practising nurse specialising in acute care as well as a lecturer at the Lancaster campus. She made the headlines a few years ago when she was tipped as the youngest lecturer in the country at the tender age of 22.

She was also student nurse of the year 2017  and was highly commended for her successful Hot Potato project, a video that is now used across Cumbria and Lancashire to prompt discussions with school children around mental health.

The project has now been taken up by NHS England’s as a ‘Leading Change - Adding Value’ project with the view of helping more school children.

As reports of increased mental health issues during lockdown dominate the headlines, the first podcast features Dave Wilson, Psychological and Wellbeing Manager who discusses tips for wellbeing and self-care during lockdown.

He said: “Structuring your day can be really helpful for your well-being. Planning how much time you’ll spend on course work, house work and preparing food etc and colour coding your diary for different activities can be extremely beneficial for keeping you on track.

He also stresses the importance of maintaining social contact with friends, family and cohorts in lockdown to aid good mental health.

“Making use of technology such as Skype, Zoom and WhatsApp can be helpful and also being open and frank with your friends about how you are feeling.

The university has a number of services that can help support our students with their mental health such as the Big White Wall and the counselling service my team offers.”

Big White Wall is an online community to support mental wellbeing. The university offers the free online support package to students and staff.

Its free to register for the completely confidential service which allows access to a library of self-care resources, tips and guided group courses with topics ranging from managing stress and anxiety to quitting smoking and weight management.

Positive podcasts can be listened to on YouTube. A new podcast will be released each week.

As these podcasts come online, all campuses remain closed for the time being and so the university is embarked on its first virtual open day.

A totally immersive experience, participants were able to visit the campuses, view accommodation and speak to prospective lecturers all from the comfort of their own homes.

There were virtual booths to find out about finance and admissions and guidance on how to apply to university.

Participants found out what makes Cumbria a great place to study and spoke to students who are already studying there.

To book a place on the next one, simply visit the cumbria.ac.uk and search for open days.