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Happy new year!

Week 17

1 January 2024

Start the year as you mean to go on. We provide tips on how even small changes to your lifestyle can make positive differences to your wellbeing - both physically and mentally. Here's to 2024!

Hopefully you're feeling refreshed after the Christmas break, and ready to get your teeth into this new year.

If this is your last year at sixth form or college, you've got lots of exciting things ahead. Not least the prospect of starting uni in September. We've been with you every step of the way so far, and 2024 will be no different. Keep checking back for more advice on things like finding student accommodation, applying for finance, exams, clearing, freshers and more.

But to come back to the here and now, we're talking about starting this year as you mean to go on - being positive, staying healthy and making the most out of your last months at college.

You can do it!

The new year is when many people make resolutions, often to start going to the gym, eat more healthily or give something back by volunteering at a local charity or organisation. If you’ve made a new year’s resolution, here are some tips on how you can stick to it for the rest of the year (and beyond!).

Take good care of yourself

Christmas is for spending quality time with your family and friends. It's also the time you realise you've polished off a whole tin of Quality Street in one sitting. Yes, it's the season to be jolly, but it's also the season of overindulgence for many. And now you might just be feeling the after effects!

So, why not start the year as you mean to go on? Even if you haven't made it a new year's resolution, now is a good time to get fit and healthy in body and mind. It may just benefit you when you start preparing for things like exams and going to uni later this year.

Solent Uni's sport and fitness course teams have put together some great, simple tips for us to share with you on how you can achieve this:

Get active

Even small increases in physical activity have been shown to improve both physical and mental wellbeing.

The important thing to remember is that being active doesn't always mean working out, jogging or playing a sport. Building in regular physical activity throughout your day can make a big difference too:

  • Take the stairs instead of the lift.
  • Listen to some music and dance like no one's watching.
  • Tidy up. Think of it as killing two birds with one stone - not only are you getting a bit of exercise while having a sort out, you'll also end up with a tidy space to live in!
  • Travel actively. This could include:
    • Walking or cycling that short journey, rather than taking the car or bus. If you don't have a bike, lots of towns and cities have bikes you can hire - some costing from just £1, making it a really affordable way to travel.
    • If you travel by bus, get off a stop early and walk the rest of the way.
    • Park at the far end of the car park so you have to walk a bit further to the shops.
  • Break up your sitting time while studying - get up every 30 minutes and move around.

Join a team

Team sport is a great way to get fit, and also to get to know new people. Have a look at and try out for a team at school or college. Or why not start your own team? It doesn’t have to be a traditional sport like football or netball – it could be something a little different, like a Quidditch club. 

Also, why not check out what teams and sport societies your chosen uni has to offer (ours are here) that way you can be ready to sign up during freshers' week.

Get support

Go smoke free

There’s loads of support out there to help you quit smoking, and you’re four times more likely to quit with NHS support than if you go it alone. Sign up for 28 days of free quitting advice and tips straight to your inbox to increase your chance of success.

Personalised support from One You

One You is a fantastic online resource that gives you personalised recommendations, tips and support to help you achieve your health goals. With support in healthy eating, reducing alcohol intake, increasing physical activity, smoking, sleep and stress there is something to help everyone.

Take the One You quiz

Make time for 'me' time

As well as taking care of our body, it’s really important that we make an effort to look after our mental health too. Your school or college will likely have support services that can help you with a range of issues including academic, career, spiritual, or disability. They may also offer counselling and lots more. These services are there for you, so make sure you make the most of them.

Chihuahua getting a massage

If you want to improve your own mental health and become happier, more resilient and less stressed, the practice of mindfulness can be a powerful tool to help. There are apps such as Headspace, which can help you learn how to do this.

Tasks for this week

  • Think about ways you can improve your lifestyle - and do it!
  • If you've made a new year's resolution, follow our tips for keeping it.