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Highlights

Wellbeing Fortnight is running from Monday 5 November until Friday 16 November (and Saturday 17 November including the Run for Fun!)

Have a read below of some of the highlights happening across the fortnight, and come along to as many as you can! 

Some of these events have limited spaces! In order to secure your place, please click on the links provided and get a free ticket through Eventbrite. 


Take advantage of a free off-peak gym membership at Qmotion Health and Fitness Centre between Monday 5 November and Friday 9 November from 7am - 3pm, including use of the gym floor and the class timetable

If you are interested in taking up this amazing offer, please fill out this short online form: https://goo.gl/forms/uH8gt328hmkMtjik1

If you have not been to Qmotion before, please note that you will have to complete a short health and safety form on arrival with one of the fitness instructors. Throughout the fortnight, there will be staff on hand if you require assistance with trying out any new equipment.

Increasing your activity levels has been proven to improve your wellbeing. If you are new to the gym, learning how to try new exercises or how to do zumba can be stimulating, and group classes give the perfect opportunity to meet new people. If you need to take some time for relaxation, why not try yoga and/or pilates as these classes are included!


Get Active is the Students’ Union's turn-up-and-play sports programme. Whether you are looking to try a new sport or carry on with something you have played before, Get Active gives you the opportunity to take part in sport in a fun, social, and relaxed environment. All abilities are welcome, equipment is provided and we have over 30 hours of sport each week in a wide variety.

Please download the timetable here: Get Active Timetable - Semester 1 [PDF 516KB]

If you are interested in taking up this amazing offer, please fill out this short online form by midday Friday 2 November: https://goo.gl/forms/0rCzsuOVvqQfhZvY2

Once you have submitted your form, it will be assumed that you are going to the sessions that you have selected. For this reason, please be realistic and don't select sessions for the sake of it as other students or staff might be missing out! For all sessions in Qmotion, you must report to the reception with your staff ID card to gain access.

Each submitter will receive email confirmation of the sessions they will be attending.

By increasing your activity levels you are taking an active step in improving your wellbeing. With paid Activators on every shift, don't worry about trying out something you've not done before and learning a new sport as they will be on hand to teach you how to play. They are also there to play with you if you need a competitor! 

If you have any questions, please email Bruce Murphy


As part of Queen Mary's Wellbeing Fortnight, an exciting Staff Wellbeing Fair has been planned on Monday 12 November from 11am-3pm in the Octagon, Mile End campus. There will be a number of stalls for you to interact with, all with the aim to improve your wellbeing. We have external charities, trade union representatives, activities, freebies and many more!

A list of just some of the stalls on offer:

  • Qmotion Health & Fitness Centre
  • Get Active programme
  • Mind & Time to Change
  • Diabetes Awareness
  • QM Out, LGBT+ Staff Network
  • Running and Walking clubs
  • Healthy eating stall
  • Occupational Health
  • Re-Employ
  • Totum discount card
  • ‘Re-think Mental Illness’ bake sale
  • SBCS – Health and Wellbeing Intervention sign-ups

A full list will be posted online closer to the event so keep your eyes peeled for these. 

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please direct them to wellbeing@qmul.ac.uk and look out for the Wellbeing Team during the event too!


Walks with Get Active 12:30-1:30pm (multiple days), meet at Library Square

Tuesday 6 November – 12:30-1:30pm (special addition as part of Wellbeing Fortnight)

Wednesday 7 November – 12:30-1:30pm

Thursday 8 November – 12:30-1:30pm (special addition as part of Wellbeing Fortnight)

Wednesday 14 November – 12:30-1:30pm

Friday 16 November – 12:30-1:30pm (special addition as part of Wellbeing Fortnight)

Usually running on Wednesday lunchtime only, the Get Active team have kindly organised some extra walks as part of Wellbeing Fortnight.

Enjoy a stroll up to Victoria Park or down Regent’s Canal towards Limehouse Basin, and get your daily step-count up! These walks are a great opportunity to get some fresh air and take a break from your PC screen. With each of these walks being led by one of the staff working with Get Active, there is always a guarantee you will have someone to chat to on your walk, and usually these popular walks attract a group.

During Wellbeing Fortnight, why not swap that lunchtime meeting for a ‘Walk and Talk’ session instead?

If you would like any further information, please email Bruce Murphy 


Runs with the Running Club 12:30 (multiple days): meet on the Ground Floor East Corridor of the Queens’ Building

Usually running on Wednesday lunchtime only, the Running Club have kindly organised some extra runs, with varying lengths, as part of Wellbeing Fortnight.

5K run: Monday 5 November - 12:30pm (special addition as part of Wellbeing Fortnight)

7.5K run: Wednesday 7 November – 12:30pm

10K run: Friday 9 November – 12:30pm (special addition as part of Wellbeing Fortnight)

4.5K run: Tuesday 13 November – 12:30pm (special addition as part of Wellbeing Fortnight)

7.5K run: Wednesday 14 November – 12:30pm

5K run: Thursday 15 November – 12:30pm (special addition as part of Wellbeing Fortnight)

 

Whether you are a beginner or a pro, the Running Club has members of all abilities and experience. There is no cost to join and you can choose to go on as many of the runs as you like during the Fortnight. Each of them will be run by at least one of the current members, so there is a guarantee that you won’t be running alone but usually the group is very popular!

By going for a run during the Fortnight, there is no obligation to sign up for the rest of the year but you will of course still be welcome to come on any of the usual Wednesday lunchtime runs.

If you are interested in taking part (this week or throughout the year), please complete this form to let us know you’ll be joining us.


In previous years, you may have heard about the NUS Extra student discount card. But did you know that as a staff member within a higher education institution, you are also eligible to apply for either a 1-year or 3-year card - it doesn't matter if you are on a fixed-term contract either. This card brings you over 200 UK student discounts and comes with a 1-year FREE ISIC, unlocking over 42,000 international discounts too in case you ever travel abroad.

Do you go to the Co-op in Stepney Green/Mile End for your lunch? With the TOTUM Card, you can get 10% discount off each purchase.

 

You can browse through the discounts on offer on the TOTUM Homepage. 

TOTUM will have a stall at the Wellbeing Fair on Monday 12 November between 11am-3pm where you can ask any questions and there might be a few more freebies in store for you!

If you do have any questions you would like answered regarding the TOTUM Card, please contact Charlie Rowe

 


Wellbeing at Work and Mental Health First Aid – Monday 12 November 10-11am Chaplaincy (as part of the Wellbeing Fair)

Gregor Henderson - Strategic Policy Advisor, Mental Health & Wellbeing (Public Health England)

 

Public Health England (PHE) is a national agency responsible for protecting and improving the public’s health and reducing health inequalities. Gregor has been with PHE since its inception from April 2013. In addition to his strategic role, he is working on a national mental health campaign, global mental health, wellbeing and communities.

Previously, he was Adviser to the Department of Health for 2 years, following his leadership of a national public mental health programme for the National Mental Health Development Unit in England from 2008 to 2012. From 2003-2008, he was the Director of the Scottish Government’s innovative and internationally renowned National Programme for Improving Mental Health and Wellbeing.

Gregor is on the Board of the Wellbeing What Works Centre, and is the Chair of the Research Advisory Group for the Place2 Be, a national children’s mental health charity providing services in schools. He is also an active member of the International initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL).

Gregor believes in combining policy, research, practice, communities and people’s lived experiences to help transform the way people and communities think and act about mental health and wellbeing. He writes on mental health and wellbeing and lectures across the UK, Europe and internationally.

Please let us know you are coming here!


Running alongside the Wellbeing Fair are a number of exciting talks for staff to attend as well. Please ensure you click on the links provided in order to secure your free ticket through Eventbrite.

 

Breathing and Relaxation – 12:30-1pm Colette Bowe, Queen’s Building Ground Floor

Dr. Elke Vlemincx – Lecturer in Psychology, Queen Mary University of London

Dr. Vlemincx is a Lecturer in Psychology at Queen Mary since 2017. She completed her PhD at the University of Leuven in Belgium in 2010, after which she worked as a postdoctoral researcher in Ann Arbor (Michigan), Hamburg (Germany) and Louvain-La-Neuve (Belgium).

Her research focuses on the mutual relationships between breathing and emotions. She studies how negative and positive emotional states affect breathing patterns, and conversely how breathing interventions contribute to health and wellbeing in both healthy persons and patients with mental and physical illness.

In her talk, she will discuss the benefits and pitfalls of popular relaxation and stress management techniques focusing on slow breathing.

Secure your place here!

 

Sleep and Wellbeing – 1:10-1:40pm Colette Bowe, Queen’s Building Ground Floor

Dr. Rob Keers – Lecturer in Psychology, Queen Mary University of London

Dr. Keers is a Lecturer in Psychology at Queen Mary since 2016. He obtained his PhD at King’s College in 2011, after which he was a postdoctoral research fellow at Bart’s and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry in the Centre for Psychiatry.

His research focuses on how genes and the environment influence the development and treatment of mental health problems. He has a special interest in how gene-environment interactions contribute to resilience in the face of adversity.

His talk will focus on the research that he does with his third-year project students, investigating the relationships between sleep, on the one hand, and stress, anxiety and depression, and resilience to these, on the other hand.

Secure your place here

 

Family Relationships and Resilience – 1:50-2:20pm Colette Bowe, Queen’s Building Ground Floor

Dr. Kristin Hadfield – Lecturer in Positive Psychology, Queen Mary University of London

Dr. Hadfield is a Lecturer in Positive Psychology at Queen Mary since 2017. She completed her PhD in psychology at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland in 2015, after which she worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Resilience Research Centre at Dalhousie University.

Her research focuses on resilience and wellbeing in children and adolescents, both at a familial level and amongst refugee and migrant youth.

In her talk, she will discuss the conditions under which family transitions (such as divorce, cohabitation…) can reduce stress and be positive experiences, increasing the health and wellbeing of both children and parents.

Secure your place here

 

Should Universities Teach Wellbeing? – 2:30-3pm Colette Bowe, Queen’s Building Ground Floor

and

Stoicism and Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy – 3:10-3:40pm Colette Bowe, Queen’s Building Ground Floor

Jules Evans - Research Fellow, Queen Mary University of London

Jules Evans is a research fellow at the Centre for the History of Emotions at Queen Mary. He combines this job with his public engagement work as an independent researcher and educator, an author and a journalist.

His talks will focus on his current research studying how ancient philosophies and traditions inspire today’s therapeutic practices, focusing on cognitive-behavioural therapy, and how they can inform current policies on wellbeing, including embedding wellbeing in the student curriculum.

Secure your tickets to Jules' first talk here!

Secure your tickets to Jules' second talk here!


On Wednesday afternoon, some of our second year Psychology students will be running Health and Wellbeing Interventions as part of their ‘Health and Wellbeing’ module. There will be 14 exciting sessions to take part in which are running throughout the afternoon! These will include some familiar sessions like Mindfulness workshops, meditation and HIIT workout. In addition to these, there will also be some less familiar sessions that you might want to go and try – Bollywood Dance, Chair Yoga, Laughter Yoga, Social Media Perception Workshop and many more!

These Psychology students will be signing staff up to these sessions during the Wellbeing Fair on Monday 12 November so please look out for their stall! Without attendees, these students won't have a big enough sample size for their research so sign up to one and it could make a difference to your wellbeing!

Not only are you learning something new, but you will also be able to connect in groups of around 10, some of these sessions will give you the chance to get active and others will really allow you to take notice of your surroundings. Most importantly, these sessions form a key part of their assessment so you will be giving your time to help our students.

Have a look at the kind of sessions on offer here: Health and Wellbeing Interventions [PDF 563KB]


As part of Wellbeing Fortnight, the Organisational and Professional Development team have kindly organised two extra sessions for you to attend.

 

PD156 - Building Personal Resilience (Thursday 8 November 1:30-4:30pm, Qmotion Active Studio)

PD157 - Managers' Guide to Supporting Your Team & Avoiding Stress (Wednesday 14 November, Qmotion Active Studio)

Attending either of these courses will count towards staff CPD records.

 

Please note: these are not active sessions. They are simply held in the gym studios to enable staff to learn in a new environment outside of a teaching classroom in an open space.

 

 


Every Monday afternoon, the Chaplaincy offers a non-religious guided relaxation session from 1:30-2pm. This is a perfect way to relieve tension and stress, allowing you to take some time for you to really focus on yourself.

The Chaplaincy have kindly offered to run a separate session as part of the Wellbeing Fair on Monday 12th November, meaning there will be an additional half hour from 11:30am-12pm on top of the usual session.

Relaxation techniques don't work straight away for everyone but, like most things, improve greatly with practice. Regular practicing of relaxation techniques has been proven to reduce depression and anxiety, and increase the ability to cope with stress. Long-term benefits include a change in the body's reaction to stress hormones naturally and not just when doing these techniques.


During the Wellbeing Fair, come to the Senior Common Room in the Queens’ building to have lunch and play some board games, encouraging staff to connect with each other. If you have any from home that you no longer use and would like to donate to the fair, please bring them to the HR Office Reception so that they can be set up in the SCR on the day.

Following the close of the fair, these board games will be donated to the Chaplaincy. The Chaplaincy recently reached out in the staff e-bulletin for Lego donations as well. These donations would be a great help for our students with Autism and Asperger’s who go along to the Chaplaincy to play with these games in order to relax and calm down when university life gets overwhelming for them. If you have any Lego to donate, please take them straight to the Chaplaincy.

If you are looking to shift a few games or lego that you no longer use or need, please consider the needs of our students who would love to play these. Not only is it more sustainable to recycle these games, but this can significantly improve the university experience, and more importantly the wellbeing, of those students who use them.

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