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  • Writer's pictureStudent Wellbeing Service

'Walk and Talk' - Infusing the benefits of fresh air and exercise into your wellbeing appointment

Updated: Nov 6, 2020

In addition to our usual offer of support, the Student Wellbeing Service is offering ‘Walk and Talk’ appointments where appropriate.

We, at the Wellbeing Service, believe that self-care is fundamental to wellbeing and getting out into nature can be a great form of self-care. If you are feeling isolated or struggling to engage with your surroundings, why not take your wellbeing session outdoors and benefit from our support with the additional benefits of being out in nature.

Here are some reasons why a ‘Walk and Talk’ appointment may be beneficial to you:

  • Physical Activity ~ Engaging in ten minutes or more of physical activity has been shown to reduce levels of stress, depression and anxiety. Physical activity is known to be one of the most natural ways to improve our mental health and boosts our overall wellbeing. Walking is just as beneficial for our mental & physical health as other types of exercise.

  • Connection with Nature ~ Studies have shown that time spent in nature improves our confidence, self-discovery and tranquillity and can reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. Exposure to nature can also improve our cognitive functioning, as well as giving us more headspace, allowing for increased cognitive capacity. Exposure to nature can also bring about perspective and help us get our thoughts in order when we may be struggling to do so.

  • Improves our Ability to be Mindful ~ Mindfulness can help us tune in to ourselves, our thoughts and feelings and be more present. Bringing your attention to nature and the environment around you can help shift your mind's focus and evoke a sense of calm and can be useful in slowing a racing mind, unhelpful thoughts and reduce feelings of stress. Being out in nature can help us to engage with all of our senses, which acts as a tool for minimising distress.

  • Offers Scope for Further Introspection ~ Being out in nature can spur creative, deeper ways of thinking which can help us to get ‘unstuck’ when confronting difficult issues and feelings. Being outside can also evoke a sense of psychological space that can help us to think more clearly.

  • Alternative Supportive Space ~ Walking and talking offers an alternative supportive space. For example, if you are unable to find a confidential space in your current residence, getting out for a walk and talking to your Wellbeing Advisor may give you the space that you need to have a supportive conversation.

How it works

You can book an appointment with your Wellbeing Advisor in the usual way by following the links to your Faculty Wellbeing Advisor. Choose a time that is appropriate to you and think where you could go for a walk, the type of space you wish to be in, whether that be a woodland area, a park, or even a bench with your favourite view. There are loads of green spaces in Sheffield so you can find what works best.

Your Wellbeing Advisor will remain in their own space and can work with you via telephone or Google Meets video call if your handset supports it. Remember to let us know on your Wellbeing Self Assessment that you would like a ‘Walk & Talk’ appointment and ensure that you are prepared for the British elements, the weather can be quite unpredictable!

Our approach to wellbeing is informed by the 5 ways to wellbeing which promotes the importance of activity, connection and taking notice, all of which you can do in a ‘Walk and Talk’ appointment. Give it a try and combine being active with a wellbeing session and see what benefits this brings you. Best wishes

The Wellbeing Team

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