This January we’re supporting the mental health charity Mind’s #BlueAnyDay campaign! Many years ago, a marketing firm decided that the third Monday in January is the most depressing day of the year. A huge number of campaigns sprung up supporting this claim using #BlueMonday, with ideas on how you could overcome that 'dreaded 24 hours of the year'. But we all know that depression isn’t limited to one day a year and mental health wellbeing is important no matter what hour, day, or time of year it may be.

Wellbeing is important throughout the year here at AECC University College. Our Student Services and staff members are on hand to offer support and information to keep you happy, healthy and safe.

With exams and assessments approaching, we’ve put together some tips to keeping well during a sometimes demanding period.

Seek Advice
On campus we have an 'open door policy' which means whenever you need course advice our academic staff will schedule a one-to-one session with you to focus on your individual needs. It’s also worth speaking with our Student Services team who can assist you with your study skills; everything from academic writing to revision techniques. Student Services also help with personal support and provide confidential advice on a range of issues. Find out more about our Student Services support.

Take Regular Breaks
Making time to revise and study is crucial to your success, but it’s also important to be aware of your other needs. Taking regular breaks from your work allows your body and mind to relax, helping you balance stress levels and enabling you to be more productive in the long term. Regular breaks will also help you maintain focus, and helping you attack revision in smaller, manageable stints. Find out more about your local area and go and explore.

Keep Active
Physical activity and exercise helps keep you awake and alert. Exercise also releases endorphins, and can make you feel happier while you reap those fitness rewards. Even if you fit in a 30 minute high-energy workout you’ll be increasing your daily movement. Understanding your breathing is also really important. Take a few minutes to focus on your breath. Breathing exercises help you calm down your body’s stress response and shifts your attention back to the present moment, allowing you time to rationalise and improve concentration.

Eat Well
Surviving on a poor diet will result in poor revision stamina. Try to avoid simply grabbing the nearest quick-fix. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, available on campus at our Spine & Dine refectory, and make sure you have a proper breakfast.

Students sometimes find they study best at different hours of the day or night, which is fine if that works for you, but make sure you allow time for sleep. Pulling all-nighters is not good for your body and can raise your anxiety levels, so make sure you get at least 8 or 9 hours of kip!

See your friends
Remember you don’t have to do this alone. Revise together, or take a walk to meet up with friends for a coffee.  Avoid talking about revision or exams or stress, or what your friend wrote for question 6a – it doesn’t matter. Enjoy your free time. Focus on other social activities, or events; things in the near future to look forward to – there is life after exams!