Five weeks of wellbeing

Cartoon woman with '5 Weeks of Wellbeing' caption

Looking out for our research student community’s wellbeing is a big priority for us.

Taking on a research degree is no easy feat: studies conducted across Universities in the UK have demonstrated that all postgraduate researchers find their degree to be “a stressful experience” at some point. A “stressful experience” looks and feels different to everybody, and is often hard to identify, hard to talk about, and hard to admit – whether in yourself, your friends, or your wider community.

Our wellness campaign celebrates 5 whole weeks of wellbeing amongst our postgraduate researchers, based on the NHS guidelines for Five ways to mental wellbeing. This research-backed set of evidence-based actions has been shown to improve personal, holistic wellbeing. The idea behind the “5 Ways” format is that when individuals engage in modest activities focused on their mental wellbeing, their general wellbeing will improve. We also hope it will provide a safe space for everyone to consider their own wellbeing, others’ wellbeing, and what “being well” means to you.

Each week of our campaign centres on a different theme:

  • Connect
  • Take notice
  • Stay active
  • Keep learning
  • Give

These themes are centred around finding ways to build connections to others through shared activity and healthy relationship-building; to better understand ourselves through self-reflection and mindfulness; and to embrace positive habits such as physical activity and mental stimulation. The “5 Ways” approach views wellbeing as a state of being that incorporates mental health, physical health and emotional health, rather than viewing – and therefore treating – each one as separate and not interdependent on the others.

The Bristol Doctoral College will be hosting a series of short activities themed around each week. All activities are free, and we have tried to offer a range of opportunities for those based on and off-campus, whether you are full-time or part-time.

Of course, wellbeing is something that lasts beyond 5 short weeks. Our PGR Hub offers a range of activities to support PGR development and wellbeing needs, so be sure to look at our calendar of activities. Do you have an activity you’d like to see, host, or share with us during the 5 Weeks of Wellbeing? Fill out this form or get in touch with us directly.

There are also a range of support services available to students who are experiencing more specific difficulties and/or require more direct support. Talk to a Student Wellbeing Adviser based in your faculty if you would like to find out more, either for yourself or on behalf of a friend.

See our schedule below – which will be update continuously throughout the 5 weeks. All of our activities take place in the PGR Hub, located on the 1st floor of Senate House:

5 Weeks to Wellbeing: schedule of activities

An overview of all the activities running over the 5 Weeks to Wellbeing. Please note this table will be regularly updated throughout all weeks.
CONNECT: 11 - 15 February
Coffee and Cake hourTuesday, 12 February11am – 12pm, PGR Hub
Is it me, or is it the PhD?Tuesday, 12 February5-6:30pm, PGR Hub
Spring researcher inauguration event (for PGRs starting since October 2018)Wednesday, 13 February5:30-7pm, PGR Hub
Connect yourself: design-a-puzzle-piece activityThursday & Friday, 14-15 FebruaryDrop-in all day, PGR Hub
Lego Serious Play workshopFriday, 15 February1-4pm, PGR Hub
*Virtual activity*: share your puzzle pieces with us via social media and we'll add them to our design
TAKE NOTICE: 18 - 22 February
Mindfulness mural: colour in the walls!All weekPGR Hub
Tai ChiWednesday, 20 February7:30 - 9:30pm, PGR Hub
Guided meditationFriday, 22 February1-1:45pm, PGR Hub
*Virtual activity*: share a picture of a mindful moment. All entries receive a free bookmark in exchange, available to collect from the PGR Hub
BE ACTIVE: 25 February - 1 March
Yoga workshop Monday, 25 February5:30-6:30pm, PGR Hub
Run Club for PGs - special PGR editionTuesday, 26 February5pm, meet outside Physics building on Tyndall Avenue (across the road from Senate House)
Lunchtime walkWednesday, 27 February1pm, meet in PGR Hub
PGR-only B:Active sports classThursday, 28 FebruarySports Centre, Studio 2
Pop-up ping-pongFriday, 1 MarchAll day, PGR Hub
*Virtual activity* follow our Instagram takeover
KEEP LEARNING: 4 - 8 March
Planting workshopTuesday, 5 March2:30-3:30pm, PGR Hub
CrafternoonWednesday, 6 March 12-3pm, PGR Hub
NVivo peer-learning workshop – through the PGR Ventures FundWednesday, 6 March10am-1pm, Chemistry building
Language Cafes – in conjunction with the Global LoungeThursday, 7 March1-3pm, PGR Hub
PGR IgniteThursday, 7 March4-7pm, PGR Hub
“Cheep cheep, hiss hiss” – Python programming via BirdsongFriday, 8 March1-5pm, PGR Hub
*Virtual activity* follow our 60-second skill videos on Facebook and Instagram stories
GIVE: 11 - 15 March
Coffee and Cake hourTuesday, 12 March11am -12pm, PGR Hub
PGR Movie Night Tuesday, 12 March6pm, PGR Hub
Board game caféThursday, 14 March1-4pm, PGR Hub
Clothes SwapFriday, 15 March1-3pm, PGR Hub
*Virtual activity* share your gratitude online by saying thank you to a person, place or object that has supported you at one point or another