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07 June 2018 Photo Supplied
Emotional safety during examinations

Mid-year exams have begun and with crunch time comes emotional upheaval. However, it is manageable and should not deter you from the end-goal of succeeding in your studies while maintaining high mental health standards.

“The exam period is a time when stress and anxiety levels are higher than usual. Stress can be positive and help you stay motivated and focused. However, too much stress can be unhelpful and can make you feel overwhelmed, confused, exhausted and edgy,” says Dr Melissa Barnaschone, Director of Student Counselling and Development at the University of the Free State (UFS).

According to Helpguide.Org: Trusted guide to mental & emotional health, “Mental and emotional health is about being happy, self-confident, self-aware, and resilient. People who are mentally healthy are able to cope with life’s challenges and recover from setbacks. But mental and emotional health requires knowledge, understanding, and effort to maintain. If your mental health isn’t as solid as you’d like it to be, here’s the good news: there are many things you can do to boost your mood, build resilience, and get more enjoyment out of life.”

For further details on topics including: Building Better Mental Health, Emotional Intelligence Toolkit, Benefits of Mindfulness, Improving Emotional Intelligence (EQ), Cultivating Happiness, visit the Help Guide. 

Dr Barnaschone has a few tips on how Kovsies can better approach academic anxiety during the examination period. Here is what she has to say:

News Archive

Walking and running routes launched on UFS Bloemfontein Campus
2015-09-16

Photo: Hatsu Mphatsoe

On Casual Day, Friday 4 September 2015, the UFS Health and Wellness Centre and KovsieSport launched a healthy lifestyle on the Bloemfontein Campus with the focus on Walking and Running routes. The theme of the event was set by the many flying tutus, together with outrageous outfits that were to be seen in the crowd of anxious and excited runners.

There are a total of six walking and jogging routes, stretching over the central and western parts of the Bloemfontein Campus. Colour-coded arrows indicate the various routes, ranging from a three-kilometre route (green) to an eight-kilometre route (black). The 2,5 km route is accessible for people with wheelchairs.
 
According to Arina Engelbrecht, who is spearheading the Wellness programme, a board will be erected in front of the Callie Human Centre later on, explaining the various routes. All the routes start and finish at the Callie Human Centre.

This initiative is receiving support from management, who requested that a healthy lifestyle be encouraged amongst students and staff. With this project, staff and students can train and exercise in a safe environment. The routes are also wheelchair friendly, and will be expanded to cycle routes in the future.

Various departments showed their support in numbers, bringing together teams that competed. Staff and students were excited to see what bends and turns lay ahead of them on the trails. Prof Nicky Morgan: Vice-Rector: Operations, cut the ribbon at the official opening of the routes. Morgan himself was extremely excited about the event, as he navigated his way energetically between the runners and walkers.

In his opening speech, Pieter du Plessis, Executive Assistant to the Vice-Rector: Operations, talked about the importance of keeping healthy by doing something as simple as walking, an inexpensive method of keeping healthy.

Arina commented: “We received some great feedback from the masses that attended, and many said they will continue to make use of the routes.”
 
This event forms part of the human project of the UFS, and will also create awareness amongst staff and students about persons with disabilities.

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