Feel Good February - A Month of Wellbeing
Glasgow Vet Students
We wanted to encourage everyone to be more open about how they are feeling by talking to their friends a little more honestly; how many times a day do you answer the question 'how you doing?' with "Yeah, I'm fine thanks!" or "I'm good, you?" but are you actually okay or is that just an automatic reaction? So in February we ran a new wellbeing campaign at Glasgow Vet School called 'Feel Good February'. The campaign's aim was to encourage the staff and students of our vet school community to have a more positive feeling around campus. The phrase 'How you doing?' has become more of a greeting and as a recent article published in the Vet Times reported we answer that question more than 10 times a day. Our idea was if you could try to answer at least one of these times honestly about any stresses going on that day then it might help to take a little weight off your shoulders - after all, a problem shared is a problem halved!
We also want to encourage anyone who is struggling with anything, study related or not, and thinks they don't have anyone to talk to, to be able to make the decision to tell someone, be it a friend, family member, one of our Peer Supporters or a member of staff, the first step to get help needs to come from them. From this message we have the hashtags #howyoudoing? and #Utakecareofyou.
We really wanted this campaign to be a whole student body effort, co-ordinated by our Vet Student Society (GUVMA) presidents with input and events from as many representatives on our committee as possible - a special thank you to our peer supporters and our SAVMA Chapter who both rose to the occasion and organised various events throughout the month. We chose February as everyone needs a boost after January and there are lots of great events in our calendar for February already so we wanted to build on these; Vetball, Mr Vet School, Old Boys and Gals Sports Day, 3rd years Halfway Ball and the GUVMA Elections.
Some of our Feel Good February events included the Cup of Tea Tuesdays which were sponsored by a different society each week as well as suport from Vets4Pets alongside a charity bake sale by Students for Animals In Need (SAIN). Just having a cup of tea and cake, as well as a chat, can make everyone feel better.
Throwback Thursdays were organised by SAVMA and Peer Support, each week hosting a lunchtime talk (with snack!) with a different Glasgow Vet School clinician or lecturer telling us stories of their own experiences and allowing them to pass on some very useful advice!
For the last Saturday in February we organised a Feel Good 5k which despite the weather had a great turnout and everyone really enjoyed themselves! A big thanks to April and the team at Garscube for all their support with the campaign!
Peer Support pulled out all the stops hosting a Finding Dory Movie Night on campus complete with popcorn and other movie treats, a "De-Stress not Distress" seminar and 'Massage Your Worries Away' head and neck massages. But these haven't stopped with February - they have Guide Dogs Scotland coming to visit in March for a day of doggie cuddles to de-stress.
Prior to the start of our campaign, we sent out a survey asking questions such as: 'Do you regularly feel stressed at Vet School?' and 'Do you think it's normal to be stressed during a veterinary degree?' We received 314 responses from both vet students and vet bioscience students which really opened our eyes to how things are at Glasgow specifically. Some answers were shocking but there were lots of lovely messages of support coming in - we decided to use these throughout the month and so 'Motivation Mondays' were added to the line up!
We are privileged to call Laura Muir our classmate here at Glasgow and she said:
"Running during my vet studies has been such a huge help in coping with the stresses of studying for exams. When I go for a run it allows you to think about things [and] clear your mind and you feel so much better afterwards both mentally and physically." Laura Muir, Final Year Vet Student at University of Glasgow, Double European Indoor Champion over 1500m and 3000m as of last weekend!
To round off the month we put together a video which summarises some of the statistics from our survey and the events which were run throughout the month as well as some of the motivational messages from our students, it can be viewed on our Facebook Page here
Thank you so much to our sponsors who we couldn’t have run the month without: GUVMA, our Peer Support Group, SAVMA, The University of Glasgow School of Veterinary Medicine, Vets4Pets & Companion Care, AVS, BVA, SPVS, MediVet, DMS Plus Ltd., Burns Pet Nutrition Ltd., with freebies sent from Vetlife, RCVS Mind Matters Initiative and Tunnocks!