Well-being Wednesday- Stress Awareness Month

A great blog from HealthAssured.org on how to manage stress…

“According to a survey carried out by Forth, 85% of UK adults experience stress on a regular basis”.


Signs of stress

Some of the common symptoms of stress to watch out for can be split into four areas: psychological, emotional, physical and behavioural. The symptoms that affect you will often accumulate until you are forced to take notice of them, such as:

 

– Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody.

– Experiencing chest pain and a rapid heartbeat.

– Being in a constant state of worry.

– An increased reliance on alcohol, smoking, caffeine or drug use.

 

Tips for reducing work-related stress

Be organised: Planning ahead to stay organised can greatly decrease stress at work. This can result in less time spent rushing in the morning to avoid being late and being more efficient with your work.

Walking lunches: One way you can help combat the effects of a sedentary lifestyle and de-stress is by taking a walk during your lunch break. This can help clear your mind, lift your mood and improve your fitness.

Eat well: Long working hours and heavy workloads can often create a vicious circle of not eating properly and skipping meals, resulting in you feeling sluggish and low. Eating well balanced meals will help you to keep healthy and maintain your energy for busy days at work.

 

Tips for reducing personal stress

Talk: Take time out to talk to someone with an empathetic ear and get their perspective on things. It could be a friend, a family member or a colleague. If you can talk to your manager about how you feel, they may be able to support you.

Exercise: Regular exercise can help lower stress and anxiety by releasing endorphins, as well as improving your sleep and self-esteem in the process.

Reduce your caffeine intake: High quantities of caffeine can increase stress and anxiety. However, people’s sensitivity to caffeine can vary greatly. If you notice that caffeine makes you jittery or anxious, consider cutting back.

 

How to get involved

To help raise awareness of Stress Awareness Month, you can spread the word on social media by using the hashtag #StressAwarenessMonth.

Another way to help promote the event is by simply being more open with your friends and colleagues regarding stress. Share your coping mechanisms and try to act more considerately around people who appear to be stressed.

If you want to test your stress levels, click here to access the Stress Management Society’s online stress guide.

 

If you feel as though you have issues with your stress levels, or if you have any other wellbeing concerns, please call our helpline on:

0800 030 5182

 

via HealthAssured.org

Well-being Wednesday: Sport Training


Once the wind dies down and we’re not in fear of being blown away, listen to this podcast on training yourself in sport.

Kelton Wright describes this podcast pack as taking her from a reluctant jogger to planning a trail marathon.

 

Tune in for where it might take you.

 

Celebrating Women in Cambridge

Friday 8th March is the International celebration of Women around the world throughout history. 

Our wonderful Archivist, Helen, has put together a list of notable women who have made a difference to Cambridge across time. 

 


WOMEN WHO FOUNDED COLLEGES

Clare College, the second oldest after Peterhouse – was founded in 1326 and generously endowed by Lady Elizabeth de Clare, Lady de Burgh, granddaughter of Edward I.
http://www.clare.cam.ac.uk/College-History/

Pembroke – Mary de St Pol, widowed Countess of Pembroke, was granted a licence for the foundation of her College on Christmas Eve in 1347, by Edward III.
https://www.pem.cam.ac.uk/college/about-pembroke

Queens’ College – charter granted by Margaret of Anjou in 1448 (wife of Henry VI); then under the patronage of Elizabeth Woodville, wife of Edward IV.
https://www.queens.cam.ac.uk/files/downloads/queens_college_cambridge_-_tour_guide_2012.pdf

Christ’s College – founded by William Byngham in 1437, but generously endowed by Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII, in 1505 (and named Christ’s at that point).
https://www.christs.cam.ac.uk/history-christs-college

St John’s – Lady Margaret Beaufort then went on to found St John’s College in 1511 (after her death in 1509)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_John%27s_College,_Cambridge

WOMENS’ COLLEGES

Girton College founded 1869, moved to Cambridge 1873. Granted University Status 1948
Newnham College founded 1871.
New Hall (now Murray Edwards) founded 1954.

FIRST WOMAN GRADUATE

Queen Mother was the first woman to receive a Cambridge degree, at Senate House, on 21st October 1948. Honorary Doctorate of Law degree.
https://www.cam.ac.uk/news/the-queen-mother-a-friend-remembered

Pathé video at https://www.britishpathe.com/video/VLVA7L4Q48SJWXBY3EFDXONZIJKDF-THE-QUEEN-MOTHER-RECEIVES-DEGREE-FROM-CAMBRIDGE-UNIVERSITY/query/wildcard

 FAMOUS CAMBRIDGE WOMEN GRADUATES
1.       Jane Goodall, primatologist – studied chimpanzee behaviour in Tanzania – Darwin
2.       Thandie Newton, actress – Downing
3.       Zadie Smith, novelist – King’s
4.       Queen Margarethe of Denmark – Girton
5.       Jocelyn Bell-Burnell, Astrophysicist  – New Hall
6.       Germaine Greer, author, critic – Newnham
7.       Diane Abbot, Labour MP – Newnham
8.       Sylvia Plath, poet – Newnham
9.       AS Byatt, author – Newnham
10.   Clare Balding, sportswoman and presenter – Newnham
11.   Mary Beard, Professor of Classics – Newnham
12.   Rosalind Franklin, one of the discoverers of DNA – Newnham
13.   Emma Thompson, actress – Newnham

WOMEN MAYORS

Cambridge’s first lady mayor was elected in 1925. Eva Hartree had previous studied at Girton, taking a Tripos in 1895.
https://lostcambridge.wordpress.com/2017/01/11/another-hero-of-cambridge-the-first-woman-to-become-our-mayor/

Second lady Mayor was Florence Ada Keynes, in 1929 – mother of John Maynard Keynes
https://lostcambridge.wordpress.com/2018/04/28/florence-ada-keynes-cambridges-2nd-woman-mayor-on-the-front-page-of-the-vote/

See also a selection of women Councillors from the ‘Women Workers’ series in the Cambridge Independent Press, Jan to June 1930. Online images at:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/puffles2010/sets/72157682386803233

 

From the team of ladies at Westminster College, Happy International Women’s Day! 

Rustic Aesthetic Inspiration for your Wedding


Rustic venues, such as converted barns and historical buildings, are becoming somewhat of a popular choice for many brides these days. The wooden panels and beams are a gorgeous aesthetic for photographs and videography, and often don’t take a lot of décor work for it to still look amazing.

If you’re not into a glitz & glam wedding, and prefer a toned down country affair, check out these rustic wedding ideas below to help you pull together your ideal day!

Couples looking to create their own centrepieces and favours can take inspiration from some of these ideas- or even recreate them!

 


  1. Floating Candle Lights

Very simple, yet very effective. You can buy single Mason Jars for less than £2 in most shops. If you want to buy in bulk, HobbyCraft sell a pack of 12 jars for £5.00, which you can find here: https://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/clear-round-glass-jars-190ml-12-pack-/604223-1000 , to not spend anything, make sure to ask family and friends wash and save their old jars to reuse! If you’re budgeting around florists, these cute and easy jars can be made for such a small expense.

The best part about plain jars is that you can dress them up any way you want. Use chalkboard stickers, fairy lights, ropes or ties, flowers and plants.

Fill the jars with water like the image above, place a tea light candle (removing the casing it comes in) on top of the water and voila! If you’re feeling extra jazzy, pop in some petals that will float with the candle.

As an alternative to water, try sand! You can then add more décor to the inside around the candle without it falling to the bottom. You also won’t need to worry about only using tea lights. Go for votive or pillar candles to stand out.

Place these jars down the aisle, or have them leading to the drinks reception area or notable place.

Be sure to check with your venue that these are safe to leave, or make sure there is always someone on hand to supervise, especially if windy!

 

2. Drink Arrangement

Although this adds a little more expense on behalf of the bride and groom, these arrangements allow your guests to relax and have fun in your quirky setting. Instead of leaving a tab behind the bar, choose a selection of drinks to have out in fun places. We LOVE this ‘beer barrel’ and ‘Pimp your Prosecco’ station (found on Pinterest). These also provide perfect photo opportunities for guests to view later on (photographers- get your cameras ready).

Of course, you don’t want to leave anyone out, so create alternative stations for non-drinkers and children. This Homemade Lemonade stand oozes cuteness, and makes those not able to have an alcoholic beverage still enjoy the fun and feel special! Hobby Craft sell plain glass bottles for £1.50 each (or £9.00 for a pack of 12), so you can fill them with whatever you desire! Complete with eco-friendly straws to look super cool and save the planet!

 

3. Framed Guestbook

Guest books can often be neglected in the blur of the wedding night. Have your guests fill in little wooden hearts and drop them in the frame! It takes a lot less time and also looks lovely! It won’t get tucked away in storage like an ordinary book, the frame can be hung up on the wall or placed on a shelf to be looked at for years after.

For couples with a lot of guests, how about this puzzle board? These can be handmade especially for you and family and friends can fill in each puzzle piece to have them connect a whole board together. The meaning behind this is wonderful and brings everyone together.

 

 

 

4. Table Plan

A spin on your table plan. These can be made as small or as big as you need, depending on your guest count. If you are looking to make your wedding as personalised as possible, this is the perfect addition. Put yours and your partners’ crafty skills to the test and make the table layout your own! Items here can be picked up for a small expense in craft shops, or even £1 shops!

 

Try it and see!

 

 

 

5. Snack vans/street food

Although adding a little more expense, this can really personalise your wedding and fit with the rustic vibe you are aiming for. You’ll find a lot of ideas like this on Pinterest, but we’ve found a couple that we really like. You might be planning that lovely sit down meal followed by speeches, but fast forward to the depths of the night, when a few glasses of wine or some hard-core dancing has your guests pining for snacks!

Like the drinks stations, this gives your guests the opportunity to grab something whilst up and about for photos, dancing or games!

There are traditional vans such as Fish & Chips and Ice Cream, or cultural food such as Taco/Fajitas, Indian street food and Pizza! For snack alternatives, this popcorn cart is also up there with our favourites. Check them out by clicking on the images!

Aside from providing the tasty goods later in the night, these little trucks provide the perfect rustic aesthetic for your day. Please check with your venue before booking!

 

 

 

Check out our Pinterest boards for more wedding day inspiration!

Well-being Wednesday: Physical Activity


“Many people find that physical activity can help their mental health and wellbeing. This doesn’t have to mean running marathons or training every day at the gym. There are lots of different things you can do to be a bit more active.”

“But it can be hard to know how to get started, especially for those of us with mental health problems. Because of this, we’ve put together some tips and resources for getting more active.”

 

After last weeks Cambridge Half Marathon, some of us felt inspired to improve our health both mentally and physically. Read these short and handy tips on getting started below…

 

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/your-stories/physical-activity-tips-on-getting-started/#.XH-haUx2uHs

Well-being Wednesday: Getting over Regrets

 

“We may think we learn from our mistakes, but breaking unhelpful patterns of self-preservation and implementing trusty new ones takes some practice. In our latest Packcast on regret, we dive headfirst into the feelings, actions, and illuminations that can be gleaned and redefined… if we could just learn to talk about them.”