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Written by:
Trinity Hall
16 Jan 2023

Happy New Year and welcome back! 

Whether you’ve just returned to Cambridge and the College or you’ve been staying or working here throughout, our community is coming together once more for the start of term. A warm welcome from the Wellbeing and HR teams! 

As term is about to start, we wanted to provide you with some information and resources to help see you through the term. We hope you find this information helpful.

Blue Monday or Brew Monday? 

We all have good days and bad days and though there is no actual specific day in January where people feel the saddest, “Blue Monday” recognises that many of us can feel blue in January. We like the Samaritans’ approach which spreads the word about “Brew Monday”, encouraging us to make time for a cuppa and a catch-up and to reach out to family, friends, colleagues and loved ones. Who will you invite for a cuppa this week? 


We know that money worries can make us feel stressed and blue, especially after the holidays when we realise how much we’ve spent! But please don’t despair as there is much advice to help us regain control of our finances. 

The charity Step Change provides free, confidential and expert debt advice and money guidance. 

The National Debt Line gives free and independent debt advice over the phone and online. 

To help us keep our spending down going forward, Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis provides lots of advice, including on how to save money an unavoidable expenses, such as groceries. 

Citizens Advice provides all kinds of money advice, including debt advice, budgeting, rent arrears, mortgage problems and how to access a food bank. 

Money management can be all the more challenging if you are also struggling with your mental health. Mental Health & Money Advice provide clear, practical advice and support for people experiencing issues with mental heath and money.

For students

Student Space provides students with information about what to do if you have money problems, how to make a student budget, how to manage your worry about money, and how to find extra funding at university. 

The Student Advice Service (provided by Cambridge SU) brings together general financial information and advice as well as specific information for Cambridge students. 

This article published in the Guardian entitled: “Discounts, banking and budgeting: managing your finances at uni” provides helpful tips and advice. 

Students who are estranged from their families might find the Stand Alone Student Finance Guide very helpful as it was designed specifically for these circumstances. 

Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis provides lots of advice for students, including a student budget planner, how to save money, bicycle insurance, and student discounts and deals.  

Relationships and connecting with others 

Paying attention to and attending to our relationships (be they romantic, friends or colleagues) is always a good idea, but not always easy, particularly if we are finding them challenging.  The following links may help in giving guidance on how to build strong, healthy relationships whilst also identifying helpful ways of supporting ourselves when relationships break down. 

General relationships

NHS maintaining healthy relationships and mental wellbeing 

Mental Health Foundation’s top tips on building and maintaining healthy relationships

Relationship breakdown

CALM’s guide to relationship breakdowns  

Relate article: Help my relationship is making me sad  

University Counselling Service’s information on relationships and managing conflict 

Working and study relationships 

Indeed’s guide to building relationships at work 

Student Advice Services guide to managing supervisor issues

The University Counselling Service runs a workshop for postgraduate students on “how to get the best out of your supervisor relationship”.

Acts of kindness 

Research shows that carrying out random acts of kindness in not only beneficial to others, but it is also beneficial to our own wellbeing. This Happier January calendar will give you ideas about things you can do every day in January to show kindness to others and to yourself. 

The Mental Health Foundation lists 50 acts of kindness you can do to help yourself and others too. 

Bereavement and grief 

Sadly and inevitably, if we experience relationships, we will at some point experience loss too.  Grief, whether recent or more long standing can be particularly raw and intense at the start of a new year.  The following sites share thoughts and advice to help you get through the new year, and beyond, if you’re struggling with your grief. 

Sue Ryder article: Coping with grief at the start of a new year  

University Counselling Service’s information on bereavement  

The charity Cruse has a helpline for anyone who is grieving, and they also provide lots of information and guidance on how to manage grief.

For students

Student Space: grief and loss as a student

The University Counselling Service runs a bereavement group where students can share their feelings and experiences of bereavement within a safe group setting.

Living well, healthy eating and exercise 

We all know that healthy eating and exercise is beneficial to our physical and mental health, but sometimes it can be hard to know where to start. 

The NHS provides advice about healthy living, including eating a balanced diet, sleep and exercise. 

The NHS provides 8 tips for healthy eating, and the British Heart Foundation gives 6 top tips on how to eat healthily on a budget. 

The British Nutrition Foundation helps vegetarians ensure they are eating a balanced diet, and BBC Good Food provides information and recipes for vegans. 

The NHS provides information about exercise, including guidance for different age groups and levels of fitness as well as exercise videos. 

Many of us came to know Joe Wicks (the Body Coach) during lockdown and he has produced hundreds of exercise videos over the years. Regardless of your age or level of fitness, there should be a video and workout for you! 

If you would like to join a group or class where you can also meet others, consider looking at what is on offer at the University Sports Centre or the Trinity Hall fitness room and facilities

Of course, getting some physical activity doesn’t necessarily have to mean working out, it can also include walking, dancing, swimming, and cycling, to name just a few. 

Mental Health and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) 

For general mental health tips backed by research, take a look at the Mental Health Foundation best mental health tips guide. The charity Mind gives information on how to improve your mental wellbeing. 

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern. SAD is sometimes known as “winter depression” because the symptoms are usually more apparent and more severe during the winter. 

Some people with SAD may have symptoms during the summer and feel better during the winter. If you think you may be experiencing SAD, the charity Mind provides information about what it is, self-care and treatment. 

Getting organised 

Something that can be helpful is to try and get organised at the start of term. Understanding where your time goes, how to organise your time, and how to deal with anxiety, perfectionism and procrastination can be very helpful. 

For students

We highly recommend Stay organised while you study by Lauren Callaghan. It is based on evidence and written especially for students. It is also available at the Jerwood Library.

Student support 

Within the collegiate university, there is a network that exists to support you as a student.  

If you are struggling or you just need someone to talk to, your College Tutor would be a good first port of call or you can also contact the Wellbeing Team. To make an appointment, just email  

You can also access the University Student Support Services which include the University Counselling Service, Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre, the Sexual Harassment and Violence Support Service, and the Mental Health Advice Service (though access to this service requires a referral from your tutor or the Wellbeing Team). Some students may also wish to access the Student Advice Service for independent advice and support. Here is a list and description of all the University Student Support Services. 

For a list of organisations that provide out of hours support, the University of Cambridge Wellbeing pages provide useful information. 

Mentoring for care-experienced and estranged students 

A mentoring relationship can be an important part of helping us recover from past experiences and flourish. The University of Cambridge, in partnership with the organisation Concrete Rose, offers mentoring to young people whereby a care-experienced or estranged student can be matched with a ‘trusted adult’ who they can turn to for advice, guidance, emotional support and an increased sense of connectedness to the local community. For more information, please contact the Wellbeing Team at 


Mindfulness is a technique we can all learn to help us feel calmer and improve our wellbeing and ability to study. The University of Cambridge offers students a Mindfulness programme, and bookings are now open. Hurry as it’s first come, first served!

Groups and workshops

The University Counselling Service offers a range of groups and workshops for students. The topics range from “a good night’s sleep” to “time well spent”, from “perfectionism” to “managing anxiety”, and from “understanding and managing low mood” to “returning from intermission” to name just a few. 

Staff support, University services and external support

Below are some of the sources of support that exist for you and your team. 

Operational staff and Medicash policy holders have access to support via Medicash, including 24/7 access via the My Medicash App, and their 24/7 Health and Stress Helpline. Call 0345 565 1851 or visit (Username: Medicash)  

For those who are employed by the University, you can access the University Staff Counselling Service

For a list of organisations that provide out of hours support, the University of Cambridge Wellbeing pages provide useful information. 

If you have any questions, you can contact HR on, and the Wellbeing Team on