Manchester Uni recommends watching ‘how to fold socks’ video to ‘beat January blues’

The email offered advice as to how students can look after their mental wellbeing throughout January

Yesterday, the University of Manchester compiled a list of “Five foolproof ways to beat the January blues” and emailed the three minute guide out to students on Blue Monday.

The five “foolproof” ways in which to find some happiness, are suggested as: “Staying social, helping others, being present in the moment, making a downtime list and acquiring a low-maintenance skill”. A low-maintenance skill perhaps, like “watching a video how to fold your socks or learning how to parallel park”.

The university goes on to say how the “possibilities are truly endless”, however, students have not taken long to point out, if the possibilities are truly endless, then why would one choose to watch a video on how to fold socks?

The guide was created by UoM’s student news team and recommends connecting with family and friends, doing “random acts of kindness”, creating a “downtime list”, “meditation” and “learning a quick new skill” such as “how to fold your socks” to feel a “sense of achievement”.

UoM also recently came under fire from students for suggesting that lockdown should be treated like “a retreat”, a post which the university later removed from their Instagram social media due to a backlash of people calling the advice “patronising and insensitive”.

One student said: “@OfficialUoM really outdone themselves with this advice. Seems to have confused national lockdown in Manchester with two weeks in Bali.”

The university acknowledged how the Instagram post may have been perceived as “not appropriate” and the post was subsequently deleted.

In response to the “January Blues” article, a University of Manchester spokesperson said: “This is one instance of what we offer to support students which ranges from the general wellbeing example given here, to a 24 hour support line, extensive counselling services and a unique city-wide partnership with the NHS. You can read more about all of these here. Some of our suggestions will be more light-hearted, others more serious and we believe there is demand for both.”

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