Student Communications Intern Poppy Colbourne discovers a new way to look after yourself
Fika is a wellness app that promotes mental fitness within universities. According to their website, they are “on a mission to mainstream Mental Fitness by bringing Emotional Education to students around the world”. But how do they plan on achieving this? I used the app myself and spoke to an ambassador at Fika to get a better understanding.
Bath Spa is one of many university partners of the app so I was able to access all its features for free! Everything was clearly laid out on the screen and organised around Fika’s main seven areas: Stress, Focus, Positivity, Connection, Confidence, Motivation and Meaning. Each area contained lots of different audios, activities and real-life stories, including an array of advice and tips from famous sports personalities such as rugby player Greg Bateman, who shared the importance of planning in order to decrease stress and promote positivity.
In light of current circumstances, the Fika team has even added a new section dedicated to staying mentally fit while self-isolating. This section includes a program on remote studying, including exercises on how to create a study zone, staying motivated and more. Additionally, they have added a “Manage your emotions” toolkit with everything you need when living in self-isolation, they also provide a selection of audio boosts which are great for relaxation and meditation. As of 8 April, the app is launching a new community feature to encourage students to share their tips on being mentally fit during this tough time and beyond.
Ciara Martin, a Bath Spa student and a Fika ambassador, gave some insight about her journey with Fika. “I quickly started doing these exercises every morning and still do,” she said. “During Freshers Week, Stress Awareness Week and Mental Health Day I would have a stand either in Locksbrook or Commons in Newton Park to hand out leaflets about the app. For Stamp Out Stress, I was given extra materials such as notebooks and other leaflets that said 'the smell of oranges reduces stress' which is a quote from the app."
Ciara also worked closely with the Bath Spa Sabbs as they often had stands and workshops available for these themed weeks. "It was really rewarding to see people download the app!” she said.
It was lovely to hear Ciara reflect on her experience, and how she “personally learned so much about wellbeing and productivity since being a Student Ambassador."
I can honestly say I have never been one for "wellbeing" or "mental fitness" apps; they always felt quite superficial and never really related to the situation I was in, but during such uncertain times, it is nice to turn to an app that has your best interest at heart. If you are feeling a little stressed or demotivated, Fika has you covered and will support you throughout your time at university.
I can safely say Fika is my one exception when it comes to these apps. I can not recommend it highly enough (and no, unfortunately, I’m not being paid to say this). When the world feels like it's turning into a rubbish spin-off of ‘Resident Evil’ it's nice to wind down with an audio boost and a cup of tea, knowing that everything will be OK.
Disclaimer: The Bath Spa blog is a platform for individual voices and views from the University's community. Any views or opinions represented in individual posts are personal, belonging solely to the author of that post, and do not represent the views of other Bath Spa staff, or Bath Spa University as an institution.
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