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By Simon Thompson
 
     

Health and wellbeing have been spotlight topics for the last few years, and

rightly so! We are all aware of the importance of being kind to others,

checking in our friends, and how it’s OK to ask for help if you need it!

Our mental health and well-being are of the upmost importance, we need to

make sure we look after ourselves and others’.

Our partners at Novel prioritise the health and wellbeing of their

students. They know how important it is to feel supported, comfortable and

at home.

Recently the team at Novel had a chat with the lovely Jess Mackenzie@_jessyoga), a pioneer

for self-love and acceptance, as well as a qualified yoga teacher and

Sweaty Betty ambassador. The secret to her achievements? Being her true

honest self, no filters allowed, and loving every part of it! And she

encourages you to do the same.

Jess is on a journey to redefining beauty and Novel are so excited to be

able to share her story with you! Find out how Jess got into yoga, her top

tips for staying motivated, how she started her self-love journey and more,

her story is full of inspiration, honesty and kindness!

How did you start out on Instagram, and how did you grow your

following?

This year my social following has grown from roughly 12K followers to 27K

followers, which is kinda crazy and I’m so grateful. The only reason I

believe my followers have increased is because I got real. I found

self-love and finally stopped editing my skin, face and body shape! I share

relatable and positive content, top tips, yoga videos and REAL skin. I also

got a better camera and take a lot of time and effort to write captions

that inspire others. I hope you love my posts @_jessyoga.

Your Instagram bio mentions that you are on a journey to redefine

beauty, how would you like to see beauty standards change?

I would love to see more real bodies and real skin in the media! I believe

Photoshop is extremely harmful to our mental health and I would love to see

less air brushing and more skin pores, acne scarring, stretch marks and

tummy rolls! After all Authenticity will always be more beautiful.

Be kind has been a huge message this year. How important is this

message to you and how do you think people can be kinder to one and

another?

Kindness is everything and 2020 has taught me the importance of being

kinder to myself and others. Small acts of kindness such as checking in on

a friend to see if they really are “okay", writing a letter of appreciation

to a loved one, donating old winter clothes to the homeless, supporting

local stores, telling someone you love them. The small things make the most

difference.

What does self-love mean to you?

Self-love is learning to love yourself unconditionally and the

understanding that YOU are your number one priority. Self-love is not

allowing insecurities to stop you from achieving your goals. Self-love is

scheduling in an hour of ‘me time’ every day to do the things you love.

With self-love you don’t feel the need to change who you are to please

others.

You talk a lot about tackling your insecurities, what advice would you

give to anyone struggling with their own insecurities at the moment?

Your insecurities do not define you. Remember that time your friend said

“ugh I have a huge spot on my chin" and you looked puzzled for a moment

trying to locate it? Yup, that’s what I’m talking about. No one notices

your insecurities more than you do.

I have one rule when it comes to coping with insecurities and that is:

switch your morning and evening inspection for meditation. Instead of

waking up and going straight to the mirror to inspect your

body/face/hair/skin… take 5 minutes to sit or lie quietly, focusing on your

breath. Do the same in the evening.

“Your insecurities do not define you."

Can you give us your top five tips for looking after your wellbeing?

  • Yoga/ daily body movement

  • Get enough sleep

  • Consume less takeaway food, caffeine, alcohol or nicotine

  • Spend more time with positive people

  • Cut strings with toxic people, jobs or situations.

How did you get into yoga and teaching?

I found relief to my chronic pain condition, Fibromyalgia, through yoga.

Little did I know how quickly I would notice significant improvements

physically and mentally, finding body consciousness and sparking a strong

passion. This passion led me to my yoga teacher training course in Koh

Phangan, Thailand. Where I trained and lived for two months. Yoga has

allowed me to come away from all forms of painkillers and I now use

movement as my medicine.

What are the main health benefits from yoga?

Yoga benefits both the mind and body simultaneously. From pain relief to

stress relief, there’s very little yoga can’t fix. The yoga postures,

asanas, allow us to find balance in both strength and flexibility. While

the breathwork and meditation calms and clears the mind for total

relaxation.

What are your top tips for staying motivated?

A solid morning routine is everything! Here’s mine, feel free to follow it

or create your own to start your day right and encourage you to continue on

a high.

  • Yoga + Meditation (20mins)

  • Herbal Tea / coffee

  • Journal / writing 3 things you’re grateful for today.

  • Mindfully make a yummy breakfast

  • Listen to music that puts you in a good mood.

How did you become an ambassador for Sweaty Betty and why did you

choose to collaborate with this brand?

My first ever yoga set was from Sweaty Betty and ever since I’ve become

obsessed with the brand and everything they stand for. “Empowering women’

is our mutual goal". The incredibly successful brand is built and run by

women and I love the strong sense of community they have built in each

store.

You have done quite a lot of travelling; would you recommend this to

students before or after they study?

Personally, I would recommend travelling before AND after! Studying is

tough work and can be very stressful, so let’s not limit ourselves when it

comes to enjoying life at its fullest. Work hard, play hard!

Where was your favourite destination and why?

I travelled the north of India for a month in 2018 and it was such an

eye-opening experience. I left with so much gratitude for everything I have

back home but also the desire to travel back through India in a heartbeat.

I’ll be honest, there was a huge culture shock at first, but I very quickly

immersed myself in it all and learnt to love every aspect of the culture. I

primarily went there to do yoga and learn more about it from the gurus

which was a wonderful experience. I’m excited to go back and travel the

south.

I think we can all agree that Jess shares some very honest and inspiring

words! Please share this blog with anyone you think may need it or just to

spread some positivity and, of course don’t forget to follow Jess’s journey

on Instagram @_jessyoga.

Thank you Jess!

“Kindness is everything and 2020 has taught me the importance of being

kinder to myself and others. "

Find student accommodation from Novel right here

 
 
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  1. The Pomodoro method : First thing to address is that no, we are not talking about some delicious tomato pasta (unfortunately).  
   
Posted by Simon Thompson on 10/04/2021 10:04:00
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If you use accommodationforstudents.com to secure your property this April you can claim a free Amazon voucher, worth £10*. All you have to do is make an enquiry through AFS, then when you confirm the booking let us know – then we will send you a voucher.

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 30/03/2021 14:09:48
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Although many students will think carefully about the degree that they choose to study before they begin university, often it is the case that after three years of study, students will have a completely different opinion about their chosen field. Perhaps your degre
     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 29/03/2021 15:21:07
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Easter in many regions of the world is a huge thing. Even though it is the most important day in the Christian calendar it is now celebrated by people sharing non-Christian values as well. Just like Christmas, it is the time during the year when families g

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 26/03/2021 14:22:44
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1.PRELOVED

<3 Apps are a really easy tool to find preloved items that you may need. -For clothes I love Ebay, Depop or Vinted. -For household appliances I love Facebook marketplace. They’re basically giving things away for free!

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 22/03/2021 10:38:52
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We’ve all seen them, the advertisements for Open evenings or various other shindigs and soirées. But have you really considered just how beneficial they might be?

If you’re wrapping up your final year of university and are seriously conside

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 19/03/2021 15:50:28
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The safety measures which have resulted in an extensive amount of time at home has meant that opportunities for professional and personal growth have been sparse. Though many are suffering a lack of inspiration as a consequence of the challenges faced with

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 16/03/2021 09:28:33
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Every university student across the country has been made to pack up their desks and start studying from home, whether it’s on their mums kitchen table or at a tiny bedroom desk. We have been faced with a new way of living and a new way of studying which h

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 12/03/2021 12:47:49
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Over the past year (yes it really has been a whole year since universities had to take teaching online), students have had to adapt extraordinarily to massive amounts of screen time.

Not only are we already a screen-dependent generation, with

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 10/03/2021 15:46:23
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Women’s Day was first celebrated in 1911 in four countries Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Denmark. Since then it became recognized by the United Nations as an international event. 8th March for over a century now is a day to celebrate women’s

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 08/03/2021 13:36:24
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At last the road map has finally been set out for the end of all the restrictions that we’ve been living under this past year. If you’ve not seen it already June 21st has been set as the date when all COVID_19 restrictions will be lifted. Howeve

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 04/03/2021 11:36:09
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As all students know, throughout the semester you can become increasingly preoccupied with meeting all your deadlines, applying for jobs, volunteering, working, and socialising. You can be easily consumed with all your responsibilities and often forget to

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 02/03/2021 17:41:31
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Groceries are the second-largest expense on the student spending list just after the rent. However, there are a few things which you can do to limit your food spending. Cooking on a budget doesn’t mean eating less or more boring. It’s the opposite! It’s al

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 26/02/2021 13:04:36
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Moving to university is never an easy step, but students this year have had it worse than ever with two national lockdowns and many limiting restrictions. You might have found it difficult to meet people, stop feeling home-sick, or actualise your universit

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 17/02/2021 13:31:01
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Staying motivated during the winter lockdown is a challenge for us all. Although lockdown is testing in any season, it’s easy to feel sluggish and like you’d rather sit on the sofa when the nights are drawing in at 5pm. You’ve probably had days when you ju

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 11/02/2021 16:58:05
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The Government has recently announced a support package of £50 million for students who have been affected by the Covid 19 pandemic. This is an addition to the £20 million that was announced in December of 2020.

Students in difficulty <

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 08/02/2021 17:34:14
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For many university students the January assignments have finally been submitted and semester one has come to an end. Whether you’ve already started your second semester, or whether you don’t start back again until next week, it’s always good to take some

     
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Both in student and professional lives we lead one’s general success or lack thereof is often boiled down to a calculation of little victories and failures. We compare ourselves to our peers, we quantify our performance—be it through per cents on our essay

     
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If you’re a student on a budget, you probably already know that it’s a challenge to make your student loan stretch until the end of the semester – and that’s before you’ve considered Christmas. Perhaps you’ve saved some of your money during lockdown as you

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 17/12/2020 14:43:32
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How to prepare for online exams

Exams are a daunting part of the university experience for any student. This year the introduction of online learning and assessments has left many students apprehensive for the upcoming examinat

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 11/12/2020 09:27:36
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The long-awaited Christmas break is finally here. With the extra pressures on students this year, to adapt to online learning and to complete their assignments under the additional strain of the pandemic, many students will likely be looking forward to som

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 04/12/2020 14:54:14
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Mental health…it’s a complicated topic. Knowing what it is is important, and how yours might change and what to do is useful for maintaining the happiest version of yourself. So what is mental health, how is it affected, and what can we do?

Mental h

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 30/11/2020 15:47:32
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Carbon Neutral is a term we hear a lot these days. From UK pledges to be it, to companies telling us it’s what we should aim for. It seems such a large concept, achieved by mass effort towards a common goal, but what actually is it, and how can the single

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 11/11/2020 15:04:41
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As the new academic term is underway, many students have moved away from home and relocated to embark on their studies at university. While you may feel that moving away to a new city is a big step outside of your comfort zone, it’s simply just the next chapt
     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 14/10/2020 22:29:29
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With most UK universities beginning their Autumn terms somewhere near the end of September, it’s time to start thinking about heading back to class. Over the summer break, it’s easy to get out of your old routines, and with the added factor of the coronavi

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 24/09/2020 14:54:03
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The five best IQ student properties:

IQ student accommodations is a great place to find your next place whilst studying, but with so many flexible choices, it can be hard to work out what’s best for you! So which are the five best properties on

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 24/09/2020 14:44:48
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Let’s face it: freshers’ is probably the moment you look forward to the most when it comes to starting university. After all the chore of packing your life away into boxes and swotting for exams, meeting new people and letting loose in pub crawls or club n

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 15/09/2020 12:32:35
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Living with your family is often hard enough but going away to university is a whole new kettle of fish. You’ve more than likely never met the people you’re going to be living with, and there’s no guarantee that they’re going to be clean and tidy, and even

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 07/09/2020 17:52:06
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As the new academic year draws nearer and nearer, both new and returning students are beginning to prepare for the return to university. Looking towards September, there are many things students can do to make sure that they’re ready to return. Whether you’re comin
     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 01/09/2020 12:16:28
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As many recent graduates begin to enter the job market, many individuals may find themselves facing the dauting prospect of an online interview. Due to the COVID_19 restrictions, and the surge of online video technologies, such as Zoom, many companies have

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 19/08/2020 12:18:00
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Our research shows that some students think that finding accommodation is more stressful than finding a University place through clearing. Things are likely to be a little different this year, so here are our top tips for finding accommodation during clear

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 11/08/2020 10:57:32
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This year Accommodation For Students are working with a number of leading student accommodation operators as part of our 2020 clearing campaign. Each partner provides high quality student accommodation and is working closely with our team to respond quickl

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 06/08/2020 12:05:44
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Ugh bills. Do I want to check my bank account…nope I really don’t want to. Saving on bills is a proper issue, but I don’t want to save on my bills at the expense of the environment! So here’s a few ways you can do both!

If you’re

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 03/08/2020 20:22:44
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For many students, the return to the pub has been long awaited. Three months after the initial lockdown began, Boris Johnson gave the go ahead for pubs and restaurants to re-open their doors to the public on 4 th July. This announcement marks the thir

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 15/07/2020 17:36:57
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Bread? Check. Milk? Check. Drinks for club night? Check.

These are some of the typical items on a student weekly shopping list. Other popular features are cheese, pasta (can’t forget the pasta) mince, fruit and veg. Budgeting is something drilled into us

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 13/07/2020 17:31:17
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The development of the coronavirus pandemic was as rapid as it was confusing: everyone thought it was an overreaction to a virus ‘less deadly than the flu’, but it managed to quickly mutate into a serious crisis that threatened our well-established student life. Du
     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 06/07/2020 10:27:44
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It is important to take some precautions when you are using Accommodation for Students, particularly if you are trying to book a room in a property without viewing it.

Accommodation for Students has been around since 2000 and during this time

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 19/06/2020 11:41:39
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Over the past few months, the world has changed in ways previously unimaginable. With the job market taking a plunge, and uncertainty becoming all too familiar, many individuals are choosing to use their extra time indoors to enhance their CV and career prosp
     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 16/06/2020 22:17:15
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Universities, as independent institutions have complete governance over how they structure their courses and which platforms they use to deliver sessions. However, with the global pandemic changing the way society operates, universities must take decisions

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 10/06/2020 11:31:35
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After the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic this March, many UK Universities underwent rapid contingency measures to swiftly convert teaching from the traditional face-to-face lecture style, to online or virtual platforms. While in March, this online co

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 08/06/2020 10:58:16
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The unprecedented national outbreak of the coronavirus has changed the platforms for viewing accommodation. While, previously students were able to preview their potential accommodation choices at University open days, such large events, for the foreseeabl

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 29/05/2020 16:23:01
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Since the national outbreak of the corona virus, many UK Universities have taken the decision to deliver the summer term online, encouraging students to leave campus and return home. When this was announced in March, many students and lecturers assumed tha

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 22/05/2020 07:36:04
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Over the last few weeks Accommodation for Students has been taking feedback from students and the landlords that advertise properties on our website. It is clear that both students and landlords have been hit by the current crisis and in some cases are str

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 07/05/2020 17:12:56
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AFS students recently shared their thoughts on who makes the best housemates and offered advice on how to get on living with others.

Hundreds of you completed the survey and the results showed that the most popular housemates are usually studying

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 06/08/2019 11:42:56
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By Jordan Darlington

Is staying on trend more important than standing against morally corrupt branding?

Our recent survey found that despite more people valuing ‘design and popularity’ over ‘brand morals’, 75% of the respondents stated that they would

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 18/03/2019 10:44:31
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What does the future hold for the holidaymakers and travellers of post-brexit Britain?

With yet another parliamentary rejection, we are no closer to finding out. All that can be said is that, at this point, it’s anyone’s guess. Will you be able to travel visa-free?

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 14/03/2019 12:09:17
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The mere mention of the word vegan is often enough to make the vast majority of us roll our eyes in judgement (I know, I’ve done it too…) however, it can’t be denied that the term and lifestyle have become increasingly popular over the last few years. On Instagram alone, #vega

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 20/02/2019 11:04:26
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When we hear the word ‘private’, we tend to think of things such as private education and the big price tag that often comes with it. However, fear not! This is a common misconception and far from the actual truth. Private Halls are usually a block (or blocks) of shared flats

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 23/01/2019 12:08:25
Read More

     
 

The age-old question that plagues every student and the answer is... There is no answer. Starting the search for accommodation is a personal experience and therefore different for everyone. Some students will find what they are looking for with relative ease and others will fe

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 17/01/2019 14:47:34
Read More

     
 

Student life is all about studying. At least that’s the sensible version. In reality, being a student means hard study, but also a darned good party.

That can be pretty expensive though, and if you’re a social animal then having fun with your mates isn’t

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 29/10/2018 11:14:50
Read More


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