April Showers: Things to do on a rainy day in Liverpool

Whilst last week might have brought us an early taste of summer, there’s no denying that this week we are well and truly back to showery April. If you’re not living in the library, or at least fancy a little break from the same four walls, we have created a list of ideas for fun things to do in Liverpool when the sun just won’t come out from behind the clouds.

Café hop with a difference
We all know there’s nothing nicer than sipping on a hot drink whilst the rain pours outside. It’s even better when there are fun things to inside the cafés and this is what some of Liverpool’s fantastic venues are doing. Try out the brilliant Sugar & Dice Board Game Café where you can pay per hour to play any of an incredible collection of table-top games from Dungeons and Dragons to Ticket to Ride to Jenga. Another great option is Ziferblat up in the Business District where you pay per minute and can eat all the food and drink all the coffee you want! It’s just 8p per minute and there’s wifi, board games, books and other things to snuggle in with. The cafe has a spend cap at 4 hours which equates to £19.20 so just make sure you keep in mind how long you can afford to stay!

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Day of the Museums
Here in Liverpool we are blessed with countless museums, from the World Museum and Walker Art Gallery on William Brown Street, to the Merseyside Maritime Museum and The Beatles Museum on the Docks. The World Museum is currently hosting a regiment of 2,200-year-old Terracotta Warriors and don’t forget that LJMU students can gain tickets to see them for just £2! Full details about the offer can be found here. Our pick of the bunch however, would be the wonderful Museum of Liverpool based at the Pier Head where you can soak up every element of scouse history and culture. The interactive museum also boasts the title of UK’s best Window With A View 2016… how many other museums can say the same?!

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Make it to a matinee
As part of your LJMU Student Opportunities offers, you get discounted tickets to some amazing pieces of theatre and music at the Royal Court, Everyman & Playhouse and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. There are some great shows coming up, many of which have lunchtime or matinee performances as can be found below:
Friday 27th April – 1:30pm – Petrenko’s Shostakovich at Liverpool Phil FREE
Saturday 28 April – 2:00pm – Agatha Christie’s Love From a Stranger at E&P £5
Saturday 5th May – 2:00pm – Othello at E&P £5
Thursday 10th May – 2:00pm – A Clockwork Orange at E&P £5
Saturday 12th May – 2:00pm – Othello at E&P £5
Thursday 17th May – 2:00pm – Othello at E&P £5
Saturday 19th May – 2:00pm – Paint Your Wagon at E&P £5
Saturday 26th May – 2:00pm – A Clockwork Orange at E&P £5
Friday 15th June – 1:30pm – Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony at Liverpool Phil FREE
Saturday 23rd June – 2:00pm – The Big I Am at E&P £5
Sunday 24th June – 2:30pm – All Aboard the Pirate Ship! at Liverpool Phil FREE

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Awesome Walls
If you haven’t been to Awesome Walls before… YOU NEED TO. Situated on the Dock Rd just North of the City Centre in a 150-year old church, Awesome Walls is a climbing centre with a difference. The centre has ‘walls to suit everyone’ meaning you are welcome there as a beginner or pro, and to top it off they have a student session price of £6 for anyone wanting to climb before 5pm from Mon-Fri. The best way to get active when you don’t fancy being outside!

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Embrace the water, go for a swim
Remember on the school hols when you were a kid and a rainy day meant going to the baths? Why should anything have to change…?! Head on down to one of Lifestyles Gym’s swimming pools and hit up some lengths or have a diving comp with your flatmates. There are a number of Lifestyles Centres that have pools including the following list, and they’re all free before 4pm for LJMU students: Alsop, Liverpool Aquatics Centre, Austin Rawlinson, Garston, Ellergreen, Everton Park, Park Road, Peter Lloyd.

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Get Crazy at Golf
Liverpool has not one, but two brilliant indoor crazy golf locations and both can guarantee floods of fun. Liverpool One’s cheeky Jungle Rumble Adventure Golf is proper fun for all the family and with a student round at just £7, it’s a great activity for when you want to stay inside. Whilst they don’t offer a student discount, the Baltic Triangle’s Ghetto Golf is everything your Insta feed could dream of; huge graffiti filled walls, hilariously topical holes and a brilliant playlist on too… not to mention the actual golf of course. Go with a group of 6 and you can guarantee a couple of hours of competitive fun, and especially if it’s raining you’ll be able to hear the rain coming down on the corrugated roof whilst you’re safe and dry inside.

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Take a Trip to the Tate
If you’ve ever had the heavens open on you whilst down on the Docks, you’ll be no stranger to the dry, warming glow of Tate Liverpool. With the cafe & gift shop providing 10% off for LJMU students (with a valid ID card) and an afternoon on fun to be found on every floor, the Tate is an absolute haven of indoor fun. Coming this Friday 27th May is Brazilian collective OPAVIVARÁ!’s new project ‘Utupya’ where you can get lost upon their giant hammock (literally) and enjoy a collection of herbal teas to take you somewhere far aay from the weather outside.

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STUDENT BLOG: Ruby Wax: Frazzled

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A Guide to Mindfulness. A Forum for Discussion.

EmmaSmithEmma Smith, PhD in Deep Ocean Ecosystems 

It’s difficult to write a review for a show about mental health, mainly because it is difficult to talk about it. Even for those of us who may struggle from time to time, without any diagnosis, label, or accompanying medication, it’s still difficult to put down into words. 

However, Ruby Wax has done just that, and summed up that overwhelming, stressed out feeling associated with modern life into just one word: Frazzled.

The Frazzle that Ruby aims to help us navigate is the noise of day-to-day life that we often cannot let go of, that leads to us lying in bed at night, replaying a situation or conversation over and over again. As we do this to ourselves, our brain releases the stress hormone cortisol, but it’s not in response to a physical fight or flight stress, it’s all in the mind.  When we practice mindfulness by focussing our attention on a sense (a sound, the feeling of our butt on a chair, our feet against the sole of our shoes), it’s impossible for our brain to engage in the relentless chatter.  As we start to let the chatter slide away our stress hormone levels begin to reduce, we become less frazzled, and can feel calmer and more rational. 

Ruby advocates practicing these simple techniques, even for just for a few moments a day, so that we can train our minds to more easily find the calm amongst the traffic of modern life. Her dry sense of humour cuts through the hippy-dippy stigma that has attached itself to Mindfulness over the past decade, and brings it right back to what it really is:  a time-long technique for calming the mind that is now being backed up by neuroscience. 

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People like Ruby and shows like Frazzled are so important, not only for breaking down the taboo of talking about mental health, but also for giving a fresh (and scientific) perspective on Mindfulness – a term that many people associate with thinking about avocados while sitting on a “gluten free cushion”.

Ruby’s perspective stems from her own mental health issues and the effects of her parents issues upon her, right through to gaining her Master’s degree in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy from Oxford University. She is author of four books, is an active mental health campaigner, and is hilarious, warm, and wonderfully honest.

Her show takes you through a tangential tour of her life by way of self-interview, and includes some active mindfulness activities backed up by bite-sized chunks of science. Ruby’s ability to communicate academic terminology into something fun and easily understandable is testament to her intelligence and wit.  The show culminates with an open forum where the audience can ask questions, recount personal experiences, and share in something that affects all of us. 

My experience of mindfulness around six years ago helped me to change some of my own challenging mental narrative, and I still feel the benefits today. However, it had been at least two years since I had practiced any mindfulness techniques.  Ruby’s passion and knowledge has re-ignited my thirst for a calmer, less frazzled life and has reminded me just how important it is to take care of our own mental health, wherever possible.

Ruby has also set up a charity called ‘Frazzled Café’ (https://www.frazzledcafe.org/) that offers a safe, non-judgemental space where people can meet and share their personal frazzled stories.  As Ruby states, Frazzled Café is not just for the one in four people who will be diagnosed with a mental illness, but for the four in four who feel overwhelmed by the stress of modern life.


Don’t worry if you missed the show, LJMU are offering plenty of FREE de-stressers over the coming weeks, including their own mindfulness classes and even Guide Dog Therapy! To find out more click here

Exam Stress: Tips for Dealing with Assessments

It’s that time of year where the library becomes your second home, you start to forget what daylight looks like and you’re so far beyond stressed that you don’t even have a word to describe what you are… well let me tell you something, it doesn’t all have to be that way. Everyone has different ways they like to unwind, so we’ve compiled a few great ways to de-stress around Liverpool that you can attend for FREE (so as not to add money worries into the mix!). So take a break, try something new and you’ll be surprised how much of a difference it can make.

Lifestyles Classes

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When? Every day until 4pm 

Did you know that as part of the FREE off-peak Lifestyles membership you get with LJMU, you can attend off-peak classes for free too?! They have a wide range of classes to suit any ability and style of exercise so if you want to relax with Pilates, or you want to unleash some stress with Body Pump, we’re sure it’ll help blow away the cobwebs.

 

Classical music at The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

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Have you ever listened to classical music whilst studying? Ever thought about seeing some incredible classical music live with a full orchestra? Well… you won’t believe it but there are two upcoming classical shows at the Phil where you can get 2 x FREE tickets for each one. Classical music has been proven to be a great de-stresser, and take it from us, seeing it live is something else. We’ve had plenty of trips to the Phil where our heads were crammed with worries beforehand and by the end we left feeling lighter than a feather!

Spanish Rhapsody – Thursday 19 April 2018 7:30pm 
Petrenko’s ShostakovichFriday 27 April 2018 1:30pm        

Simply call the Philharmonic Box Office on 0151 709 3789 and quote ‘LJMU Student’ to book your tickets today.

 

Parkrun

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When? Every Saturday at 9:00am
Where? Princes Park (but there are locations all over the UK)

You against the clock, a 5k run, hundreds of people, sweat pouring from every… oh yeah this is meant to be a relaxing blog. Well how about you sign up and head on down to Princes Park for a nice healthy run in the outdoors. It’s open to anyone of any ability and is less of a competition and more of a fun, free and healthy activity you can do in a beautiful setting. There’s nothing like a good run to clear your head.

Wander around Albert Dock & The Tate

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When? Every day 9-5

Going for a stroll along the docks is a sure fire way to help you relax and forget about your worries for a little while. As well as the wonderful river Mersey which is impressive in any weather, there are a host of museums and galleries that are all free to access, including the Tate, which is home to some incredible contemporary art. LJMU students get free access to all of their exhibitions all year round.  

 

Liverpool Cathedral

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How much? FREE for LJMU students
When? Every day 10am-4:30pm (check the website for Twilight Thursday opening times)

Why not try getting as physically far away from your worries as possible, that’ll work, right? It’s worth a shot anyway, and what better place to try it than ‘500ft above sea level,’ at the top of the Liverpool Cathedral. Plus, Twilight Thursday’s is back now, meaning every Thursday from now right through to October you can go up a little later than usual and watch the sunset over Liverpool as the city lights up. It’s a view that’s sure to take your mind off things for a while, and a little reminder (not that any of us need it) of how beautiful this city is.

 

Distract yourself at Adventure Dock

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It might not quite be your post-A-Level holiday to Magaluf, but the bracing temperatures of the Costa del Merseyside, combined with the adrenaline of a 92-metre inflatable water course will be the perfect way to switch off from your studies! Adventure Dock opens on 5th May, and with 25% off on weekdays for students, this thrilling inflatable adventure is certain to take your mind off your work for a bit. To claim your student discount, use discount code STUDENT15 online

 

By Lewis Wren
Student Opportunities Intern