Covid-19 has brought enormous change to all our lives. As a result, some of you may find yourselves feeling more isolated, anxious and stressed than before – so taking care of your mental health is more important than ever.
Taking positive steps to support mental wellbeing and resilience is something we are all familiar with at St Edward’s – and most of you will already have at least one or two mindfulness techniques you can draw on, be that breathing exercises or meditation practices.
Taking a ‘mindful moment’ is a great way to manage stress and restore your sense of peace when things get a bit too much, and we would urge you all to keep doing what you’ve learned at school if you can.
But there are plenty of other ways you can support your wellbeing at this time too – so here is a handy list of some ideas which we hope can help …
Minimise stress triggers: Try to give yourself a break from the news and social media for at least a couple of hours a day. It’s natural to want to know what the latest developments are, but a constant bombardment can raise stress levels. Give yourself a break to think about other things – the news will still be there when you’re ready to check in again.
Maintain a routine: Routine is very reassuring when so much is shifting around us. The new summer term has begun, so keeping up with your learning and development should already be helping to provide some structure to your day. Try to start and end at the same time Monday to Friday to separate your school day from your home life, and avoid spending all day in pyjamas!
Keep active: Even a short burst of activity can release endorphins and give your mood a boost. Make sure you take your permitted daily walk, run or cycle, and there are plenty of ways to keep moving at home too. Why not try a dance, fitness or yoga session online – lots are available for free at the moment. Even helping out with the hoovering can get your heart pumping!
Be grateful: Gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness – it helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. Take five minutes to write down some of the people and things you’re most grateful for, or just say a mental thank you for the blessings in your life.
Eat well: A well-balanced diet can help improve your mood, and keep your energy levels high, so stay hydrated, get your five-a-day, and avoid too much caffeine or sugary snacks – tempting though they are when you’re never far from the kitchen cupboard! It’s a great time to learn to cook or improve your culinary skills– so perhaps you might offer to prepare a healthy meal or snack for the whole family.
We also want to remind all students we are still here for you – and not only to support you with your academic work. Teacher and TA support is available every day and tutors continue to you virtually via telephone or email. Our vulnerable students will already be in touch with their key workers too.
Any student who is feeling worried or upset – whatever the reason may be – can let us know on the ‘here to help’ email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
And here are some other websites you might find useful for further tips:
https://youngminds.org.uk/ – Young Minds – UK mental health charity
https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/for-children-and-young-people/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/ Mind – mental health charity page dedicated to young people.
https://www.headspace.com/ – Headspace – the founders of the popular mindfulness app.
https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/coronavirus-information-and-support – dedicated page of advice from charity The Children’s Society.