It is always important to take care of our mental health, to keep ourselves healthy and look after those around us. This page is a reminder of how to set up good routines, tips on activities you can do to keep yourself well and motivated, along with advice on where to go to seek support.
We all have Mental Health
We All Have Mental Health is an animation video produced by Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. It has been designed to give young people aged 11-14 a common language and understanding of what is meant by mental health and how we can look after it.
Working from home tips
We know that most of our students will be studying in school, but for students who may find themselves studying at home it can be a real change from what you're used to and can be challenging in different ways. Where has all your focus and motivation suddenly gone? Everything is a distraction, from the TV, to the fridge, the washing machine, your pets and you’re oh so close to your comfy, warm bed!
But we know you don’t want to fall behind with your studies, so you’re going to need to create an environment for yourself that helps you block out all those distractions and get to work!
- Make a morning routine
The problem: Working from home means your morning commute is a breeze! No more setting your alarm hours before to get ready for lessons. Instead, you might find yourself getting up five minutes before you start. The problem is, this isn’t going to make you productive what-so-ever and it will be way too difficult to get back into a morning routine when you return to school.
The solution: Get up half an hour before your first lesson, maybe make yourself some breakfast and a morning drink, make your bed, let the sun (or the clouds) in by opening those curtains, and get yourself awake both mentally and physically for the day’s work.
- Get out of those PJ’s!
The problem: Perhaps you’ve got nowhere to physically go and don’t have to leave the house, so you find that you’ve not been bothering to get dressed in the morning?
The solution: Well, getting yourself dressed, hair and teeth brushed, will make you feel more awake and put you in a better mindset for learning.
- Make your own workspace
The problem: When we’ve worked from home, we’ve all just dragged the laptop over and stayed in bed, right?
The solution: Throwback those covers and set yourself up a little area where you can work, it’ll help make your work-life divide a lot easier. If you can, try to set yourself up a workstation that is not even in your bedroom so you can separate the space where you sleep/relax and where you work.
Use your dinner table, a desk, or even your sofa and coffee table. Make sure you’re sat up and comfy and have a chair with good back support and the environment is quiet enough to work with few distractions or temptations to do something else.
- Use your breaks
The problem: It can be really easy to get drawn into your lessons and your work that you forget where the time is going! You eat your lunch in front of your screen and try and work through it all.
The solution: Your brain needs to take breaks and rest, just like it would in a normal school day. Even if it is five minutes between lessons, make sure you take a break and stretch your legs with a quick walk around the house or the garden if you have one.
Work out what you’re going to do at break time and lunchtime; what snack will you make or what will you watch or play for half an hour? Why not try a Joe Wicks workout or take up Yoga and mindfulness? There are YouTube videos for everything- go ahead and try something new to take your mind off things.
- Find your balance
The problem: For some, doing a full day of work or online lessons and then completing homework at home can be mentally tiring. You may also find that your home circumstances change such as having to help look after younger siblings or if someone in the house becomes sick. This can add a lot of pressure on to you and if it is not sorted, you can burn out and become very stressed.
The solution: Talk to a teacher or pastoral manager if you’re struggling with your deadlines, or need help coping with the demands of work at school and the support you’re having to give your family at home. If they can accommodate you working different hours than usual, they will definitely help.
- Set up a chat call
The problem: When you’re at school, there are points in the day where you’ll chat and socialise. When you’re working from home you get less time to chat. If we are used to contact with friends, we can become quite lonely or sad if we don’t speak to anyone, without even realising it.
The solution: Suggest a video call where you and your friends can catch up and have a chat for half an hour, it gives you something to look forward to.
It’ll make you feel less isolated as well as motivate you and give you a boost.
Activities to stay motivated
- HIIT, Pilates, Yoga – whatever exercise floats your boat that day
- Walking – it's great to try and get some fresh air everyday so why not incorporate this into your challenge
- Baking – get your sweat on in the kitchen by cooking up a storm
- Gardening – this can be a great workout too!
www.YouTube.com is full of great demonstrations on all these activities, from workouts with Joe Wicks to baking with Mary Berry. So go on, try something new and stay motivated!
Staying at home and working from home can be stressful. No matter what, it is always best to talk to someone. That’s why we recommend the following online mental health support services.
Young minds are available to support young people or parents/carers, whether you want to understand more about how you're feeling and find ways to feel better, or you want to suport someone who's struggling, they can help.
Childline runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls to 0800 1111 are free.
Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, works with infants, children, young people and their families, to provide support.
Papyrus is a voluntary organisation supporting teenagers and yougn adults who are feeling suicidal.
NELFT NHS Foundation Trust is available for advice, information and support regarding your physical and/or mental health. Click the following link to request contact. https://www.nelft.nhs.uk/e-drop-in
Best For You exists to make it easier for you to find the support you need. It includes information about mental health, and digital tools for anyone in the UK.