Looking after our mental health and wellbeing through the current lockdown has been a challenge for nearly everyone. Change brings new emotions….
At some point we have all had down days, feelings of frustration, anger and probably the odd cry. Please remember that this is normal and that you are not on your own.
It will still be a while before we see you again at school and so to support you at home for the next few weeks or so, we have compiled these with tips and strategies to help calm you and to help you deal with new or strange emotions such as worry, stress and anxiety.
- Focus on what you can control – We have said it time and again, but focusing on what you can control will go a long way to alleviating your anxieties. Often times we worry about things that we cannot influence and this means that we spend a lot of our time and energy worrying over things we cannot change. If we feel ourselves getting pre-occupied with thoughts or worries a good question to ask ourselves is “Can I change this?” and if the answer is no, then hopefully that realisation will help us stay calm.
- Find something you enjoy – Now more than ever it is incredibly important to find things that we enjoy to help lift our mood. Whatever it is, have fun in discovering what helps you relax and do it.
- Relax your body – When we are stressed and anxious, it isn’t just mental, it’s physical as well. When you’re readying through this bullet point, make an active effort to relax your body. Drop your shoulders, unclench your jaw and relax your limbs.
- Write yourself a letter – This can be on pen and paper, or on your phone. Write down how you have felt about lockdown and how you are feeling now about coming back to school. Let it be an opportunity to put all your thoughts and feelings on to something that you can see, this often helps us organise our thoughts in to more manageable chunks and be able to cope with our feelings better.
I am, I have, I can
Throughout lockdown it might have seemed that positive things were hard to come by and so to try and inject some positivity back in to our lives, use the above starters to make a list… “I am awesome, I have always been brilliant, I can always continue to be fantastic.”
List as many positive things about yourself and your life and post it somewhere prominent in your bedroom so you can see it every day.
Speak to Someone
This can be tricky to do as sometimes we don’t think our problems are worth listening to, or we don’t feel like we can explain ourselves and therefore don’t want to talk. There are loads of people who genuinely want to hear how you’re feeling, even if it might not seem like it.
If you don’t want to speak to your mum or dad, then please speak to any member of staff at school via email, email your PBO or Mr Strongman. We’re all here to listen.
Scribble, Jot and Doodle
Simple enough, get a notepad and pen and get scribbling! This can be a really effective way to relieve stress and anxiety.
Organisations That Can Help
Sometimes, talking to someone completely independent of home and school, someone who we don’t know at all can be a big help.
The Mix: An organisation to help anyone under the age of 25 cope with their stresses and worries. They have an advice line you can call, a crisis text messaging service you can use and loads of resources to access on their website. They cover everything from bullying to housing issues.
Kooth: An entirely online mental health support service. Moderated forums and 121 chats are available with qualified counsellors.
Young Minds Crisis Messenger: Another crisis messenger service if you feel you need to speak to someone right away. All you have to do is text ‘YM’ to 85258 and they’re open 24/7. Texts are completely free if you’re on EE, O2, Three and Vodafone.
The Marketplace: A Leeds organisation dedicated to helping young people. They have a phone line that you can ring to make an appointment to speak to a trained counsellor.
No Panic: A website specifically dedicated to helping people who are struggling with panic attacks.
Above everything, please remember that we are here to help. And if you need a chat about how you’re feeling or want some advice please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay safe, and stay well.