Stress and Anxiety
Schools have been integral in supporting children, young people and their families from the outset of the Coronavirus pandemic and are leading the way to a "new normal" as we move forward in the academic year 2020-21.
The pandemic has brought with it a new range of considerations and anxieties which, for some, will impact upon their ability to cope with additional stressors.
Everyone experiences anxiety at times and at some level and for all of us, a toolkit of coping strategies which work for you and you can draw upon in stressful times, really helps.
Being able to relax is a skill and like any other skill, is most reliable when practised regularly, as Jon Kabat-Zinn said: "Weave your parachute every day, rather than leaving it to the time you jump from the plane"!
Mindfulness is becoming more aware of the present moment, including our own thoughts and emotions, without judgement and with self-compassion, it can be an effective coping strategy to reduce stress and anxiety.
Not only can yoga teach relaxation but also improve:
- Emotional wellbeing
Yoga can be taught and practised as part of PE, PSHE, enrichment, after school or lunchtime club. Many supporting resources can be found online.
Exams can be a very difficult and stressful period in a young person’s life; this stress and pressure is having an increasingly detrimental effect on many young people.
Young people worry about getting the grades they need for their future careers, feel pressure from their families and school, struggle to cope with the amount of revision and dread the feeling of failure.
Many young people will find it hard to talk and discuss their stresses and anxieties and instead bottle it up, but it is important for them to talk and to realise that they are not the only ones feeling this way. Below are a couple of useful links which may help:
Childline has come up with handy tips, advice and guides for young people on coping with exam stress.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists - Provides a terrific range of leaflets about emotional health and wellbeing and mental health for teachers, young people and parent/carers.
Chill Panda is not a medical device but techniques used in the app draw on a broad spectrum of scientific studies and evidence. Designed to help children under 8 learn to recognise and manage their feelings of anxiety.
MeeTwo appears like social media but it's not. It provides a safe and secure forum for teenagers wanting to discuss any issue affecting their lives. You can anonymously get advice from experts or other teenagers going through similar experiences in areas such as mental health concerns, self-harming, relationships and friendships.
Don't forget to document your emotional health and wellbeing work as part of your Healthy Schools Award