Looking after Yourself and Others
Looking after Others
These are difficult and stressful times and if you have a concern about a young person then please share this with us. Click here to send us a message OR phone the school from Monday–Friday to speak to the safeguarding lead on duty. Sharing a concern is the first step to helping people in need.
Looking after Yourself
These are difficult and odd times we can all get a bit down with the circumstances that we are facing. It is almost impossible to not be anxious; you would have been anxious preparing for your examinations too. Of course, this is a different type of anxiety, as you probably have more questions than answers. We have more information on dealing with any anxiety you may be feeling. If you need more support we encourage you to contact KOOTH which is a Citywide service that is there to support for young people’s emotional and mental health:
“Kooth, a new free, safe and anonymous service to support young people’s emotional and mental health in Birmingham, launched yesterday. We know young people have been worried about exams being cancelled and the impact of Covid-19 on their loved ones. This new service is available for young people aged 11 to 25 for online self-referral at www.kooth.com
Kooth is linked into the wider mental health support from Forward Thinking Birmingham and offers:
- Online mental health counselling and chat services from midday to 10pm during the week, and 6pm to 10pm at weekends
- Peer to peer support through moderated discussion forums
- Self-care tools and resources to build resilience
- Early response to and identification of emotional wellbeing and mental health problems
- And there are no waiting lists, referrals or thresholds to access the service”
Check out this really useful information from; The Student Room:
How you’re staying on top of your mental health during the coronavirus lockdown
The latest message from the NHS is to “stay home, save lives” – here are some tips from the community to help you cope with being stuck at home
The UK has been put on lockdown to help slow down the spread of coronavirus, meaning that we’re only allowed to leave the house if we absolutely have to – to go food shopping, for example – and that we can’t meet up with any friends or family who we don’t already live with. This might seem harsh, but it’s for good reason. COVID-19 is an incredibly quick-spreading virus, and we need to slow down the amount of people getting sick to avoid hospitals being overwhelmed with patients.
Social distancing – or, in other words, staying at home and not meeting up with people – is the only way we have to slow coronavirus down at the moment. If people aren’t going out and mixing with each other, they’re not going to be accidentally spreading the virus either, after all.
So by staying at home you’re doing a truly great thing and really helping out – but what about the impact that social isolation can have on your mental health? This is a tough time for lots of people, but there are little things you can do to feel better – here are a few ways that TSR members are coping.
Turn off the news
Yes, it’s good to be aware of what’s going on, but there’s a pretty relentless stream of coronavirus news out there at the moment, and overloading on all that doom and gloom can get really stressful really quickly.
Perhaps think about whether you need to be checking the news more than once or twice a day, and then limit yourself accordingly.
“My parents have been watching BBC news 24/7 lately and I've barely seen anything at all on there that isn't about the coronavirus. It is definitely stressing me out more than it should be,” says TSR member GreenCub.
“Stop listening to the news so often, I beg,” says Parties, while CoffeeAndPolitics agrees that “I have to turn off the news, otherwise it’s just too much to bear.”
Limit your social media scrolling…
Of course, you should definitely stay connected to your friends – but endlessly scrolling through your social media feeds isn’t necessarily the best way to do it. Do you really want to read your second cousin’s ex-boyfriend’s conspiracy theory-heavy status updates or would it be better for your mental health to log off for a while?
As Ambitious1999 says, “I know it’s hard staying away from your contacts and favourite groups, but Facebook is not worth the stress and misery from the constant bad news.”
…But still stay in touch with your friends
It’s really important that you stay in touch with your friends. Having a chat or sending some texts is a great way to boost your morale and make being stuck at home feel way less isolating.
“Try keeping in touch with people by video calling and messaging,” says TSR member shadowdweller. “It can be easy to let this slide with everything else going on, but it’s important to make time for it.”
There are loads of group video calling and messaging apps out there – from FaceTime to Houseparty, Zoom, Google Hangouts or Whatsapp – so there’s nothing stopping you from checking in with your pals as often as you fancy.
Get moving (indoors)
Whether you’d rather do star jumps with Joe Wicks on YouTube, stretch out on your yoga mat or slip into your sparkliest ‘80s jazzercise leotard, there are all sorts of exercises you can do at home – and the mental health benefits of getting active are well documented.
“Exercising releases endorphins, which causes us to feel less pain and fewer negative effects and can bring a sense of euphoria,” says Hallowmancer. “This makes you feel happier and have a general sense of wellbeing.”
Have a routine
Whether you’re at school, college or university, you’ve just had your usual daily schedule snatched away from you pretty abruptly – so creating a new routine might restore a bit of normality.
You don’t have to map out every last second of your day, but even something as basic as having a shower and getting dressed when you wake up can be a big help.
“Keeping in a routine is really important for me,” says TSR member s666. “Making sure that the first thing I do in a morning is get up, get changed and overall make myself feel a bit more human is critical in setting myself up for a good day.”
“It can be really hard sometimes,” s666 adds, “but one little step to make yourself feel good in the morning is sometimes enough motivation to keep getting on with the day.”
ravenwing suggests that “a journal or planner can help with feelings of low motivation – both in helping you plan for the days ahead, and by noting down the things you’ve done you can feel proud of your achievements.”
And if you want to keep on top of your studies, an anonymous TSR member suggests that you could follow your previous timetable, as “this will make it easier to structure a routine”.
Take up a hobby
Staying at home should mean that you’ll have a lot more time on your hands than usual. If you feel up to it you could make really good use of all that extra time by taking up a hobby, whether you fancy trying something totally new or picking up where you left off with an old project.
TSR member ravenwing is planning on getting their green fingers: “looking after something – whether a pet or a potted plant – helps. Cacti are good as they’re pretty hard to kill (although I’ve murdered about four by now).”
You’re not alone
It’s easy to get trapped inside your own head and feel very lonely when you’re going through something stressful. But remembering that everyone is going through this crisis together should hopefully make you feel a bit less alone.
“Know that you’re not alone and everyone is in the same boat,” says an anonymous TSR member.
Mental health charities and helplines
Campaign Against Living Miserable (CALM) – 0800 58 58 58
Childline – 0800 1111
The Mix – 0808 808 4994
The Mix also has resources for dealing with coronavirus anxiety.
stem4 is a charity supporting teenage mental health. You can find resources related to helping you dealing with coronavirus anxiety on their website.
Young Minds are committed to helping young people improve their mental health. If you’re in crisis, you can text the YoungMinds Crisis Messenger for 24/7 support – for urgent help text YM to 85258.