We're back in lockdown, schools are closed. We've been here before but the toll that learning remotely can take its toll on our young people's mental health.
Children's Mental Health Week is back from 1 to 7 February and is a salutary reminder that we need to focus on the wellbeing of our young people more than ever.
There's no doubt that online learning is the optimum solution to ensuring our childrens' education is continued and that all of them reach their potential this school year but being on a screen all day is hard, even adults find it hard.
With this in mind, we are working at RHS to build in some screen breaks for our pupils with tasks designed to be completed away from the screen. We are also sharing tips with our pupils about how to keep themselves mentally and physically.
We thought we'd share those tips more widely to help parents and carers to support their children.
5 Top Tips:
- When you have a break from lessons, have a change of scenery. Leave the room, make a drink, move around. If the break is long enough, take some exercise and aim to get some fresh air every day.
- Try not to move straight to another screen such as your phone. It won't give your brain the break it needs. Have a chat with someone even if it is your parents!
- Take up a challenge. Have you got a delicious cake you'd like to try to make or a new skill you'd like to train for? The fulfillment you'll feel when you complete your challenge will be a fantastic lift.
- Take time to think about other people. Letting your thoughts drift constantly to yourself can be detrimental to your mental health. Have a think about your friends and family and what you could do to keep them cheerful. Helping others automatically gives you a boost.
- Stay hydrated. It is very easy to sit in front of your screen all day and not drink enough fluids. Make sure you refill your water bottle between lessons. It's a great reason to get up and move.
Resources for pupils and parents:
- Try one of Mr Cooper's 30-minute workouts or circuits challenges.#partofRHS - The Royal Hospital School
- Read Place2Be's tips for parents and carersCMHW2021 - tips for parents and carers.pdf (dropbox.com)
- The NSPCC has some reading material on mental healthChildren's mental health | NSPCC
- Try Childline's boost your mood game Boost Your Mood | Childline
- Anna Freud have created a flick book on how to support young people who are worried Guide to supporting children who are worried | Ways to support young people and children with anxiety (annafreud.org)