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Top 10 tips for self-care at school this year

Top 10 tips for self-care at school this year

by Caroline Hardaker

Back to school and feeling a little overwhelmed by strange timetabling and safety precautions in the classroom?

Covid-19 has had a huge impact on how we go about our daily lives in the UK, so it’s understandable if you’re feeling anxious about how your future, and your studies, have been affected.

To help you look after yourself this academic year, we’ve created some top tips for dealing with some of the challenges you might face.

Please note, this blog has been developed by our marketing department for general information purposes only. You should always seek professional advice if you have concerns about your mental health.

Give yourself time

After months spent at home away from your friends and teachers during the last UK lockdown, it was bound to feel strange being back at school or college.

Following enhanced safety measures in a known and familiar environment where previously you’ve always felt secure, will also be unsettling.

Give yourself time to get used to any new measures at school and try not to get frustrated by them. They’re in place to keep you, your friends and teachers safe – and they won’t be forever.

Be savvy about social media

It’s easy to feel swamped by all the news reports and rapidly changing information about Covid-19. In a world heavily influenced by social media, we’re more likely to get that information through our social accounts – a potentially far less reliable source than a trusted news station.

Although social media might keep us connected with our friends and loved ones, don’t become a slave to it. Instead:

  • clean up your social media feed so you only follow positive people and trusted accounts that give authentic content
  • don’t take sensational headlines as gospel; if you’re curious about a story, fact check it.
  • try limiting the amount of time you spend on social media, or set specific times when you go online
  • think about how you use social media and the effect it has on you – make sure it’s a positive part of your day

Focus on the positives

School isn’t just about lessons, homework and exams, it’s also about making friends and enjoying new experiences, mastering skills and exploring new subjects, belonging to a community and discovering your own potential.

Stay positive about your school experience by focusing on what your enjoy most about your school day – whether that’s seeing your friends, playing for a sports team, or immersing yourself in a subject you love.

Be prepared  

Packing your school bag the night before, getting your uniform ready, setting your alarm – these are all tasks that help put you in the right frame of mind to go to school.

Make sure you’re organised and have everything you need when you get to school. Stay on top of your homework and any assignments so you’re prepared for your lessons and can make the most of your time in class.

If you’re still accessing some of your learning online, being organised is key here, too. Treat an online lesson the same as you would a class-based session and log on in time, ready to work, with everything you need to hand.

Establish a routine 

Create a structure that supports your learning at both your school or college and at home. 

Draw up a timetable of lessons, lesson preparation, homework and revision periods. Add in downtime, too – this is particularly important if elements of your learning are still online so you have a definite break between your studies and home life. 

Whether you realise it or not, taking control of your learning in this way will help prepare you for university and more independent study. 

Try not to worry 

It’s easier said than done, but try not to worry about the time away from your studies during lockdown – the government, your school or college, your teachers and your family understand how much of an impact the pandemic has had on you and your education. 

And don’t be overwhelmed by how much work you think you have to catch up on. If you’re worried about your progresstalk to your teachers. Being pro-active and discussing your concerns will help keep your anxiety under control. 

Take steps to stay stress-free  

If you’re feeling stressed and anxious about your studies, here’s a few stress-busting tips: 

  • put a time limit on how long you worry about something. Go through every possible scenario, come up with a game plan for dealing with the issue – and then stop thinking about it. If the worst happens, you’re now better prepared to cope with the situation  
  • set positive goals, being realistic about what you want to achieve and how, and then work towards those goals  
  • take time out – whether that’s relaxing in front of the TV after a day hitting the books, taking a walk to clear your head, or just snatching a few moments to breathe deeply to calm and relax your mind and body. 

Look after your health 

If you’re fit and healthy, you’ll not only feel good, you’ll also study more effectively. Look after your health, follow a sensible, balanced diet and get enough sleep. 

Get active with a new sport, or keep playing your favourite sport. Sport and exercise are great for your physical health as well as your mental wellbeing, triggering the production of endorphins in your body which act as natural mood lifters. 

Ask for help 

We all need someone to talk to when we’re worried, so find someone you trust and tell them what’s on your mind. Whether it’s a parentfriend or teacher, talking to them about your anxieties can help keep things in perspective. 

If you’re finding it tough to ask for help, Young MindsChildline and the Samaritans, all offer confidential listening services – all you need to do is pick up the phone. 

Get the facts 

In an era of ‘fake news’ make sure you know the facts about Covid-19. Get your information from trusted sources like the NHS or get the latest updates on the pandemic here.

We hope you’ve found this blog post useful – do keep checking back with us for more helpful study advice and revision tips as you start preparing for university. If you need some support with your university application, why not download our guide to writing a personal statement below? This year, we've included added guidance on how to project the transferable skills you've gained during the Covid-19 pandemic.

download your guide to writing a personal statement