We understand for a lot of people that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is causing a lot of stress. For some, this fear and anxiety can be overwhelming and brings strong emotions. In coping better with personal stress, you can ensure better mental health and wellbeing for yourself, family, friends and the local community.
Social distancing can be tough. So, it’s good to keep on top of your mental and physical health and wellbeing. Things will be different for a while, but we still can reach and support each other digitally. We can make our new daily working from home routines work for us and still chat with friends and enjoy being comfy at home.
Here are some top tips to support and manage your health and wellbeing at this time:
Avoid too much news and social media
If the constant updates are making you feel uncomfortable, take a break from the news and social media. Many find hearing about the pandemic constantly unsettling and upsetting and these worries may fuel more concern. You may also want to hide posts and topics on social media, meaning you are not greeted with the latest updates every time you visit your feeds.
There continues to be so much news all the time regarding the outbreak and it’s good to find a balance when informing and educating yourself.
If you need further information, be sure to access reputable and trusted sources. You can find up-to-date information and advice on Coronavirus here:
Keep in touch with family and friends
Social distancing does not mean we should not be using technology to interact with one another. Continue to connect with those you care about and talk about how you are feeling. Whether that’s on the phone, over video chat, messenger or social media.
It is a stressful time, so check in with friends and family regularly to make sure they are doing well, both mentally and physically. Doing this can help reduce stress in yourself and others, especially for those in self-isolation. Make positive time for those around you and savour this opportunity to strengthen your connections with others.
Take time to unwind
When you’re not studying or completing coursework, try to spend more time doing the activities you enjoy.
You could spend your time watching your favourite TV show of film, reading a book or working on an exciting new creative project. In taking time to unwind you can better manage any stress or low mood.
Activate Learning’s Students’ Union will be sending out regular weekly emails after half-term with hints, tips, and tricks on what they’re finding fun to do to get through the lockdown. Have a read of these to get some ideas and let us know if you have anything you want to share!
Don’t panic about upcoming deadlines
Be it about coursework or work deadlines, do not panic about pending projects and continue to complete the work you have been set and revise in your spare time.
The Government has not fully scoped out its requirements for grading this academic year yet. So, it is important that you continue to complete all scheduled and set work to the best of your ability as this could form your overall grade.
If you have concerns about this, your teachers are available to discuss things and Student Support are on hand to support you.
Be sure to check out our guide on how to survive home study during the coronavirus crisis.
Take care of your body
It is now even more important for us to take care of our physical wellbeing and keep active, especially as the majority of us are facing new daily routines, where we will be limited to our homes and can only exercise once each day.
Try to eat nutritious and well-balanced meals, exercise often and get plenty of sleep. Now is probably a good time to avoid alcohol.
We should be trying to follow a normal routine, so jump in the shower each morning and continue to follow NHS guidance for hygiene advice.
Look after your mind
Our mind needs some serious care at the moment. Be sure to take time out for yourself. If you are feeling on edge, practice deep breathing, stretching, meditation or other relaxation techniques. It is key to take time to unwind. Make time to walk in open space once a day where social distancing is possible.
A change of atmosphere can feel chaotic at first, creating a daily routine and schedule that works for you, can help you better manage your time and will help organise your life. In down time, be sure to take a moment for yourself, watch your favourite TV series, flick through a book you’ve been meaning to read or discover a new hobby!
Use this time of isolation to reflect on how you can improve yourself once this outbreak calms. Plan ahead, whether it be trying something new, discovering a new routine or planning for something you’ve always wanted to do!
Seek professional support if needed
Student Support and the Safeguarding team at Activate Learning are here to support you.
Anyone with concerns about their health in relation to Coronavirus should follow the Public Health England (PHE) guidance and only contact NHS 111 if this guidance advises them to do so.
You can also contact Mind UK who offer confidential mental health advice and support for those who have concerns. Contact them on 0300 123 3393 between 8.00am – 6.00pm on weekdays. Samaritans can also be contacted for free on 116 123.
If you’re a student or parent at an Activate Learning college, or you plan to visit one of our sites and you have any questions or concerns, please email email@example.com or contact the Activate Learning Group Safeguarding and Student Support team beforehand on 01865 550 401 between 8.30am and 5.00pm on weekdays.
Alternatively, you can contact the Department for Education (DfE) by email at DfE.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0800 046 8687 between 8am to 6pm on weekdays.
Please see the Activate Learning Coronavirus statement for our most up to date information.