This is an uncertain and worrying time for all of us. Your routine may have changed, work at college may look different and you may feel cut off from seeing your friends and socialising. You may be thinking about how best to support yourself through this time, or you may be a parent thinking about how best to support your child during this time. This guidance is intended to support you with your thinking about how you might best support yourself and develop your skills if you wish to.
Try your best to keep to a morning routine, of sorts, especially with the time you get up, diet, exercise and sleep as this will have an impact on your mood and how you approach the day ahead. Do your best to not sleep in too late, although a lovely lie in is tempting for us all.
The Five Ways to Wellbeing is a framework that can help you to think about the different ways that you can support your emotional wellbeing. It is based on research that was conducted by The New Economics Foundation (2008) that identified the key things and actions that support our wellbeing. They identified five ways that we can all use to improve our general emotional wellbeing:
Connecting with other people can help us feel a sense of belonging and can help our overall wellbeing. Social distancing makes connecting with people outside of your family more difficult, but consider using technology to help you out.
What can I do?
Did you know that research has suggested that 10 minutes of light exercise (such as walking) improves our positive mood?
What can I do?
Learning can help our confidence and self-esteem. When we set our own goals and work to achieve them this can help our wellbeing. Social distancing will bring new challenges, but we can use this time to start something new. This is a great opportunity to develop skills for adulthood and explore creativity.
What can I do?
When we are busy, we can often go into autopilot and take little notice of our surroundings.
Take a break from the news and social media and concentration on what is happening in the here and now.
What can I do?
Doing things for others makes us feel good. It helps others feel good, improves our sense of belonging and helps us to keep things in perspective. It can help us to reduce stress and negative feelings.
What can I do?
Advice and guidance / useful websites for mental health and emotional wellbeing
Young Minds provides helpful guidance for young people who may be experiencing anxiety relating to Coronavirus
Mind provides a comprehensive list of contacts that young people can use if they are looking for advice or support relating to a range of issues relating to their mental heath.
For young people who have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) who have worries relating to contamination fears, OCD UK has some helpful tips to help them cope at this difficult time.
Support service for young people who provide advice on a range of issues from Mental Health to getting a job. You can talk to The Mix for free on the phone, by email or on their webchat. Freephone 0808 808 4994 (1pm to 11pm daily)
This app, created by the University of West England aims to help you to understand and manage anxiety and offers users a range of self-help methods.
Schools, colleges and universities remain open with protective measures in place, in line with current government guidelines. However, you may find that you have additional time at home where you may want to think about further developing your skills related to preparing for adulthood for example, skills for paid employment, independent living, good health, community participation and relationships.
It’s ok if right now it is difficult to concentrate and think about these things, and if for now you want to focus on maintaining your wellbeing and engaging with your learning.
If you want to, you might want to spend some of this time thinking about what matters to you, what is most important to you in each of these four areas. You might think about:
If you are a parent reading this guidance, you may want to think about how you might spend some time with your child to think about some of these questions and how they might best explore these ideas, for example, they may wish to draw out their dreams for the future.
Barclays Life Skills is a free to use platform with a variety of interactive tool to support young people and their parents develop their skills for work. Register on the website (for free) for access to a range of tools such as:
This free employability course support with the following:
Together the DFN Foundation and National SEND Employment Forum have created a series of videos to support young people with SEND to think about employment within the UK at this time.
You might want to spend some time researching different jobs via the National Careers Service website
Career Connect offers impartial careers advice and guidance to young people with a range of information online to support you to start thinking about possible employment opportunities.
A list of virtual tours and videos from universities and colleges, so you can see what it’s like on the campus and what facilities are available.
Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of creative classes, for example, illustration, photography, video and design.
Learn touch typing for free!
Learn Direct provide free interactive courses (following free learner registration). The following courses are available:
There are a range of online virtual cooking classes / cooking lessons that you can access for free at the moment if you would like to develop your skills in this area.
Delia’s cookery school has a range of video cooking lessons online focused on cakes, eggs, pastry, bread for beginners and perfect rice and pasta dishes.
When we focus on good health and healthy living, we are focusing just as much on our emotional health and wellbeing and our physical health. You might want to consider the Five Ways to Wellbeing discussed above and here are some activities that might support good health and health living:
Body Coach TV offers free home workouts to everyone, not matter what their fitness level.
Headspace offers mindfulness, relaxation and breathing exercises. During this time, Headspace are offering a collection of free to access meditations for you to listen to anytime.
This is part of collection called ‘Weathering the Storm’.
St John’s Ambulance free first aid app provides easy to follow advice on a range of first aid scenarios.
Learn about some top tips for sleep as a teenager from the children’s sleep charity.
Developing our skills in participation and relationships may feel more challenging with social distancing however there are creative ways that we can all feel a sense of community, participate and contribute to the wider community through these times.
The Google Arts and Culture App has virtual tours and online exhibitions from some of the world’s leading art galleries, including the British Museum and The National Gallery in London.
Every Thursday, the National Theatre is streaming free full lengths plays via YouTube.
Check out this updating list of plays, musicals and other stage and theatre productions that are currently streaming online for free.
A unique online signing course offering a full introduction for anybody who is interested in learning British Sign Language. Currently offered as a 'pay what you are able to' offer.
Use this time to learn a different language. Babbel are giving away a free month for all those affected by closures of education settings.
The Sofa Singers is a free online singing event, which aims to 'bring people together from around the world to spark joy and human connection’ Hundreds of singers join a Zoom call and learn a new song together. They are also hoping to livestream the session on YouTube so that more people can get involved.
Lifefulness Live launched recently and is running singalongs on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6pm. You can join the event on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube and simply singalong at the top of your voice! Choirs are led by a different performer every time.
An online virtual choir rehearsal for those who are currently experiencing or who have previously experienced mental health challenges. The choir first came together in March 2018 and usually rehearse at The Bridgewater Hall every Wednesday. They are open to everybody and always welcome new members.