By Pam Mason on 21 Jan 2021
Happy & Healthy
We are one month into lockdown 2021, how are you managing with life’s new normal? Many school staff are still working in schools across the country and are doing a wonderful job. We are all experiencing the COVID storm but it is important to acknowledge as individuals we have different boats to navigate the storm. Some of us will be working hard in school, some at home looking after and/or home-schooling children on top of our work priorities and teaching, some will be caring or worrying about their parent’s health and wellbeing or you may be struggling with isolation if living alone or have relationship issues.
For schools with the majority of staff still attending, leaders should ensure the wellbeing and happiness of their staff is kept a priority; ensure that staff are involved in updating and reviewing risk assessments; look at the possibility of all staff having some time working at home during the week; keep virtual team meetings a priority to ensure staff have connection time; set up a fun challenge that staff and students can take part in – who wants to climb Mount Everest next week? Work together to get the miles in; or deliver mindfulness sessions to your staff team virtually; all of these things should help boost moral.
Mental and physical health issues we know have risen sharply within 2020 in the general population. It is important we all understand it is normal to feel frazzled or experience low mood and anxiety from time to time during these difficult months. Most of our anxieties resonate from things outside of our control which can exacerbate symptoms. The end of COVID is hopefully in sight with the vaccine for all just months away, it is important we work together and support each other where possible. One thing we all should be investing time in, is looking after and being kind to ourselves.
We have a wonderful Wellbeing Team at One Education to help you every step of the way, please get in touch for help and support.
Top tips for staying mentally well:
- Have a daily structure – Write a day plan!
- Set and maintain a sleep routine (7 – 9 hours)
- Try to eat a healthy diet – avoid too much sugar and processed food
- Keep in contact with friends, family and loved ones online or on the telephone, where possible – even write a letter!
- Award yourself with daily ‘You Time’ – a bath, a magazine, a walk, meditation
- Restrict media and social media usage – not only a waste of time it can create personal negativity
- Practice ‘Gratitude’ – write 3 things down each day which you are thankful for – Yes, a glass of cold wine counts!
- Try and keep positive – each morning start the day with a positive thought
- Get outdoors – 5, 10, 30 minutes it all counts
Physical Activity ideas
Keeping active is so important, it doesn’t have to mean leaving the house all the time. Here are some resources I have found useful to keep fit over lockdown so far:
- FIIT – A great app which can be downloaded to a tablet or via SKY on your TV, masses of different classes to suit a variety of tastes (first 30 days free).
- NHS Coach to 5 k – This will make a runner out of anyone – Just ask Rachel Foster!
- Yoga with Adrienne – a free 30 day Yoga platform on You Tube.
- Walking – Anyone up for a 10,000 steps a day challenge?
New Wellbeing Trend 2021:
Cold showers and cold-water immersion is set to be big business in 2021 according to Forbes. More and more experts are recognising the energising benefits of cold showers and treatments and its popularity is set to balloon in 2021making its way onto most people’s social media feeds. The best thing is anyone can access a basic form of this therapy at home in their bathrooms.
So, hit the shower, blast to cold and see how long you can stand the freeze!
Working at home tips:
- Make a clear distinction between home and work times, pack your laptop away at the end of your shift if using family spaces to work in
- Try and vary your work station, if taking a call sit on the settee or outside if it’s dry!
- Plan to get a 10 minute break every 90 mins of time worked, don’t forget to take a longer break for lunch.
- Practice a 5-10 minute break to be alone between finishing work and spending time with the family to relieve any stress or tension and to gather your thoughts.
- Get prepared the night before or in the morning with healthy snacks and lunches for the family to grab when needed.
- Set up your main work area next to a natural light source where possible.
It’s so important to get the right things inside us food wise. A healthy diet doesn’t have to be fancy or cost the earth. Make sure you’re hitting five a day plus of fruit and vegetables and experiment with different meats, fish, spices and sauces.
Here are a couple of nourishing recipes below from the lovely Jeanette Jackson at Manchester Stress Institute: