Study at home tips – wellbeing
By Anne Langford
The Old Vic wants to share some tips to help you study at home more easily. You’ve probably worked some things out for yourself, but we hope there are some new ideas here to inspire you. While this time is hard for many of us, there are also opportunities to learn more about ourselves, and develop skills and behaviours that will help us in all areas of our lives.
We are facing more disruption to our lives than many of us have ever experienced. Most of us will not be going to school, we may be worried about our health and that of our family and friends. We are being asked to behave in new ways that make even simple things difficult. We may be concerned about money and the future, and feel anxious, sad or scared. This stress impacts our mental and physical health and our ability to study. Taking care of our wellbeing is the first and most important thing we can do.
If you are struggling or feel unsafe, in real life or online, you can call Childline 0800 1111 (9am-midnight) – it’s free and the number won’t show up on the bill or you can go online to www.childline.org.uk
Wellbeing top tips
If you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious talk to your family and teachers as soon as possible, especially about school work.
Drink lots of water
Being dehydrated can affect our ability to focus, make us tired or irritable. Limit sugary drinks and caffeine which give a momentary boost but can make us feel worse.
Eat a balanced diet
Stress does funny things to our appetite – maybe you have gone off food or are snacking all the time. Notice how you are eating, try to avoid too many sugary or processed foods, and if you can eat regularly and snack on fruit, which gives more energy.
Screen free time
Lots of us are spending a lot more time in front of screens. When we focus on screens we blink less, our eyes dry out and become tired. Take regular screen breaks of five minutes every half an hour. Screens give off blue light which affects our body’s ability to sleep. Try and avoid screens for at least an hour before bed.
Relax and rest
Spending more time at home doesn’t mean it’s more restful. Plan time each day, away from screens, to rest and relax. Reading, writing a journal, making art, doing breathing exercises, daydreaming, looking at clouds, making or listening to music – it’s important to stop and wind down to stay healthy.
Many of us are moving less as we stay at home. Doing some exercise each day is really important to stay healthy, manage anxiety and improve our mood. YouTube has lots of free exercise classes, from high intensity HIIT to yoga to dance classes. Maybe you can exercise at the same time as family or friends and support each other?
Staying connected to family and friends and talking about feelings and worries is essential for good mental health. We may have to be physically apart from people we care about and that is hard. Phoning, video calls, sending messages, writing letters – spend some time each day connecting with people you care about.