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Lockdown Blog #28 - OMGoodness, where did the last 5 months go?



Well it’s that time of year again when schools, colleges and universities return for a new academic year! I know in my house we are in full swing for the return. Buying a new school bag, uniform and shoes, and feeling the usual anxiety that comes with a new academic year. This year it’s completely different to any other due to Covid being around and the new measures in place to keep us all safe. In Scotland they have already returned to learning and today I am seeing reports of young people being asked to wear masks when walking in corridors and communal areas with Wales looking like they are going to follow suit. There are so many questions about returning and these can bring some anxiety, these feelings are normal and something that most people experience but hopefully by reading this blog you will go away with some strategies to help you cope with any anxiety that may occur. You may have none which is great but I hope you can keep these coping techniques in mind in case this changes or a situation comes up and you may need them. Grounding Techniques Such as: Noticing the feeling, it’s important not to ignore how you are feeling, your feelings are real to you. Look around the room and recognise - 5 things you can see 4 things you can hear 3 things you can touch 2 things you can smell and  1 thing you can taste This takes you out of your brain and thoughts and brings you back into the present. Rectangular breathing Short breaths in and longer breaths out, this helps to regulate your breathing, reduce your heart rate and help you feel calmer. Mindfulness Mindfulness, there are some good ones on YouTube, take a look and see which ones you like, each person will be different so try and find one that you like. Visualisation, this involves imagining you are some where else, your happy place, on a beach for example, what you can see, hear, smell etc. Both of these are good for relaxation and taking notice of your body. Put your thoughts on trial If you are anxious and your thoughts are running away from you, try and focus about the facts of the situation, most of the time the facts are a lot less scary than our thoughts. Over thinking and focusing on our thoughts changes our feelings and behaviours usually in a negative way, trying to focus on the facts can usually have a positive impact on our thoughts and behaviours.  Journal Writing a journal or diary can allow all your thoughts and feelings to come out of your head and be putdown on paper, seeing these can make them more manageable, make them easier to cope with and can make more sense than when they are spiralling around your head.  Worry time  Give yourself 30 minutes to 1 hour a day to worry, write down all your worries throughout the day, then set yourself 30 mins to an hour to go through your list, at the end of the time destroy the list and start writing your worries down again ready for the next ‘worry time’. For example, if you worried about COVID and find yourself constantly checking the news and social media you would limit the time you are checking by only being allowed to look in your ‘worry time’. The idea is whether you worry for 24hours or 1 hour the outcome of the worry doesn’t change. So use your time to do something productive rather than something that is out of your control. For more help with mental health check out youngminds.org.uk, speak to a trusted adult or book a chat with your GP. One thing I would like you to remember is that we are here for you and you are not alone! Mental health affects everyone, maybe not directly but we all know someone who suffers with mental health issues and if you are one of those who don’t suffer, check on a friend who does. It all starts with talking. We can all make a positive impact on someone just by saying ‘How are you?’ and don’t forget, It’s ok not to be ok. 


- Darren.


This week’s resource…

Website: YoungMinds

Can be found: youngminds.org.uk

About: The UK’s leading charity fighting for children and young people's mental health.

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