This virus has turned things upside down. One minute you were at school, expecting to be preparing for exams over the Easter Holidays, the next minute we are in lockdown and the Easter holiday, May bank holidays and summer holidays have been all rolled into one. Your first thoughts are probably celebration, whoop whoop!
Let’s say you were not the biggest fan of school, but you generally showed up, connected with friends, did some work and got on with the routine of it. Whether you loved or loathed school, it still provided a routine, it was familiar and now going without those support systems and networks of friends and staff feel like a real loss.
Lockdown is not a holiday
Reality has set in and you realise how much we have all given up in order to help support the NHS and to save lives:
- Missing school friends, feeling isolated and disconnected
- Feeling robbed of a chance to sit exams and see what you might have achieved
- Confused and uncertain about how this will impact your future
- Missing key support services provided at school
- Stuck for privacy at home, because everyone is at home
- Tensions at home increase because there is so much added stress and fear around and if everyone is on top of each other, tempers fray and arguments and even violence can are real risks.
This time of uncertainty is stressful for everyone. The loss of routine and structure can really impact on your mood, you might feel stuck and fed up. You might feel irritable and short tempered. You may have just retreated to your room and are waiting for the call to get back to normal – whenever that might be.
So, over the next few weeks, we will provide you with as much information and support as we can to help you keep yourself feeling stable, secure, and ok over during this challenging time.
Create a sense of space and agree to have some privacy
It is important to have some ‘me time’, it might not be easy if your family are all at home during lockdown and, of course, going outside is limited to once a day.
- Do go outside, even if you feel a bit tired or fed up and can’t be bothered. Go for a walk around the block to clear your head and get your body moving. Because we know getting moving helps your mood and gives you energy.
- If you really can’t face going out, or you are in quarantine because you have the virus, then open the window and look up to the sky. Try to get a sense of spaciousness from looking at the expanse of sky. Breathe in good vibes and exhale bad vibes for a few minutes and allow yourself to feel better for a moment. Do this regularly.
- Schedule privacy breaks – if your home is full and you have little space, schedule privacy breaks. Each of you can take turn about at having some quiet chillout time in a room, say for an hour or 2. And when you are in that space, no-one is allowed to hassle you, demand anything of your or expect anything of you. You will then do the same for them when they are having some down time in that space. So, commit to a schedule and let everyone benefit from creating a zone in your home that is for rest. Even if it is a chair that is the safe space to just let go of worries and have some time to yourself, the same rules will apply. Get everyone to sign up to this idea and you will all benefit.
Key contacts for support
If you don’t feel safe at home, it is important to reach out for support and know that you are not alone.
You can talk to someone confidentially who is trained to listen and support you, over the phone, by text or by webchat. Here are some examples:
- Childline (0800 11 11) – Run a free 24-hour helpline, email service and online and phone counselling service for children and young people in the UK.
- Samaritans (116 123) – Emotional support for anyone feeling down, experiencing distress or struggling to cope.
- HopeLineUK (0800 068 4141, or text 07786 209697) – Advisors trained to help you focus on staying safe from suicide. They can provide advice and support that may help you to stay safe.
- The Mix (0800 808 4994) – Offer a helpline, email, live chat, telephone counselling service and crisis text line for anyone under 25 years old wanting support.
You may also find this article on how to recognise and cope with feelings of anxiety helpful.
Stay safe, say well, from all at U-evolve