Welcome to the wellbeing page. Mental and physical health are always important, but especially at this very challenging time. In this section of the website you’ll find some links and guidance to help support you and your family in looking after your mental health and wellbeing.
Free Webinar: Wild Minds
What: The webinar will be run by the clinical psychologist who supports the free, eight week course for 14-17 year olds who have mild mental health concerns
When: Wednesday 5 May, 9.30am to 10am
Where: Hosted on Zoom
Register: Please register via https://scambs-gov-uk.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ac7TiqO0SVGgJrOwoooknA
What if I’m busy? If you would like to find out more but can’t attend on the day, please register, and we will provide a recording to anyone who has registered.
What is Wild Minds?
Wild Minds was set up over the last two years in response to the current context around the mental health of young people within the UK; NHS mental health services have experienced greatly increased referrals over the last 10 years, increased wait times for specialist support, and increasing thresholds to gain access.
Developed by South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridge Sport Lakes Trust (which runs Milton Country Park where the course is hosted), it is supported by a Clinical Psychologist and uses the THRIVE model (a national approach working to transform and integrate children’s mental health services).
- Free outdoor activities at Milton Country Park (all equipment will be provided too)
- To support 14-17 year olds’ wellbeing
- Group based bush craft, survival skills, paddle boarding, yoga and mindfulness – no experience necessary for any activities
- An hour and a half, each weekend, for eight weeks
- Run by skilled instructors and youth workers
Looking after yourself during the new lockdown
We’ve done it before so we can do it again! This time we’ll do it even better though because;
- We’re more prepared with technology to access work!
- You should get more ‘live lessons’ that should help you feel connected!
- We have an end in sight! Vaccines are not far away for the most vulnerable which should mean we can get back to school!
Below are some tips and ideas for looking after yourself:
- Keep to a routine: It is really easy to fall into some bad habits when we don’t have to physically get up and out of the house! Try and keep to a routine as much as possible. Aim to complete your daily PE lesson at 9:00am. Exercise is a great way to start the day.
- As teenagers, you need a lot of this! So, get to bed at a reasonable time. The Mental Health Foundation have a great booklet called ‘How to Sleep Better’ that you could read if you are struggling with sleep.
- Keeping Active: We are all permitted to get out for exercise every day. Get out on your bike, scooter, skateboard. Go for walks or a run. Get your heart rate up, try and do this in daylight so you get some vitamin D. Yoga, Zumba, dance, shuttle runs and PE fitness challenges don’t need a lot of space!
- Eating and cooking well: Cooking is a very ‘mindful’ activity. As well as bringing you into the moment and focusing you, it is a great way to contribute to your household. Doing things for others is a great way to make yourself feel better too.
- Creativity: Colouring, cooking, gardening, drawing, writing, crafts, music – all of these will keep you in the moment and focus you.
- Planning ahead: Many people make lists and keep journals. It helps them with targets and track how they are feeling. Try it!
- Learning a new skill: Many of us have learnt the value of being creative during the downtime that the current circumstance has brought us and there are various activities and ideas you could get from looking online. University of Arts London has a newsletter which a parent can sign up for with weekly activity sheets. There are also lots of downloadable mindfulness colouring sheets available.
- Keeping in contact with friends, family and school: This is so important but, of course, really difficult when our physical social restrictions are so strict. Lockdown places a lot of strain the relationships with people you live with. Be open, it’s important. But, if something upsets you, always take a pause before reacting to try and understand what is upsetting and why. Do what you can to be positive, supportive and compassionate. Beyond your household, prioritise contacting people you love who you know really need the contact. Arrange activities with your friends online. For example, plan to bake together over Zoom. Get you ingredients together then chat and share your activity and experience in real time.
- Knowing what help is available: Keeping worries to yourself can be draining and can feel like you are carrying a weight on your shoulders, talking to people can really lift that and help share or pass on that worry.If you are worried about something or someone, it’s important that you know the help and advice that is available, so make sure that you look at the information that is on the Bulletin and School website of who you can contact for advice or a friendly ear. Below are some more links and info to other people and sites to go to for support.
Wellbeing for Children and Families
There’s now a section called ‘Explaining the coronavirus to young children’ with resources including a new book by Nosy Crow, illustrated by Axel Scheffler (The Gruffalo); as well as the Children’s Commissioner’s Guide to Coronavirus.
There is also a wonderful resource, created by Strengthening Minds, an organisation based in London. The Strengthening Minds Guide to Staying Home…In Style is a brilliant resource full of ideas, games, activities and resources for families with young children including a section on wellbeing and mindfulness.
There are new things being added to the website all the time, and it can be hard to keep up. So a section called ‘Recently-added’ has been created on the landing page which will tell you what’s been uploaded in the last few days:https://www.cambslearntogether.co.uk/home-learning/hub
Useful contacts and sites:
The Blurt Foundation:
Blurt It Out has a "coronavirus helpful hub" with great support for adults, especially parents, at this challenging time. https://www.blurtitout.org/resource/the-coronavirus-helpful-hub#parenting.
Chathealth is a confidential texting service run by the School Nursing Team (NHS). Their number is 07480635443
You can contact Childline about anything and everything and they have lots of useful tips and advice online, including on keeping calm. Their website is https://www.childline.org.uk/get-support/ and their number is 0800 1111. There is also an email section on their website.
Kooth has online support and there are staff available to talk to Mon-Fri 12pm-10m and Sat-Sun 6pm-10pm. Kooth also have lots of useful articles written by young people and a journal section. https://www.kooth.com/
https://youngminds.org.uk/ Young Minds also have an urgent care text service and you text YM to 85258
Other Websites and Apps
What does Mindfulness mean?
Mindfulness means being present and aware of your actions in the moment whilst calmly acknowledging thoughts, feelings and senses.
Why might Mindfulness be useful to try?
Mindfulness focuses on activities you can do to help promote calmness. Mindfulness also looks at ways we can think and be aware of everyday activities. During a challenging time, some of these exercises may be useful to try, whether they are part of your daily routine or a conscious effort to complete a mindful activity.
Mind UK have created some ideas and examples of mindful exercises such as:
- Mindful eating. This involves paying attention to the taste, sight and textures of what you eat. For example, when drinking a cup of tea or coffee you could focus on how hot and liquid it feels on your tongue, how sweet it tastes or watch the steam that it gives off.
- Mindful moving, walking or running. Notice the feeling of your body moving. You might notice the breeze against your skin, the feeling of your feet or hands against different textures on the ground or nearby surfaces, and the different smells that are around you.
- The mindful body scan. This is where you move your attention slowly through different parts of the body, starting from the top of your head moving all the way down to the end of your toes. You could focus on feelings of warmth, tension, tingling or relaxation of different parts of your body.
- Mindful colouring and drawing. Focus on the colours and the sensation of your pencil against the paper, rather than trying to draw something in particular. You could use a mindfulness colouring book or download mindfulness colouring images.
- Mindful meditation. This involves sitting quietly and focusing on your breathing, your thoughts, sensations in your body and the things you can hear around you. Try to bring you focus back to the present if your mind starts to wander. Many people also find that yoga helps them to concentrate on their breathing and focus on the present moment.
Mindfulness can feel like an abstract concept and there are some really helpful YouTube videos to help you understand and explore Mindfulness further such as:
PE with Joe