Mental Health and Wellbeing
At Frome College we know that the positive mental health and well-being is vital to success both personally and academically. Mental health and well-being includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being and it affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health and well-being is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through to adulthood. We know that it is likely that all members of our community will experience challenges to their mental health and well-being at some point. Whether this is for a short period of time or longer, there are lots of different ways in which the College can support you through any challenges that you might experience.
At College we have a range of different types of support which you can access should you need to. Details can be found in the drop-down menu on this page.
Remember that we should all think about our mental health and well-being. Like our bodies, our mind also needs ‘exercise’ and care. It is important to remember that small mental health issues can easily become large ones if left ignored. Self-care is incredibly important. Every single day try to get into the habit of doing those things that support your mental and physical wellbeing. This might be as simple as pausing to calm yourself and stop to listen to the birds or if you have had a particularly tough week recharging with a ‘lazy’ weekend duvet day and some good TV might be the thing you need to prepare you for the next productive week. Always remember to keep well hydrated and drink lots of water, try to eat healthily, exercise regularly and ensure you get lots of the right sort of sleep.
This is the basic pre-requisite for just about all the ways to take of yourself. You need time, and it has to be part of a daily routine. It’s not always easy to set time aside with everything going on in life, but learning to carve it into your schedule is necessary. If you start now, it will become a habit. Many of the activities below don’t require a lot of time – some only take up 15-20 minutes in your day. It’s the regularity that counts.
We’ve come a long way from meditation being considered hocus pocus. Mindful meditation has proven to change the structure and function of the brain, and it’s a fabulous way to promote relaxation while reducing anxiety, depression, and stress. It can be learned in-person with an expert, or online (there are plenty of YouTube instructional videos or smartphone apps). This is something you can do anytime in any place, whenever you need it!
Yoga and other types of Eastern methods of activity involve stretching, improving flexibility, connecting mind and body – all of which are helpful for stress reduction and wellness, and have been used extensively for thousands of years. The best way to learn Yoga is through a studio, but you can also do so from videos online.
Working out comes in many forms. There’s training for strength, endurance, and aerobic activity (getting your heart beat up). But simply walking is great exercise – plus it gets you outside! Exercise not only gets you physically fit, but it’s a natural way to help decrease depression and anxiety.
Easier said than done, but sleep deprivation is detrimental to a person’s thinking, and their physical and emotional state. Most young people need eight to nine hours of restful sleep to function at their best. It’s not easy fitting this into a schedule filled with academic, social and recreational activities, but it sure has a big payoff. Try to have as regular a sleep schedule as possible, and you’ll generally find that your “biological clock” will remember when to fall asleep and wake up.
Choose a creative outlet to convey your thoughts and feelings. This could be journaling, writing poetry, painting or drawing, doing photography, dancing, or playing music. The key here is channelling your emotional state through an art form. While some may choose to do this seriously and take lessons, self-taught artists of all kinds also get the job done. And, don’t strive for perfection! Simply immersing yourself in creative arts can ward off adverse thoughts and feelings.
If you are lucky and can have a pet, there may be few better ways to foster self-care. Cuddling with a pet, taking care of them, and feeling their unconditional love is something we rarely experience on such a consistent basis.
Research has found that meeting with peers and talking about what’s going on with you - including past events you’re still processing -- prevents burnout and promotes well-being. Group connections are so important for fostering resilience and releasing chemicals in the brain that support well-being. And the activities don’t have to be just talking. Things like doing art projects together, playing with slime, or gaming all work. And despite the pressure to have huge numbers of “friends” or “followers,” it only takes a few special friends to make a big difference in your life.
There’s a reason we treasure our state and national parks, waterways, and beaches. Think of the times you enjoyed a great sunrise or sunset, took a scenic hike, rode your bike in a park, played in the snow, or just took a walk around your neighbourhood. Remember how it felt? There is something to our relationship with the outdoors that makes us feel good, if we can allow ourselves a few minutes not to rush or be disturbed by our ring tones.
It’s hard. But really, you don’t need it on constantly, as if it’s stitched to your side. You can take a break, even for just part of the day. There may be some withdrawal or anxiety about not being right there for what you think is critical, but just stop and think. How many messages, Instagram stories or other digital communications do you need to see immediately? Very few! Once you try it, you may actually find it refreshing to have a break from the constant notifications.
Our brains are wired for giving. In fact, the chemicals released by the brain during the process of giving is far more rewarding than when we receive gifts. Joining in even small local efforts, such as in community centres, a food bank, volunteering in a charity shop, organising a charity event in College – all foster the feeling (and reality) that you are making a positive impact on another person’s life.