Staff Wellness

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. Please find some helpful links below:

Mental Health Foundation – Mental Health Awareness Week 

Changing minds: 20 mental health leaders supporting the nation’s wellbeing

Mental health: Can you tell if someone is struggling?

A message from us

We recognise the challenges of working in a school through the Coronavirus pandemic and appreciate the impact that Coronavirus may have on the mental health and wellbeing of staff, as well as pupils, especially when social contact with others is extremely limited.

We are very grateful for the commitment, dedication and hard work of staff throughout this time – both for those of you working directly with the pupils and also those of you working ‘behind the scenes’ in the admin, maintenance and other support teams. You have continued to put the children first and to ensure that we have been able to continue to provide an effective education for the children.

We are mindful that Coronavirus has been a challenge for us all and we recognise that some information about how to support mental health and wellbeing might be helpful for members of staff.

Support for Staff

The Senior Leadership Teams and the staff at Head Office are available to support staff if you have concerns. Sharon Hewitt, Claire Osborn and the Heads are all trained in mental health and wellbeing support. There are also other ‘mental health champions’ in each school who you can chat with.

Please do talk to one of us if you need to so that we can work together to help you to overcome the mental health and wellbeing challenges caused by Coronavirus.

Practical Tips

Plan your day and follow a routine

Without a set timetable to break up your day, you can quickly lose focus.  To stay on schedule, segment what you’ll do and when over the course of the day.  Use your online calendar to create personal events and reminders that tell you when to shift gears and start on new tasks.  Try to pepper your day with calls and online check ins so that you don’t feel lonely.  Consider doing less enjoyable tasks first thing so that you can ‘reward’ yourself with the tasks you enjoy later on in the day.

Make it harder to waste time on social media

Social media is designed to draw you in and keep you browsing. To counteract your social networks’ ease of use during work hours, if you are using your family computer or iPad consider moving your favourite apps into a folder so that they are out of site and perhaps disabling notifications during working hours.

Prioritise: write a ‘To Do’ List

Using a daily or weekly ‘To Do’ list can really help with self-motivation.  Use your list to sum up the day you’ve decided you’d like to have tomorrow. Take ten minutes before you stop work every day to make the next day’s list – give yourself something to be excited about or that you can look forward to completing each day.  Prioritise no more than three biggish tasks, and don’t be afraid to have a secondary list on a different page with things that need to be done, but not necessarily tomorrow.

Avoiding isolation – Have daily catch-ups

It’s easy to get through the day without speaking to anyone, but as social animals we all need a regular amount of human contact. Arrange a telephone or video catch-up with your team, perhaps at the same time every day. It sets a habit of talking to others and will invigorate you. Make sure there’s time at the beginning of the call to just chat about non-work matters, to keep our friendly connections strong.

Avoid multitasking and stay focused

It’s easy to start one project and then bounce to another without finishing the first.  Discipline yourself to focus, stay on task and accomplish a certain number of tasks every day. Some days you will be more productive than others, but overall, you might find you are more productive than you used to be.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Make sure to schedule time for regular exercise, keep healthy snacks around the house or place of work and remember to drink a lot of water.

Take regular breaks

Try to allow yourself time to get up from your work to stretch. This will really help you both physically and mentally, and if you take breaks you’ll be more productive. You could even set an alarm if you think you might need reminding to take a break!

Get out

Depending on the lockdown restrictions, it is important to move about outside and get some fresh air. Energy levels dip after lengthy periods of time sat at a computer, so get into the habit of going outside at least once a day. Open a window to get some fresh air in while you work, and when you are outside when it’s sunny, you may be restoring some of your vitamin D!

Share any concerns

Most new experiences feel uncomfortable at first, until you have established a routine. Let your line manager, an SLT member or your head know if you are feeling overwhelmed. Share some of the positives you experience with your colleagues to see what you can learn from each other.

Podcast of the Month

Feel Better, Live More

by  Dr Rangan Chatterje‪e
In this podcast, we hear stories from leading health experts and exciting personalities who offer easy health life-hacks, expert advice and debunk common health myths giving you the tools to revolutionise how you eat, sleep, move and relax. Hosted by Dr Chatterjee – one of the most influential GPs in the country with nearly 20 years experience, star of BBC 1’s Doctor In the House, and author of international best-selling book ‘The 4 Pillar Plan’ – Feel Better, Live More aims to inspire, empower and transform the way we feel. When we are healthier we are happier because when we feel better we live more.

Listen to Feel Better, Live More

Blog post of the Month

8 Brain-Boosting Meals and Snacks to Cook at Home

by Well and Good 

We believe that cooking is an important piece of the wellness puzzle and that everyone can make magic (or at least some avo toast) happen in the kitchen. Sometimes, you just need someone to show you where to start. Cook With Us offers smart cooking tips and tricks from pros, easy recipes that help you make the most of simple ingredients, and all-around support for your cooking journey.

Read the Blog 

Book of the Month

The Midnight Library

By Matt Haig 

Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?

Buy the Book

Useful Resources