The content we share in the Safer Schools app is tailored to fit the different members of your school community. Stress Awareness day is the first Wednesday each November and inspired by this, we will also be releasing this blog to children in your care.
Earlier this year, Barnardo’s released a survey stating that “by the age of 16, stress at school was a worry for 83% of children”. Empowering children to find their own way cope with stress from a young age will teach them pathways to help them in the future.
We have included some tips for dealing with stressful situations below, the underlying theme is of course to encourage them to ask for help, to talk to a trusted adult. Please do encourage them to download the app (if they haven’t already), and you could also show them the “Trusted Adult” video which can be found in the “H2b safer updates” section of the app.
Stress Awareness day 2018
Stress can be triggered in many different ways; you might be feeling stressed about school work or exams, a family situation, or something else that is happening in your life.
When you are feeling stressed, it is important to take action, take care of yourself and get help. Everyone feels stress differently, some people get an upset tummy, a headache or feel like they want to cry and others might have difficulty getting to sleep, get angry easily or don’t want to get up in the morning.
You know you best but when you are feeling stressed, it is important you talk to an adult you trust about how you’re feeling. They may be able to help you identify the things that are making you feel stressed (these are called triggers or stressors). When you pinpoint what is stressing you, you take a huge step towards making yourself feel better.
You can then talk about how you can tackle the things that are making you feel stressed. Just as everyone can feel stress differently, everyone has different ways to cope with stress too.
Read through our tips below and see if any will work for you!
Tips for Dealing with Stressful Situations
Face your fears
Sometimes the most stressful thing to do is to over-think. The idea of doing something can frighten us more than actually doing it. In situations like this, summon your courage, be brave and just do the thing you’re frightened of.
It could be getting up and singing in front of the school, playing in the football match or being the lead in the play in drama lessons. You might even find that you will not be afraid of doing this again in the future!
“Our fate lies within us, you only have to be brave enough to see it.”
– Merida, Brave
Use breathing exercises
Stress is both in your brain and your body. When we are faced with a stressful situation, our body releases chemicals to help us cope and can make our heart race, palms sweat and can upset our tummy. Being aware of your breathing and controlling can be a big help in relaxing us physically, so we can relax ourselves mentally. Breathing slowly tells our body “It’s okay, there’s no threat”. Focus on breathing in slowly through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
When you’re doing this, visualise yourself succeeding or say happy statements to help yourself cope. For example, if you are stressed about the dentist saying something like “I am safe. The dentist’s here to help me and my teeth stay healthy. Everything will be okay.”.
“SpongeBob, sometimes we have to look deep inside ourselves to find the answers to our problems.”
– Patrick Star, Spongebob
Set aside time each day to relax
Finding just 10 minutes a day to focus on relaxing yourself can make a massive difference. It could be when you wake up in the morning, before you sleep, at lunchtime or even on the bus to school. Get comfortable, and focus on your breathing. There are lots of apps that play relaxing music, sounds or guided meditations to help you relax. Some people like listening to calming music or audiobooks too.
“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
– Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh
Did you know scientists discovered there is a limit to the amount of time you can spend watching a screen per day before it has a bad affect on your health? Playing Fortnite, watching YouTube and scrolling through Instagram are fun and it’s great we can be sociable with our friends when we’re not with them. However, it is really important that you take a break from screens sometimes.
You could leave your phone at home when you take your dog for a walk or have a rule with your friends that you keep your phones in your pockets when you’re together. Switching off will actually allow you to connect more with the people you are with, and this simple change can work towards making you feel less stressed.
“Your mind is like this water, my friend. When it is agitated, it becomes difficult to see. But if you allow it to settle, the answer becomes clearer.”
– Oogway, Kung Fu Panda
Talk to someone
If something you have seen online is making you stressed or is giving you butterflies tell an adult you trust. Adults are here to help you, for some people, it is even their job! There are lots of helplines who pay adults to give you good advice.
If you want to talk to someone about stress, or anything that is on your mind call Childline on 0800 1111.
“Just keep swimming.”
– Dory, Finding Nemo