Top tip: Exercise doesn't just mean intense team sports or lifting weights. Make small changes to your routine, such as walking to school or going for a run once a week. Cleaning the house even counts as exercise!
Top tip: Be aware of other people's feelings. See this quote from Robin Williams, who struggled with depression:
“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”
Top Tip: Communication is key in all types of relationship - friends, family, romantic partners. Don't bottle up how you feel - tell the person concerned and talk it through together. This should help avoid common misunderstandings!
Dealing with stress
It's no secret that exams are stressful, and that you have more to juggle than ever before. Being prepared and managing time effectively helps prevent stress. By using the tips below, you can help yourself prepare for success.
- Make a revision timetable, which also includes your extra curricular clubs and down time. Getting this balance is really important, so don't fill every second with studying!
See an outline for one you could use on the link >>>
- Ensure you get enough sleep, at the same time each night. This is when your brain files away what you learn during the day into your Long Term Memory... useful for those Shakespeare quotations!
- Ensure you exercise, as this releases hormones which reduce stress.
- Eat a well balanced diet. Have what you like, we aren't suggesting you exist on lettuce leaves alone; but, your body is like a machine. You get out what you put in - make sure you look after it if you want it to perform in exams and hobbies.
Struggling with stress or anxiety? Watch the video to find out about Jordan's story.
Exercise is necessary!
The human body is designed for movement. Teenagers (11-16 years old) should do 60 minutes of moderate exercise every day. At the least, you should exercise 3 times a week. But, what does this mean?
'Moderate' exercise means your should leave you out of breath, but not like you've just sprinted anywhere! This means it has increased your heart beat, and your body is using energy. You could achieve this by being active at break time or lunchtime, joining a school or community sports club or the gym at YMCA, or even by walking or cycling to school. The University of Edinburgh found that 'Physical activity has a large potential to enhance our wellbeing. Even bursts of 10 minutes can increase our mental alertness, energy and positive mood... Researchers have found that physical activity can have both immediate and long-term benefits on academic performance.'
You don't need any expensive equipment or gym membership - check out the video for an 8 minute exercise session you can do at home or even at lunchtime!
Building positive relationships
We relate to each other all the time - we are constantly socialising. This is why relationships of all types are so important. If you can build strong, positive, respectful relationships, you stand a much higher chance of being happy and successful.
- Consent. No means no, and you should respect a person's choice, as you would want them to respect yours.
- Speak Up. You should never feel pressured into actions or situations which make you feel uncomfortable. If you do experience this, are worried, or worried for a friend, speak to an adult you trust.
- Be sensible and safe on social media. Remember - once it's out there, it's there forever. Don't share anything over any platform you wouldn't want your parents or everyone else to see. Use the privacy settings available and don't share personal information, e.g. address, current location or phone numbers.
- Be respectful and supportive of friends and partners. There are many, many different types of relationship: LGBTQ+, heterosexual, friendships, family - even families can be very different from each other. Everyone has their personal journey - our greatest similarity is our difference, and it should be celebrated.
Remember - your most important relationship is the one with yourself. Don't let anyone else determine your value or make you feel negatively about yourself. If they do, then they aren't a worthy friend.
Watch the video to learn more about consent in unhealthy relationships.
For more information, visit...
Ever heard the phrase, 'stick and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me'?
This can be useful, but we also know how powerful language can be. It can be used for rousing speeches, moments in history, to motivate others... but words also hurt. Negative or stigmatised language of any kind, whether directed at race, gender, sexuality or personality, can stay with a person and shape their sense of self confidence; it can even affect the life choices they make.
Think before you speak. One kind word or compliment can change someone's day.
Try living by a new maxim: 'If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.'
Watch the video to see what we mean by this.