This week, our new Pastoral Liaison Manager, Ms Mellor, led a workshop for Year 12 called Feel the HEAT (Healthy Habits for Exam Anxiety and Tests).
Ms Mellor introduced some of health psychologist Kelly McGonigal’s TED talk on “Making Stress Your Friend” and reminded Y12 that actually some stress (and the body’s response to it) can actually help performance (particularly with girls). Of course, stress isn’t something we want to experience, especially for any length of time, and the workshop covered various approaches to managing stress and developing healthy habits and ideas for self-care from the Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families. A local mental health charity, Hector’s House also has some lovely resources in their Library of Calm for students to dip into for healthy breaks from study.
Some of the research into the possible benefits of mindfulness for young people was shared and students were given lots of different ideas to try to help alleviate anxiety such as breathing techniques and a mindfulness practice which can be done just sitting in a chair, ideal in a test situation to re-set the mind. Finally, she reminded students that, just like the famous dog charity slogan, healthy habits are for life, not just for exams. Ms Mellor will be available for drop-in sessions next week and students can email her if they have any questions following the workshop.