Wellbeing and Mental Health
At Woking College, our students’ wellbeing is our top priority as we know that feeling physically and emotionally safe and nurtured is essential for young people to learn, excel, and above all enjoy their time in and outside of college. We pride ourselves on creating an environment where all students can access support from our pastoral team in the moment that they need it, and can come out of these conversations feeling truly heard and valued.
In addition to supporting individual students, the Head of Student Wellbeing leads the college approach to wellbeing and has launched the new ‘My Wellbeing Matters’ programme with the aim of promoting wellbeing throughout college life and empowering students to look after their own wellbeing.
A useful approach when thinking about wellbeing is to imagine your wellbeing as a bank account: every time you take care of yourself or others, you are making deposits into your wellbeing account. If too many withdrawals are made – through stressful situations or lack of self-care – then we start to head towards an ‘overdraft’ situation that could lead to mental or physical burnout. We can help to avoid this by learning and locking in our wellbeing habits on an ongoing basis. This is a personal thing that varies from person to person, but here are five key areas you can focus on:
Think about the different groups you belong to and how different people make you feel. If life is feeling overwhelming, try to spend time with the people who help you to feel grounded and supported. The same applies to social media – if it’s not making you feel great, give it some space.
give yourself time each day to take stock, and not have to ‘do’ anything. This could be through breathing exercises, mindfulness, or having a bedtime routine that helps you to wind down before going to sleep.
identify your own stress symptoms and triggers, so that you can recognise early when things are getting on top of you and prioritise your self-care. As humans we often direct towards negative thoughts towards ourselves, so take time to recognise when you do this, and ask yourself what you would say to a friend if they were feeling this way about themselves.
look after your body by eating a balanced diet, drinking water throughout the day and monitoring your intake of alcohol, nicotine and caffeine (as these can all increase our stress levels). Build in a regular routine of exercise as a way to look after your body and for a release of feel-good hormones.
Creative activities can be used as a distraction but also activates the part of the brain that can calm our system. Music, art, writing, sewing, baking, and any other activity that helps to activate our imagination is helpful.
Students and their families can interact with our monthly “My Wellbeing Matters” theme on our new Instagram account @wokingcollegewellbeing where there is advice and information about wellbeing and events that are happening in college in relation to each month’s theme. Throughout the year we will be offering a variety of creative activities and resources to open up a discussion about different aspects of wellbeing and to build our students’ confidence, resilience and enthusiasm to live life to the full.
Apps for Wellbeing and Mindfulness
There are a variety of apps you can use to help with sleep, relaxation and mindfulness.
Mental Health Advice and Support
Everyone will find their mental health fluctuates and sometimes we all need some additional support. This does not only have to come from a GP or another qualified mental health provider; there are lots of organisations that offer 24-hour support through chats, telephone line, drop-ins and well-stocked websites. The following are just some of the ones you may find helpful.
A Student's guide to Loneliness
Student Health Guide 2021/22
Access our online Student Health Guide here, which provides our students with advice and guidance on all areas of their mental and physical wellbeing. The guide covers a huge range of topics – such as body image, developing healthy relationships, first aid, and managing stress and anxiety. The guide serves as a great place to start for anyone looking to find out more about wellbeing and can be used as a really helpful talking point when discussing the importance of wellbeing with the young people in your care.