Mental Health Awareness Week 2024

May 17, 2024

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It’s Mental Health Awareness Week, and this year the theme is ‘Moments For Movement’.

At Hulme, our pastoral care is aimed at nurturing each pupil as an individual, equipping them to safely, happily and successfully navigate their way through life, so mental health matters to us.

So, we’re sharing a range of tips, advice and information about mental health and movement. With it being exam season for our Senior School and Sixth Form, we’ve also linked to exam stress and resources.

Moving More For Our Mental Health (1)

Movement

First up is all about moving more for our mental health. We’ve got information on the benefits of moving more, ways to inject a little more movement into your day, and how to make doing so fun!

There are lots of opportunities throughout the day to add a little more movement. Here are some to inspire you!

  • While you’re ‘waiting’, maybe for your work to print off, you could do some stretching
  • Take the scenic route on your walks. Whether that’s around school or at weekends, try to add extra steps in
  • Enjoy your lunch outside. A gentle walk after lunch is a great time to socialise and get some gentle movement in
  • Start your day with dance! Stick your earphones in, choose an uplifting song, and boost your mood as well as your movement

Movement doesn’t have to be a chore, or feel like you’re training for The Hunger Games. Anything that gets you moving your body counts.

  • Join a co-curricular club at school, or a local club or team that plays a sport you enjoy
  • Get some friends or family together and engage in some friendly competition. How about a game of rounders?
  • Do you have a hobby or something you enjoy that you could add movement to? Maybe take your dog for a walk while listening to an audiobook or podcast
  • If mindful movement is more your thing, engage in a local yoga class or pilates group

Moving More For Our Mental Health (2)

Exams can come with a lot of pressure, and some of you might be feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed. During this week, we shared our top tips for coping with exam stress.

Make time for things you enjoy!

  • Find ways to release stress and celebrate progress. You could listen to music, draw, cook, play with a pet or go for a walk.
  • Maybe there’s been a book you’ve been waiting patiently to read. You don’t have to wait until exams are over! Let your brain relax a bit.
  • You can try things alone or with friends.

Remember that school does offer support, just reach out and ask!

  • Make use of school facilities, including study rooms and the library and form study groups with your friends.
  • Start the day with a good breakfast, and give yourself plenty of time to get to the exam hall.
  • Try your best and don’t let the nerves get the better of you.
  • Once the exam is finished, forget about it. Don’t spend too much time going over it in your head.

3

When you’re stressed out, it’s easy to forget about prioritising relaxation but making time for yourself will help you cope better with exam pressure.

  • Set up your study area to be a peaceful place with all the things you need for studying at your fingertips.
  • If music or background noise helps you focus, play some relaxing music or a TV show on a low volume.
  • Take 10 minutes to meditate or do a mindfulness exercise.

4

Take regular breaks and be realistic about what you can do in a day.

  • Plan when you’re going to start and finish your revision so you know when to stop.
  • Make and enjoy a tasty lunch.
  • Stay hydrated – drink plenty of water!
  • Don’t feel guilty about taking a break!

Moving More For Our Mental Health (3)

  • YoungMinds: The UK’s leading charity fighting for a world where no young person feels alone with their mental health.
  • Mind: Mind are here to help you manage your feelings around exams. They provide lots of handy tips for coping with exam stress.
  • Samaritans: Access and download the Samaritans Coping Planner as well as their Exam Stress slides.
  • Place2Be: Place2Be provide an excellent Exams Tip sheet for students on advice around managing stress in the lead-up to and during exams.
  • Greater Manchester Moving: Ideas and inspiration to get young people moving more, with a focus on the local area
  • Moving Medicine: A brilliant bank of resources for parents and carers to open discussions with their children about the importance of movement
  • Youth Sport Trust: Lots of 60 second activities that come with score sheets, awards and more!
  • Mental Health Foundation: The event organisers have a hub of information, from research and stats to advice and ideas

Remember, we are here for you. If you’re feeling worried or stressed, reach out to a teacher, a member of staff, a friend or family, and we can support you.