The end of this week marks the half-way point of Term 2. The past five weeks have been extremely busy with many important events being attended by students, staff and some parents and Old Girls Association. Events have included Anzac Day, oratory competitions, a visit from MP Michelle Landry, Foundation Day, maths team challenge, Beef Week, cocktails and canapes, Mother’s Day high tea, NAPLAN, Year 8 and Year 11 camps.
Over the next five weeks we still have the primary social, Rocky River Run, Year 12 formal, the Rockhampton Show, Girls Grammar race day, athletics carnival and Year 10-12 breakfast.
With all of these events it can sometimes become overwhelming to balance the expectations of work, family, friends and other activities. During this week’s assembly I spoke to the secondary students about the importance of self-care. I stressed the importance of looking after yourself and why it is so important to develop healthy self-care habits to help reduce stress and anxiety.
This week I thought I would share the ten self-care tips that I spoke to the girls about on assembly.
Maintain a regular sleep schedule. Studies show that getting more sleep leads to better academic achievement. Make sure you plan your study schedule and co-curricular activities to ensure you are getting a minimum of 7 hours sleep per night. This also means turning your phone off or removing it from your bedroom to prevent distractions.
Remember to eat and hydrate. You need to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day and eat balanced and nutritious meals. Your brain and body needs fuel to function (but make sure this is healthy fuel to sustain energy levels instead of a quick chocolate fix).
Take breaks. I don’t mean procrastination breaks but space out your study. Your brain will burn out and stop taking in information if you study for hours on end. Every 2 hours take a half hour break to relax. Not to watch Netflix or scroll social media and the internet but do something that relaxes your brain to regain energy.
Spend some time outside every day. One effective way to rest your brain and have a break from study is to make sure you get plenty of fresh air. Change your scenery, step outside, sit or walk amongst nature. This is a great way to refresh and re-energize.
Exercise. Being physically active also helps energise your brain, improves your mood, sleep, memory and thinking skills. Exercise stimulates the chemicals in the brain that leave you feeling happier, more relaxed and less anxious.
Make time for your friends. Not over social media but actually face to face where you can spend quality time together. Again, I don’t mean by sitting next to each other on your phones but interacting and engaging in genuine conversation. I reflect on the times last week on Year 11 camp where there were tables full of board games, laughter and conversation. These are the interactions that promote positive self-care and fond memories.
Reading for fun helps you to de-stress. Depending on what you enjoy reading, going beyond required texts can help you expand your knowledge on various topics.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. An essential aspect of self-care is knowing when to ask for help. This could be from your parents, friends, teachers, other staff members or a professional. All staff here are fully invested in your mental health and wellbeing and know that if you aren’t placing a priority on this, your academic achievements will suffer. Asking for help if you are having difficulty understanding a concept will not come with any judgements. That’s our job and we are here to help.
Keep a journal. Along with using your student planner to organise your school work and assessment, there are benefits to journal writing. Writing in a journal allows you to reflect on your experiences, keep a record of important events, put your thoughts on paper while also honing your writing skills. Not to mention it can be fun to look back on what you have written years prior for a trip down memory lane.
Last but not least, set SMART goals. By setting goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound you keep yourself accountable while improving your sense of accomplishment when you achieve them and can tick them off your list!
To conclude, I encouraged the girls to reflect on these ten tips and to choose two they could focus on right now. I asked them to think about how they can implement them into their daily routine to ensure they have the energy to apply themselves to their studies over these remaining 5 weeks of term.
We can all benefit from reflecting on our current self-care habits as they not only have a positive impact on our thinking skills but our social emotional wellbeing as well. What two tips have you chosen to implement into your daily self-care routine?
Deputy Principal - Students