Senior School News

Make Stress Your Friend

After a long weekend we leapt right back into school life with enthusiasm! I for one have had a great week wandering round lessons to catch a glimpse of what is happening behind closed doors and out of the field. As expected, there was so much learning from a shared breakfast in MFL, encouraging conversation in an authentic environment to the benefits of journaling in Key Stage 3 during our first Well-Being day. Year 10 spent a day talking exploring individual identity and relationships and our Year 11 were immersed in a world of ‘Study Skills’. The Year 12 students enjoyed a Retreat while our Year 13 focused on Careers.

Aside from walking around taking in my surroundings, I have been thinking a lot about stress! Not that I am particularly stressed but I have no doubt there will be times this year where I am. I’m 43, married, kids, I have had many life experiences that have helped cultivate an inner moral compass that provides me with guiding principles, allowing at the very least to make informed choices (it’s worth noting, I am no superwoman and thus not all of those choices have been right of course!). So, here I am sat with a wealth of knowledge and still I come unstuck at times with stress. I pose the question to you, how important is it to recognise our own stress signature? Answer, hugely. How do you know if you are stressed? What physical signs happen to your body when you are under pressure? Can you recognise good stress and stress that is turning into anxiety? Ponder just now and have a think.

Welcome back! If we can start to understand how our mind and body connect then we are able to self-regulate with much better results. And so this is for our children. Do you know the signs to watch out for when your child/ren experiences stress? Why not take time over the weekend to chat about their stress signatures, ask them to take note of how their body responds to stress next time they feel that knot in their tummies, or the butterflies that flutter around in their heads. We all have stress at some point in our lives and most of the time the stress is good, wholesome and helps us perform better, but it’s important we also recognise when the stress is not being managed well.

I came across Kelly McGonigal a good few years ago when browsing Ted Talks and she delivers a wonderful talk entitled ‘Make stress your friend’ with expertise and humour. It really made me re-think stress and gave me a different perspective. Please take a moment for yourself and have a look.

Have a wonderful weekend, spend time with your children, ask them about their lives and connect with them through their passions and interests (note to self: resist telling them what they should be interested in!).

Next week is Week A.

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