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With just a few more weeks left of this academic year it is a good opportunity to reflect on the effects of this year on our own wellbeing and self-esteem. There can be few students, parents or indeed staff who have not been affected by the uncertainty this year has caused. Whilst many embraced lockdown as an opportunity to put the brakes on and give themselves time to reflect on their hopes and dreams for the future, for many this has been a time of anguish and a strain on our mental wellbeing.

As we approach the long summer holiday in a few weeks time it is more important than ever that we are mindful of our wellbeing and how we can safeguard it. Research shows that those who make plans and have ambitions for their future tend to have better self-esteem. As we all approach a new academic year perhaps now is the time to start planning what we hope to achieve in that year? We have recently sent out the GCSE option confirmations to our current Year 9. Hopefully they can focus on September and the subjects they have chosen to study for the next two years – what will your plans be?

Other ways to protect our mental health and wellbeing are to take regular exercise, have a nutritional diet, get enough sleep, have a good network of friends, have an optimistic outlook and enjoy fun hobbies and leisure pursuits. Now is the time to plan how you can build these things into your lives so that when we return in September you are rested and ready to take on the new academic year. This year has taught us all to have the ability to adapt to change – let’s hope next year we can come back better and stronger in a less stressful environment.

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