All well and good: emotional resilience during the crisis

All well and good: emotional resilience during the crisis

David Ryan, Deputy Head (Pastoral), has some tips for boys and their parents on how to maintain psychological wellbeing during this challenging time.

Routine is important, as it gives us a sense of purpose; without that sense of purpose, it’s easy to feel down, so having a routine that we keep to helps us through a period of isolation, such as the one that we are experiencing. Differentiating Monday to Friday from the weekend, and doing something different then, is very helpful.

Talking is important, too, for all of us. Many people will talk as much to their work and school colleagues as to their family members, and losing this contact can make us feel a little lost. Ensuring that we talk as a family is definitely important. Also, while too much ‘screen time’ is not good, young people are very good at communicating and staying in touch with each other electronically and we shouldn’t under-estimate this as a way of keeping up spirits and alleviating boredom.

Positivity: In the time of a national emergency, it’s very easy for young people to perceive the world in a negative way. Therefore, it is important to encourage them to consider the many positive aspects of life that we see, even in a crisis. Many, if not all, QE parents will be able to tell stories of their parents, grandparents and other relatives in their family’s history who have had to overcome similar, if not greater, challenges than that which we are facing now. Reminding young people that while we are vulnerable to illnesses like this one, the human story is ultimately one of survival, can help the boys maintain perspective at this worrying time: there are many inspirational stories within families.

Re-thinking: Seeing the situation that we are in as an opportunity for reflection, re-thinking and doing some things differently is no bad thing, whatever our age. Having time to think about how we study or work; what our future plans are; what in life is important and what isn’t – these are all ways to help us get through the time that we have on our hands and to plan positively for the future.

Never be too proud: Some families may go through challenging times in the weeks and months ahead, personally, emotionally and financially. As a school, we want to do all that we can to assist all of our students and families; we would encourage you to let us know how things are for you, whatever the situation might be, and to tell us if they are problematic.

Further help: One of the biggest challenges of the current situation is how little time we have had to prepare for it, and that can affect people, as life seems to have changed radically, very quickly, and this can even lead to a sense of loss. Ensuring that the boys are looking after their mental health is very important, and we have a counsellor available to work online with students, if a parent has a concern. The advice available at this site is really helpful – hopefully it will be useful to you.