In ‘Nurture – A Student’s Guide to Wellbeing Year’ you will discover a practical and engaging resource to support your wellbeing by enabling you to build the skills needed to successfully manage the pressures you are likely to be facing on a daily basis throughout 1st / 2nd / 3rd Year. Our Nurture 4 Wellbeing TY Modules come complete with Digital Student Journal Activities designed to equip students with the skills necessary to flourish while simultaneously preparing for the challenges of the Leaving Certificate.
Section 1: Student Journal. Active Engagement in Classroom Learning.
Section 2: Student Diary. Self-Awareness and Reflective Writing Skills Development.
Section 3: Student Assessment. Appraisal and Evaluation.
‘Section 1: Student Journal’ comes jam-packed with reflective exercises, kindness charts, mind-maps, study timetables and planning exercises, brain-drops and many more activities to help you grow and flourish while making your learning relevant, practical and interesting!
‘Section 2: Student Diary’ helps you to manage your stress levels by balancing self-care with time management skills. It is complete with blank templates for weekday and weekend study planning, an academic goals planner, hints and tips for a wide range of Classroom Based Assessments (CBAs), weekly self-care checklists, mindful colouring pages and plenty of additional writing space to be used for lesson extensions / reflective writing practice throughout the school year.
‘Section 3: Student Assessment’ is provided to allow you to assess what you have learned and to reflect upon the impact your learning has had on your wellbeing in 1st / 2nd / 3rd Year.
As always, your Student Journal entries include Learning Goals and Statements of Learning, which show you what the lesson entails and what you will learn.
We hope you enjoy whichever of our programmes you are completing this year and, through learning to successfully cope with the pressures of 1st / 2nd / 3rd Year, experience hugely positive and far-reaching effects on your wellbeing.
Team Nurture 4 Wellbeing
Sanchia Connolly, Aran O’Driscoll and Holly Peters
1. Make time to look after yourself. You need to dedicate time to wellbeing on a daily basis and that requires planning. We are all so busy that finding time to take care of yourself is not easy but it is hugely important. Aim to make prioritising your wellbeing a habit, setting aside even as little as 20 minutes each day.
2. Mindfulness and meditation. In the Nurture 4 Wellbeing Programmes you will learn how to meditate and how to develop those skills further. Use what you have learned in the programme(s) to create your own meditation practice at home. Check out books and YouTube lessons on meditation for further information.
3. Exercise. Being physically active has a direct impact on your physical and mental health. Ensure that you get your 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity and / or 10,000 steps a day. This will have an abundance of positive effects on your body in addition to reducing your levels of anxiety and boosting your mood!
4. Sleep. Most teenagers must get 8-9 hours sleep a night in order to function effectively. Having a regular bedtime and wake-up time help to train your body and mind to get restful sleep. Avoid all screens for a minimum of 1 hour before bed. The blue light they emit disrupts sleep patterns.
5. Creativity. Whether you like painting, playing an instrument or dancing, creative expression helps to boost our mood and put us in touch with a core element of who we are and what makes us happy. We can express challenging emotions or experience the joy of doing something we love.
6. Connection with others. Being part of a community and feeling like we belong in central to our wellbeing. Meeting up with friends and chatting about our lives helps to build connections with others. We can also meet and work together in companionable silence on things like art or craft projects, jigsaws or woodwork.
7. Time outdoors. Whatever the weather, time spent outdoors will also help to nurture our wellbeing. Fresh air and being in nature generates a feel-good factor. So, put on the rain-wear, snow gear or sunscreen and get outdoors for some time each day.
8. Gratitude. Being thankful for what you have, rather than focusing on what you don’t have can bring about a shift in mindset that helps you think more positively. Keep a small gratitude journal by your bed and make a note of 5 things you are grateful for at the end of each day.
9. Switch off. Time away from smartphones and other devices will give you a break from social media and constantly being bombarded by information and messages. Designate a device-free zone in your home or set aside a certain time of your day when you will switch off all devices.
10. Pay it Forward. Doing something kind for someone else without expecting anything in return not only benefits the recipient but also the person doing the action. When we do something kind for others it makes us feel good about ourselves.
1. Routine and structure. When the world feels unfamiliar and full of uncertainty, we can support ourselves by creating and sticking to a daily routine. Knowing that we are in control of that element of our lives helps to create a sense of security.
2. Follow the Return To School Guidelines your school has provided and the new rules and procedures in your school. These will take time to get used to, so just do your best each day to follow new instructions.
3. Create a checklist for yourself for each evening: Labelled lunch box with lunch made and in fridge, labelled water bottle, keys, wallet, phone, Leap card, small bottle of hand sanitizer, face covering, spare face coverings, etc.
4. Be kind - to yourself and to others. Everyone in your school community will have been through lockdown and the changes Covid-19 has brought. Be gentle with yourself as you adjust to this new way of being at school. Be kind to others - you do not know how hard it has been on them either.
5. It might be strange to see your teachers wearing face coverings and staying 1m (preferably 2m ) away from students. Remember, it will feel strange for them too. They are still the same people they always were, with your best interests at heart and they will be delighted to see you back at school. Your school community is there to support you so ask for help if you need it!
6. Familiarise yourself with the most up-to-date Public Health advice.
7. Do not come to school if you have symptoms of Covid-19.
8. Stay healthy by taking regular exercise, staying hydrated and eating healthy food.
9. Communicate your worries. If you are worried or feeling anxious, talk to a teacher, school counsellor, a parent/guardian or friend. They will help and support you. Sometimes just verbalising our worries can make us feel better.
10. Remember, you are experiencing a normal reaction to abnormal circumstances. It’s perfectly ok to feel overwhelmed. Reach out, share your concerns, keep a journal. Above all, be kind to yourself.
1. Eat healthy food and drink enough water. Keep healthy snacks in a plastic container (just for you!) and fill a 1.5L bottle with water each morning. Start the day with a healthy breakfast and make sure you have made a healthy lunch the night before and popped it in the fridge.
2. Sleep. Switch off all devices 1 hour before bed. Have a bath, read a book, listen to music - just make sure you allow yourself some wind-down time before turning in. Aim to get 8-9 hours of restful sleep each night. Stick to the same bedtime and wake-up time each day.
3. Be organised. Planning your study and leisure time will help you feel on top of things and ensure you get your work done while also timetabling your relaxation time. Create lists of tasks, putting them in order of urgent, short-term and medium-term study goals.
4. Exercise. Movement is especially necessary for a healthy body and mind when you are probably spending a lot of time sitting at a desk. Build in movement breaks to your study plan. Walk up and down the stairs, jog around the garden or do some yoga stretches. Try to reach at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day.
5. Ask for help. If you need help, ask your teachers or your peers, a parent / guardian to help you. Talking about what you need can sometimes be enough. Other times, the adult or peer will be able to guide you towards a resolution.
6. Mindfulness and meditation. In the Nurture 4 Wellbeing Programmes you will learn how to meditate and how to develop those skills further. Use what you have learned in the programme(s) to create your own meditation practice at home. Finding 10 -20 mins a day to be still and give yourself a ‘brain-break’ can be hugely helpful when you later go back to the books.
7. Continue to do the things that make you happy and feel good about yourself. This could be training with your team, swimming, painting or doing your hair and make-up each day. Yes, they take time but they also put you in the right frame of mind to do all that you need to do, while safeguarding your general wellbeing as you deal with exam stresses.
8. Treat yourself. Doing nice things for yourself is especially important at times of heightened stress, such as in the run-up to exams. Have a spa day (at home), go to the movies (or have a movie night at home or watch a great match online!)
9. Time outdoors. Whatever the weather, time spent outdoors will also help to take care of our wellbeing. Fresh air and being in nature generates a feel-good factor. So, put on the rain-wear, snow gear or sunscreen and get outdoors for some time each day.
10. Connection with others. When we are studying for exams we tend to spend a lot of time alone. Being part of a community and feeling like we belong is central to our wellbeing. Meeting up with friends and chatting about our lives helps us to feel our connections with others are still strong. We can also meet and work together in companionable silence on study plans / past exam questions.