Staying Calm during COVID

Welcome to our Wellbeing during COVID-19 resources blog. Each of our blogs links directly to one of our 6 rules for keeping calm during the COVID crisis.

Know your zone of power to keep calm.

I came across this poem by Cambridge poet, Hollie McNish. It served as a wonderful reminder that we have all adjusted to life in our own way, and there is no right or wrong in how each of us choose the practise that.

our own way - Hollie McNish

no, she's not doing all the work the school has set

no, we've not learnt to bake chocolate croissants yet

no, i haven't managed to keep up with all my work

no, i've not had any urge at all to clean my house

no, we're not out jogging as the sun comes up to shine

no, we've not been following the extra class online

no, i haven't used this time at home for meditating

no, we've not made any masks or scrubs from our old curtains

yes, she's done a little bit of the work the school has set

yes, we tried to make hash browns, cook her first fried egg

yes, she's on my phone again so i can get these emails done

yes, i've cried a few times whilst hiding in the bathroom

yes, i can still see through my never-once-cleaned window glass

yes, we've played...

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Manage Your Anxiety, Make Your Bed

Whether your routine is confining you to your home, or your adapted work setting and style is hard to adjust to, it can easily feel like you’re not achieving anything.


Creating some sense of order in the chaos - whether that’s an overcrowded workspace or a lego filled living room, can seem overwhelming.

So what can you do, what can you manage each day to make sure that you create a sense of achievement as well as peace? 

Make your bed each day. 

It sounds overly simple, but this routine gesture has a powerful effect on setting your brain at the start of the day with a sense of accomplishment and offers encouragement to set about your next task. It also offers comfort at the end of the day that you have the opportunity to rest and try again. 

This advice is powerfully delivered in a speech titled ‘If you want to change the world, start by making your bed’, to graduates at The University of Texas by Admiral William H McRaven.

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Keep calm and don't worry about the to-do list

It’s quite natural to start your day with a great ‘to-do’ list. But how often do you end your day feeling a lack of accomplishment, beholden to that never ending list and feeling like somewhat of a failure?

Lists can be great, but they can also be a burden. Personally I need lists and sublists for many areas of life, however - managing my lists so that they don’t manage me was something I had to learn the hard way. 

This article offers some great advice on lists and managing our guilt around them.

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Manage your anxiety in 5-4-3-2-1

With spring now actively upon us, you may well have noticed more of the changing season around you - the reduction in road and pedestrian traffic has allowed the sounds of spring to become more apparent.

I was reminded this week of a fantastic coping technique for moments of anxiety. This is called the 5-4-3-2-1 technique. By focusing on each of your senses at a time and becoming aware of your immediate environment, you can reduce your heart rate, breathing and bring your mind and body back to calm rapidly.

In my outdoor space, practising this technique I realised quite how much of spring was around me and how much joy it brings.

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Keep calm and go off piste.

Trying to stick to a schedule that’s not working?

Don’t be bound to a sense of how things ‘should’ be done. Really, there are no hard and fast rules right now - and that goes for home-schooling too.

Lesson plans and online classrooms are a great resource, but our children are feeling the weight of incubation too.

If the day has been a struggle in terms of study, maybe share a lesson in a different way.

Explore science through meal planning and cooking. Go off-piste from the school reading list (note: George Orwell’s Animal Farm has been well received, 1984 might not be the uplifting read you or they need right now!).

The likelihood is you're already doing these things, the difference is being mindful of this as part of your children's home learning. 

So if you've not completed all of the prescribed assignments or ticked off all of the spellings - GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK. You're doing a great job!

If you'd like an extra assistant with your...

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Proactively manage your anxiety with this breathing exercise

Anxiety can sneak up on us, and it's not always practical or possible to take a deep time out.

Here's a great quick fix; try this breathing exercise to immediately help you in those moments of rising anxiety.

Not only is it useful during the day to create a moment of pause, it has helped me fall asleep on several occasions when even the lavender oil hasn’t worked.

Anyone who has practised yoga will testify the power of mastery of breath leading to mastery of mind. Fortunately, you don’t need to stand on your head to benefit from this exercise.

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Struggling with sleep during COVID-19

Whilst we’ve been inundated with articles on the merits of physical exercise and its benefit to our overall sense of wellbeing, it’s not the panacea of calm.

Even the nation’s PE teacher Joe Wicks has talked this week about his mental health struggles during lockdown.

We’re seeing an increased number of people reporting disturbed sleep, in fact #cantsleep has been regularly trending on Twitter.

In our online resources section, Rachel wrote that sleep is the single most important tool to improving your almost every aspect of your life.

Without good sleep no matter how well nourish our body in other ways, we will increasingly deteriorate in energy, mood and skill. 

You’re probably familiar with the best sleep tips, but here’s a great reminder should you need one.

Personally lavender oil has always tricked my mind into restful sleep, quite possibly psychosomatic conditioning but successful nonetheless.

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