Eat, Play, Sleep: Year 11 Wellbeing Series

The Year 11s enjoyed the first of a three-part wellbeing series during Pastoral Care Time last week. College Counsellor Kim Burrows provided a workshop on stress management strategies in which the students learnt about:

  • The function of stress – i.e. that some level of stress is good for performance as it helps provide energy and keep us focused;
  • How to recognise when we are over-stressed – i.e. when our every-day functioning is affected.

The students discussed and shared some strategies that they employ when they’re stressed and provided fantastic suggestions.


Kim outlined six empirically supported strategies outlined below:

  • Journaling. Useful in helping us make meaning of positive and negative experiences, and to reduce ‘mental clutter’ – providing clarity.
  • Worry Time’. Scheduling a specific and consistent time each day within which to entertain worries, and re-training the mind for worry-free time for the remainder of the day.
  • Mindfulness. Including specific approaches such as Body Scans, the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and Progressive Muscle Relaxation.
  • SMART goals and combatting perfectionism paralysis.
  • Visualisation. A mental rehearsal of a stress-inducing event in which the mind becomes prepared for all the sights, sounds, smells and emotions that come along with the event.
  • Exercise. Particularly aerobic exercise, which has countless benefits, including releasing endorphins and burning excess adrenaline.

The students were provided with a workbook inviting them to try each of the six strategies, record their experiences, and observe how useful each one might be to them. Students were encouraged to practice the strategies before they become stressed – so they may easily call on these stress-management skills when stress arises. 

A big thank you to the Year 11s for their enthusiastic participation in this forum. The second and third wellbeing forums, on sleep and body image, will take place next month.

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