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In support of Mental Health Awareness Week, staff from Buxton & Leek College share the challenges they have faced during lockdown; along with advice for overcoming these difficulties whilst maintaining positive mental health and well-being during the Covid-19 social distancing restrictions.

Niall Webb, Enrichment Co-ordinator, said:

“I have found motivating myself a real issue before lock down in particular, and during lockdown I have really excelled with my fitness work and this has really lifted my mental health to a real positive place and feel really good about myself’

My top tip is to make sure you do some sort of exercise every day whether it be walking, running, cycling, gardening or anything like for at least 30 minutes a day and just to keep busy. Find a new project to start on or find something new to do that you haven’t tried before.”


Jaine Ross, MIS Data and Reporting Officer- The Registry, said:

“I have found lockdown really easy.   But that’s because I have been set up with a standard that I have used for several years.

So my tips for dealing with any situation is to practice mental fitness alongside physical fitness every day.

1 ) Stand up straight with your shoulders back- your posture is important.  When we feel low or disappointed or simply can be bothered, we slouch.  Striking a confident shoulders back pose, allows you to breathe easier and deeper and forces the brain to feel positive.

2 )Wake up early  and set the alarm to give you time to complete things you have to do. Put the alarm on the far side of the room- when the alarm goes off,   get out of bed and stay out.

3) Focus on completing simple morning tasks. For example, brushing your teeth, hair and getting dressed…etc. Go for a run or walk 30 mins (then shower etc.)Have a good breakfast to set you up for the day – I suggest a full English.  Try Brain training – there are lots of apps available I recommend PEAK or Duolingo  – I’m learning Chinese, this is free and fun and quick.

4) In the evening make a plan for tomorrow.  Schedule your day including obligations, essential work and fun. Get ready for the morning by tidying up so that you have an easy, fresh start. An hour before bed- move away from phones and screens, cool yourself down and lower the lights. Try to get 8-hour sleep- if you have trouble getting to sleep I suggest drinking some chocolate milk, peanut butter and banana.”

Also, do not seek acknowledgement from others- it will come. Instead focus on a positive personal affirmation- and most importantly laugh.”

Jack Dendy, Progress Coach, said:

“’I have found it very challenging not allowing grandparents or other relatives to see Baby Rosey, learning to be a daddy for the first time and not being able to celebrate birthdays in the way we normally do. Instead, we have had to use technology to adapt to the situation, which has actually bought us closer together!”

Susan Houghton, Education Support Worker, said: “I think loneliness is an issue during lockdown. I recommend keeping in contact with family and friends. I am in a family skype group. We meet once a week to chat and sometimes do a quiz. I’m also sometimes do Church Services by Skype.

I also feel it helps to divert from the present situation by taking up a new hobby or indulging in an old one and using the time at home to learn a new skill or do a course.”

Find all the latest information, advice and resources for staying well during lockdown on our Essential Student Support Page.