A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school on Kaurna Country, Adelaide, South Australia

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Wellbeing - Edition 11 - 2021

Managing Lockdown

Our situation at Westminster has presented with challenges we are unlikely to have experienced before. I’m sure I don’t need to outline the potential sources of stress that every member of the family will be experiencing in their own way. So, the Wellbeing Team from Westminster have put together a few tips and resources that you might find helpful, particularly if you are still in the last days of quarantine. Even beyond the lockdown and quarantine, there can be an ongoing sense of ‘COVID-fatigue’ as we deal with what has just happened and recalibrate our lives around new levels of eased restrictions.

For Senior School students:

One of the best websites out there for young people is Reachout.com. It is full of suggestions for managing your mental health and has sections for young people, parents and educators. In particular, this link is worth a look - 10 ways to take care of yourself during coronavirus | Coronavirus | ReachOut Australia

Ms Sherwood sent out an email outlining some tips for managing your study. One of her main suggestions is to maintain a timetable to help you feel organised. Make sure you build some physical activity into that – jog around the house, make an obstacle course, use YouTube to do a yoga class. Also include music and connect with other students.

Maybe you can set up a daily challenge with the other members of your family. Some of my best times this week have been the laughs I’ve had with other staff members in the middle of serious online meetings. Challenge each other to find the funniest meme, or to take the funniest photo, or do the kindest gesture.

For Prep School students:

This website has some terrific relaxation exercises that younger children (and their parents) may enjoy - 6 Relaxation Activities That Can Help to Calm Kids During Times of Anxiety | Save the Children

Again, keeping a routine can be really helpful. Kids could be in charge of the “school bell” – noting when it is change of lesson time, recess time, lunch time. Perhaps they could teach their parents something they are learning. Building in physical exercise is crucial as is acknowledging emotions. Create a feelings chart – how many emotions can you think of? Or print one off the internet, and use as a way of finding the right word to express how you are feeling.

For parents:

The three main points the Wellbeing Team would want to reiterate for parents are:

  • It’s normal for all family members to experience a range of emotional responses eg loneliness, stress, anxiety
  • the importance of self-care
  • there are many avenues of support available

There are numerous websites offering great advice about how to cope in these strange times. A couple of great ones are:

Supporting children during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic - Emerging Minds

10 tips for managing anxiety during COVID-19 - Black Dog Institute

Make sure you take some time to ‘play’ together as a family. Board games, charades, cards, dance competitions…the list is endless. It’s amazing how laughing together can reduce the tension.

Lastly, if you need some support from outside the family, there is a variety of online support available. Kids Helpline, Beyond Blue, Lifeline, SA COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line, Parent Helpline 1300 364 100 to name a few. In addition, the school’s wellbeing team are available via email, and can set up a time to talk with students, or parents who are concerned about their children.

  • Head of Wellbeing – Liz Collins (ECollins@westminster.sa.edu.au)
  • School Psychologists – Melinda Pfueller (MPfueller@westminster.sa.edu.au) and Malini De Silva (MDeSilva@westminster.sa.edu.au)
  • School Counsellor – Laidley Poulton (LPoulton@westminster.sa.edu.au)

Please make contact if you are needing extra support. We are still all in this together!

Liz Collins
Head of Wellbeing
T: 08 8276 0395