08 December, 2023

A guide to self care for students and parents

BIS Hanoi Student decorating Christmas
At this time of year, it’s vital that we take care of ourselves.

This time of year, as we approach the BIS Winter holiday, is characterised by two strong feelings for many. Firstly, there is the excitement of Christmas, a long school holiday, and the anticipation this creates. On the other side of the coin, it’s the culmination of our longest term. We are feeling the effects of the cold weather and the virus season. And in secondary school, trial exams are looming on the horizon.

BIS Hanoi Student decorating Christmas

At this time of year, it’s vital that we take care of ourselves. Not just students, but all the people who play a role in supporting our students. So while the self-care plan I am sharing with you today is aimed at secondary students, we can all benefit from considering its benefits.

Self-care is about helping you to feel good, or at least okay, in ways that are helpful in the long term. Some people will naturally prioritise the things that help us feel better, but for many of us, it’s something that we have to actively plan for. Otherwise, our job, our family, and other responsibilities get in the way of us helping ourselves. People often feel it is selfish to dedicate a few hours a week to our own needs. My response would be that if we can allow ourselves to be happier and more relaxed as a result of those few hours, then our family, our colleagues, and all the strangers we meet will feel the benefit all week.

BIS Hanoi Student decorating Christmas

Making these kinds of changes to your life can feel overwhelming, whatever age you are. If this applies to you, just focus on making one small change. Maybe it’s only finding ten minutes in a busy day to have a quiet coffee or to listen to a podcast. You will probably feel guilty, but if you can commit to doing nothing else for ten minutes, you may well notice a change, and it’s likely your family will too.

In this document, you will find information about physical, emotional, practical, and social self-care. You may want to have a read and decide which of these areas needs your attention most urgently. There is also a link to 90 different self-care activities. Some will be familiar to you, and some will be new. It would be great if you were able to sit down with your child and, together, work out a plan for both of you to navigate and enjoy the winter season ahead.

Mr. Matthew Greenwood

Social and Emotional Counsellor