Healthy Schools: stress
Some stress is good for our wellbeing and encourages us to push ourselves outside our comfort zone. However, when stress is prolonged and becomes overwhelming, it can become a huge issue. These resources can help.
Toxic stress can be highly debilitating for individuals at any age and represents a risk factor for poor mental health.
- This 7-minute animated video will support you in understanding the window of tolerance and the fight/flight/freeze/fawn response to trauma, including post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Note for iPhone users and Youtube. There is a known bug with iOS and Youtube, Two buttons are read before the player but provide no functionality. We advise that you skip these to access the content.
- This model explains how students can avoid the panic zone and reach the ideal learning zone - and why it matters:
- This 1-page document helps you understand the effect of the stress response being triggered on the body. It offers advice on what to do and how to communicate, such as using a low voice and repeating yourself. This can be used to understand better the effect of anxiety too:
- If you have questions about what stress can look like and how it can be related to poor mental health, this 4-page resource offers some insight:
- Read our other pages on trauma, emotion regulation and anxiety
This Public Health England (PHE) lesson plan (external link) helps students identify the signs and symptoms of exam stress and develop strategies to help them manage it. The lesson plan includes a PowerPoint to show during the class, films and additional activities for after the class.
You can find information on mental health and wellbeing in secondary schools in this the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families resource (external link - PDF, 1.3MB). Page 3 covers exam stress.
Social media and ‘FOMO’
This PHE lesson plan (external link) encourages students to explore the impact of using social media and the stresses it can cause, including FOMO ('fear of missing out').
- Check out the YoungMinds exam stress webpage (external link).
- Our Mindfulness page has some simple exercises to help with stress and self-awareness.
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