However, since the pandemic, we’ve had a chance to think more about our priorities, and maybe it’s not such a bad idea to look after our mental health?
The UK National Health Service recommends 5 Steps to Mental Wellbeing:
- Connect for mental wellbeing:
spend time with family and friends, and build stronger relationships with other people around you
- Learning for mental wellbeing:
learning something new can improve your self-confidence and help you to build a sense of purpose
- Get active for mental wellbeing:
physical activity can cause chemical changes in your brain which help you to feel more positive
- Mindfulness for mental wellbeing:
paying more attention to your own thoughts and feelings, and to your environment, can help you to enjoy the world around you more
- Give for mental wellbeing:
small acts of kindness can give you a feeling of happiness and satisfaction
We don’t have the space here to discuss all of these steps, but let’s think a bit more about the 2nd step, Learning for mental wellbeing.
Learning a new skill, including a foreign language, can boost your self-esteem and give you a sense of purpose. Setting and reaching goals can give you a positive feeling of achievement. Even 10 minutes of study a day can help you to feel like you’re making progress.
As a student, you often have to speak to other people, which helps you to feel connected to others. And a number of studies have shown that keeping your brain active also helps to keep your memory in good shape, and delay dementia.
ECS Scotland has lifelong learning as a core principle, and that includes the teachers.
As well as improving our professional skills, both Belle and I have completed Masters degrees in recent years, Flora has gained a number of sailing qualifications, Kevin has been doing his PhD, and Greig continues his study of historical fencing techniques.
It helps us with our own wellbeing by keeping our minds active and giving us goals, but it also means we understand how our students feel in the classroom!
And for me, one of the best parts of the job is having the opportunity every day to learn something from the people in my classes - you’re all experts in what you do, so let’s swap knowledge!
See you in class soon!
ECS Scotland Senior Teacher