Helping students to beat the January blues
Returning to school after the Christmas break is a big struggle for many students. Not only have they enjoyed their holidays and slipped out of their usual routine, but the added dread of upcoming exams and tests is enough to make anyone quiver. In an attempt to avoid Blue Monday (January 20th), which is considered to be the most depressing day of the year, local education expert, Steve Woolley from Loughborough-based tutoring company, Tutor Doctor, has five tips for parents.
“Although it’s considered pseudoscience, Blue Monday and even the January blues do affect a lot of people,” says Steve. “And, for one reason or another, students’ wellbeing can often be forgotten. With early mornings, a new routine, social anxiety and the pressure of exams all piled onto them at the same time, children can suffer. It’s crucial to provide help and a support network to get them through what can be a very challenging time. Parents needn’t feel helpless though, far from it. You can do some simple but very effective things.”
1. Have something to look forward to. The Christmas break is great: kids get to spend time with their friends, enjoy the festivities and take some well-earned time off from their studies. But once they’re back at school, that all changes. Make sure there’s something in the calendar for January for children to look forward to. Whether it’s going on a day out or having their friends stay over one weekend, it’s helpful for them to have a healthy balance.
2. Forget the resolutions. Children don’t need them! You can set reasonable targets for them to achieve but don’t refer to them as a ‘resolution’. It might be to revise a certain number of hours a week or spend a set number of hours on their homework, but goals should be manageable with a high chance of being completed. The sense of accomplishment is sometimes enough to keep a child going.
3. Get enough sleep. The holidays will have knocked any hope of routine out of their system. Not getting enough sleep will have a snowball effect on any child’s performance at school. It can be a challenge to enforce that once again, but it will pay dividends. Get the routine back in place to make sure they’re not left behind – think about introducing a digital detox 30 minutes before lights-out to help improve their sleep.
4. Be their biggest fan. Your influence makes a big difference in your children’s levels of self-confidence. Your belief in them can help boost their self-esteem to feel empowered and work at their best. Work closely with them to achieve their goals, celebrate their successes and create an atmosphere of positivity – you’ll begin to see a shift in their attitudes to school and their future.
5. Talk about their feelings. People, especially children, have difficulty in doing this. They bottle worries up and think they need to tackle problems on their own, only for things to backfire when it all becomes too much. Encourage your children to talk about their feelings. Let them know they can speak to you about anything, no matter how big or small. But don’t intrude or pry – that’s when children usually fall silent.
Steve adds: “Blue Monday might be a social construct but feeling dread or worry is very real. Students tend to the feel the pressure a lot more as they don’t realise what can be done to combat the problem. Many parents don’t know how to approach the issue but it’s surprisingly easy to be a pillar of support and help to overcome any feelings of anxiety in the new year.”
For more information, or to speak with Steve directly, please contact Liam at Rev PR on 7395 641 523 or email@example.com
Images attached: Steve with his car.