Welcome to week 5 of Term 3. Well done to everyone in our community for, once again, working hard in very trying circumstances. It was wonderful to watch the daily cases of Covid begin to move in a more positive direction, giving us all some reward for the pain we are enduring. Throughout times of uncertainty, I have always fallen back to a lesson I learnt when I was young . I found myself wanting control over things I had no control over. This was causing me great anxiety. I was fortunate to have someone in my life, who taught me to focus only on what I could control. He would remind me to “control the controllables”, to only focus on the things within my influence, and stop worrying over things where I had no control. He told me that worrying about these uncontrollable factors was causing me stress and anxiety and was distracting me from performing my role to the best of my ability.
I can see that as a school aged person, this is a year of incredible uncertainty and challenge. The uncertainty may cause anxiety. To manage that, I suggest that you, like me, narrow your focus to that which you can control.
Through our recent student wellbeing surveys our team has identified some whole cohort based issues that we will address. For some students we have identified focussed on deadlines and outcomes, for others a flagging motivation and for some this stress stems thoughts associated with family pressures and uncertainty. These are not necessarily new stressors, and may not be more widespread than previous years, however, having identified them, we can now work to address them.
One such initiative is our upcoming Forest Hill College Trivia Night planned for Wednesday 26th August at 6.30pm. A fund raising event for a worthwhile Covid 19 related cause, this event will be a stress relieving fun evening for the whole family and community members. Details can be found on our Facebook page from Monday.
In addition , after learning how well connected the students have been with our staff when they bring their pets to work, we will be hosting our “bring a pet to class” day via our TEAMs classroom. We also have our weekly identify the hidden word in your class competition starting in Week 6 and Wear it Purple day on August 28th.
These initiatives will help us get through this lockdown well. However, back to my original point. All of us can control certain daily habits that research tells us has a powerful positive impact on our wellness.
We call all:
- Participate in 1 hour of exercise everyday
- Meditate each day – even if only for a few minutes
- Express gratitude each day – no matter how small
- Attend and participate actively in each class to improve content knowledge, complete set tasks and develop ideas
- Maintain healthy eating habits
- Stay well hydrated by drinking water
- Maintain consistent sleep routines
- Initiate a conversation with someone else
- Check in on someone else’s wellbeing
I urge you all to look at this list of habits that are within your control. If you focus on these all and make them a feature of every day, you will be controlling the controllables. This should help you get closer to achieving peak performance. Ultimately, whatever VCAA decide about the timing and structure of VCE exams, whenever your teachers set CAT’s for completion, these are out of your control, and worrying about them only distracts you from the work you can do and increases anxiety. Attending to your controllable habits will ensure you will have done everything in your control to reach peak performance. No one can control the outcome, but you can control the process. If you do your best to make sure you have implemented your “best process” you will achieve your best.
Wear it Purple Day proudly supports young LBGTIQ+ people and advocates for safe spaces within and outside of schools.
The day was founded in 2010 as a response to the widespread bullying of young rainbow people that has tragically led to many young people taking their own lives. It aims to let young people everywhere know that there are people out there who love and support them, that they are not alone and that it is safe for them to be proud of who they are.
Please wear purple or rainbow colours on Friday 28th to show your support.
You may also like to change your Teams call background and profile picture to promote the day.