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This content is taken from the University of Reading's online course, COVID-19: Helping Young People Manage Low Mood and Depression. Join the course to learn more.

Review what's been covered

Congratulations on completing Week 1. Throughout the Week, you’ll have spotted links to useful websites and further reading around that particular topic. In the next Step, there’s a list of general resources you may find useful.

Let’s briefly recap what’s been covered so far.

Routines are an important part of life that keep your body prepared and ready for the day ahead, however restrictions brought about by COVID-19 may have impacted on your usual activities. This week you explored practical ways to structure your day and discussed healthy habits around sleeping, eating and exercise. We hope many of you shared the creative ways you’ve been pursuing different activities under the current circumstances.

Remember that it’s okay not to fill every moment with a productive task or by learning something new. It’s important to build in time for fun; we shared our own suggestions in Step 1.9 (having a ‘cinema night’ is a particular favourite in our households!) but please go back and add your own ideas to the Step, if you haven’t had a chance to do this yet.

Step 1.5 recommended putting ‘appointments’ into a diary or creating a list of the activities you would like to do the following day in this planner. We hope you found this exercise useful and suggest you continue to add to this for the remainder of the course and beyond. As you keep using the planner, think about what effect this has had on your days and your mood. We’ll revisit this exercise later in the course.

You also learnt about the importance of modelling and self-care as a means of supporting others, and these points were particularly relevant to parents, carers and other adults supporting young people. Step 1.10 included several things you can ‘model’ and some of these will be covered in Week 2 of the course.

Next week

Next week, you’ll explore techniques to help you manage your thoughts and feelings by:

  • finding ways to accept how things currently are
  • being more present in the ‘here and now’ (using mindfulness techniques)
  • reducing rumination
  • finding alternative ways of thinking.

You’ll also discuss how to promote good communication within your household, and effective problem solving. Finally, we’ll be looking to the future and discussing how you can use this time for self-reflection and building coping mechanisms and resilience to help you beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can continue onto Week 2 now or you may like to take a brief break from the course and join us again when you’re ready.

Think about what advice and tips have been helpful in Week 1. Tell us in the comment area below.

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This article is from the free online course:

COVID-19: Helping Young People Manage Low Mood and Depression

University of Reading