Life Skills

Personal hygiene

Personal hygiene can be a sensitive subject, but it’s also very important as you grow into adulthood. Your body is forever changing and it’s vital that you adapt to those changes. How you take care of yourself will leave an impression on all who encounter you in day to day life, so make it a good impression!


Having a bath or shower once a day is a great way to stay fresh and look after your body. Some people prefer a wash before bed and others first thing in the morning. Do what feels right for you! Get yourself a bar of body soap or container of body wash and give yourself a decent scrub, making sure you work the soap all over. Don’t just focus on the standard places like your armpits, bum and genitals! Lather behind your ears and scrub your feet, get your whole self clean.

There are specialty soaps for your face that are gentler for your skin, as regular body soap can dry your face out and damage your skin. Wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner, the shampoo cleans while the conditioner restores oils leaving your hair soft and supple. For many, moisturising after a wash can be just as important. A moisturising cream will work just like conditioner, but for your skin, leaving it soft, hydrated and protecting your skin from ageing.

Deodorant is essential, apply under your arms after you’ve dried yourself off to keep yourself smelling fresh. Get into the practice of only wearing undergarments (t-shirts, pants, socks) once a day, as these will carry the bacteria that causes bad smells. Rotate your clothing and make sure to wash them so they don’t pile up! We’ll touch on that a bit more in the laundry section.

Cleaning your house or flat

A personalised house cleaning schedule is essential if you want a clean and tidy home. A good schedule will ensure no areas are missed and that every area is well maintained, and it will make it easy for you to manage your time!

  • Break up cleaning tasks into daily, weekly, and monthly events
  • Daily tasks include quick tidy ups and dealing with dirty laundry and surfaces
  • Weekly tasks mean thorough cleans of appliances, floors, and rooms like the bathroom
  • Monthly tasks include time-intensive jobs like cleaning the windows, furniture, and decluttering
  • Don’t work alone! Ask your family or housemates for help.
  • Make the beds. You don’t need to change the sheets every day, but just straightening out the bedding can transform a room almost instantly.
  • Wash the dishes. Whether you hand wash your dishes or load them into a dishwasher, you should try to clean all your plates, bowls, and cutlery on the day that you use them. Unclean plates can grow mould, creating potentially hazardous particles that can cause illness. – Use washing up liquid for hand washing or dishwasher tablets for the dishwasher
  • Wipe down surfaces – for the kitchen it is important to wipe down worktops with an antibacterial cleaner to prevent germs from multiplying especially after any food preparation. Good kitchen hygiene is one of the best ways to prevent picking up foodborne germs.
  • Do laundry if needed. You may not need to do this every day, but for families with children who regularly stain their clothes with food and paints, it’s best to wash stains out immediately.
  • Put away clean clothes. Clean clothes that sit in a laundry basket for a week are at risk of becoming dirty again due to spills, dust, and animal hair. Once your clothes are clean and dry, hang them in a wardrobe or fold and place into drawers to keep all your clothes looking their best.
  • Do a quick tidy. Spend ten minutes simply cleaning up, hanging up coats, putting away shoes, and other related tasks. This will create a clean, safe floor space for the next morning.
  • Give a quick vacuum. You don’t need to spend an hour taking the vacuum around the whole house/flat, but just quickly sucking up all the dust, dirt, and germs that have accumulated throughout the day will make a big difference to the cleanliness of your home.


  • Wipe down cupboards. If you’ve been busy in the kitchen during the week, you may notice some spots and spills from cooking that you’d missed when clearing up. Use a damp cloth or a dedicated kitchen cleaner to wipe down cupboard doors and drawer fronts.
  • Clean the cooker top. It’s so easy to spill food onto the cooker top whilst cooking, and cleaning it up is often the last thing you want to do after a big meal. Choose a time once each week to remove the burners and clean off any oily residues.
  • Throw out old food. Take a look through your refrigerator once a week. Anything that is beyond its use by date, throw out! You could get ill from eating out-of-date food, particularly meat, dairy, and eggs.
  • Take out the bins. When you do this should really depend on when your waste collection is. You may find it easier to have separate bins, or boxes to make it easier when it comes to sorting your rubbish and recycling.
  • Clean the bathroom. Use an antibacterial wipe for basin taps and flushes, use a disinfectant in the toilet pan, and wipe down your bath and the shower cubicle or curtain.
  • Vacuum thoroughly. As you should be quickly vacuuming every day, this task shouldn’t take too long. It’s simply a chance to make sure your carpets and rugs are clean and fresh.
  • Mop your hard floors, ensuring you use the correct cleaning product as using the wrong product could damage your floor.

There are a few house cleaning activities that really don’t need to be done any more frequently than on a monthly basis, and some people might not do them at all! When making your house cleaning schedule, consider adding these sporadic tasks:

  • Wash the windows. Using a squeegee and either some warm soapy water, a mix of vinegar and water, or a glass cleaner, wipe down your windows and mirrors to keep them crystal clear.
  • Declutter your home. If you find that you haven’t used any items in the past month – and you don’t anticipate using them in the near future – consider decluttering your home. You could throw them away, sell them, or give them to charity.
  • Clean the furniture. Furniture like sofas and chairs can accumulate dust and dirt over time. Vacuum them each month, and air them by opening the windows and letting the breeze work its magic.
  • Get rid of odours. With cooking smells and all the other smells of general living, your house can start to smell after a while. Try sprinkling carpets and furniture with some baking soda before vacuuming. The powder is great at absorbing smells.

Putting your House Cleaning Schedule into Action

Now that you have your house cleaning schedule, don’t panic! If you feel overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to ask for help from anyone that lives in the same home, and give yourself some time off. If you’ve got children and they are old enough, ask them to tidy their own rooms and make their own beds to give you more spare time. And be sure to give yourself an entire day off from any chores once a week – a time to relax and to enjoy your clean and tidy home!



Weekend Garden TendingIf you regularly need to do any tidying up in the garden, add these tasks to your weekend house cleaning schedule. This way, you can include the rest of the family in these tasks, combining necessary chores with family bonding time and outdoor activities.


Dental hygiene is incredibly important, not only to keep your breath fresh, but to help preserve those lovely teeth inside your head! You should be brushing a minimum of twice a day, in the morning and in the evening. However, many dentists recommend brushing immediately after a meal, as this will help prevent any build up that may do harm.



When shopping for a toothbrush, look for one with soft bristles as this will be gentler on your gums. If you can afford an electric toothbrush, invest because the benefits are immediately felt.


There are an assortment of toothpastes out there with all kinds of benefits as advertised on the box. Find one that suits you and that you like the flavour of.


Wet your toothbrush, apply just enough toothpaste to cover the ends of your toothbrush bristles and then brush in small circles going from the front of your teeth, to the top and then finally to the back of your teeth. Try to keep your total brushing time to two minutes, any shorter runs the risk of not being thorough and going to long runs the risk of damaging your gums! Make sure you spit, as swallowing the toothpaste can give you a stomach ache.


Flossing is often overlooked but it is incredibly important! Flossing can maintain gum health and keep you from losing your teeth. It also dislodges any food from between your teeth that can cause bad breath. Comfortably wrap a length of floss between your fingers and gently guide it up and down the sides of your teeth. You don’t want to press the floss into your gums but maneuver around, providing a slight tickle. It can be normal to bleed the first time, don’t worry! Rinse with some warm water until it stops and continue this routine every day, eventually the bleeding will stop and you’ll have stronger gums.

Interdental Brushes

Interdental brushes are tiny toothbrushes that go between your teeth, these are great to remove plaque and build up that floss might not be able to get. Mouthwash and tongue scrapers are brilliant for keeping your breath fresh, so don’t hesitate to try them. Look for a non-alcohol based mouthwash as this will be gentle on your gums and won’t burn when swished around.



For some of you, laundry is an everyday part of life that you’ve mastered through chores. For others, it will be as alien as operating a UFO. Don’t fret, it’s easy once you know what to do. If you take the time to look at the tags on your clothing, they have symbols for how to wash each item properly, however there are some easy shortcuts. Separate your laundry by colour: dark clothes in one pile, whites in another and lighter coloured clothes in the last pile. This is to prevent cross staining, as one red t-shirt can turn all your whites to pink! There are tonnes of laundry soaps available, pick one that you enjoy the smell of and possibly look for a detergent that is gentle on your skin. Fabric softener will help keep your clothes soft and gentle to the touch, make sure to use it.

Select your washing options on the washing machine. Most washers have a delicates cycle, this is great for lacy garments or gentler materials. Synthetics is perfect for anything not cotton, and cottons will have their own cycle. There will also be an option for temperature, this is important as you can damage your clothes if you pick the wrong setting. Darks and lighter colours are best washed at temperatures between 30 to 40 degrees, as this prevents them from fading and is better for the environment. Whites are better at higher temperatures, such as 60 degrees, with some kind of whitening agent like bleach or oxidising powder. Wool clothing you must take extra care of as they can shrink and become unwearable. Look for a detergent specifically for woolen items, always wash with cold water on the hand wash setting or even do it yourself by hand!


If you have access to an electric dryer, use it for clothes that you won’t worry about a little bit of shrinkage. Synthetic fabrics are good at maintaining shape, cottons will shrink slightly the first time you dry them, and woolen clothes can turn into baby clothes if you’re not careful. Hang drying is great if you’re worried about shrinkage or don’t have access to a dryer, just make sure you hang them in a well ventilated area. You can even buy hanging racks that are lightweight and easy to assemble or heated ones that help dry your clothes faster. If you do not have a washer and dryer in your building, most communities have laundromats where you can pay to wash your clothes for a small charge.

Grocery Shopping

Never shop hungry! This is a super important rule, if you go grocery shopping while hungry, you will most likely pick out more food than you need and often it won’t be the healthiest option.

Make a list. This will keep you from buying unnecessary items and snacks, it will also cut down on shopping time.
Focus on essential items. Grocery shopping isn’t just about making sure you have milk and bread. You will need to think about loo roll, bin bags and other items you use daily.

Check the unit price. Some items may be a better deal if you buy a bigger size, and some may not. For example, a 700ml container of orange juice could cost 2.99 per litre but because of the size the price will be £2.09, while a litre size container could cost £2.25. You’re paying a bit more but getting a lot more orange juice for the money.

Avoid BOGO. Buy One, Get One offers are not always great value and often you just end up with more of something than you need.

Check the health labels. Most food packaging has really handy labels on the front with green, orange and red colour coding that lets you know how healthy they are. Green means it’s really good for you, while red suggests that you have that food in small amounts and not too often in a day. That doesn’t mean you have to avoid the foods in red! Just make sure you’re not eating too much of it so that your diet is well balanced.

Learn what’s nutritious and cheap. Rice and lentils are fairly cheap foods that store well and are full of nutrients to keep you going. Some people worry about buying fresh vegetables as they are afraid of them going off. Don’t be afraid! Incorporate those vegetables in different and exciting ways, or pick frozen vegetables as they will still be full of vitamins and minerals and last for a long time in your freezer.

Treat yourself. You little legend, you’ve come this far and smashed it! Treat yourself, grab a chocolate bar or a bag of crisps. Try something new! Push your culinary skills and make something you’ve never made before.

Cooking Potatoes

Download Recipe
Cheesy Pasta Bake

Download Recipe
Easy Tomato Sauce

Download Recipe
Shortcrust Pastry

Download Recipe
Basic Cake Recipe

Download Recipe
Vegetable Stir-Fry

Download Recipe
Vegetable Soup

Download Recipe
Curry In A Hurry

Download Recipe

Mental Health at Stone Soup Academy

At Stone Soup Academy we understand that there has been a stigma attached to mental health for many years but we are working hard to change this and make mental health an open conversation. We now have four Mental Health Ambassadors in school and these are Michelle, Kerry, Laura and Imani. This group of staff are working hard to ensure that we have Mental Health days in school, which would focus on a particular aspect of mental health. We are also working to make sure that resources are available for the students both inside of school and at home. Part of this is the amazing website you are currently looking at, which now has links to Mental Health resources, thanks to the collaboration with Osiris Santana. We hope that you find everything you are looking for on here!

Best Wishes and Stay
The Mental Health Team.

More Information



Shout is a 24/7 UK crisis text service available for times when people feel they need immediate support.
Text SHOUT to 85258



Samaritans is a registered charity aimed at providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Ring +44 116 123

C-Card Nottingham

A free condom service for young people aged 13-24 years living in Nottingham City.



Sexual health clinics in Nottingham.

What is child abuse and the types of abuse?

  • Bullying and cyberbullying
  • Child sexual exploitation
  • Child trafficking
  • Criminal exploitation and gangs
  • Domestic abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Grooming
  • Neglect
  • Non-recent abuse
  • Online abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
A free, private and confidential service where you can talk about anything, included in the link is their page on information and advice.
For Parents concerned about their child
Think U Know