It's Mental Health Week this week and the theme for this year is Kindness. We all know that it is so important to be kind (it is one of our school Values) and we also know that not only does it benefit the person who receives the act of kindess, it benefits the person being kind too. There are strong links between kindness and good mental health.
Please see below a 7 Day Kindness Challenge, see if you can complete random acts of kindness and spread lots of happiness!
If you can take a photo of your act of kindness, and the other person is happy for you to share the photo, please post it on your class SeeSaw page so we can see how kind you are being.
Keeping Positive and Happy
It is always important for us to keep emotionally strong and well and we always talk in school about how a positive and happy mindset helps strengthen our mental and emotional health. Try these things below to keep a positive and happy mind and outlook, they really do work and I do them daily. We know how great it is to keep a positive and happy mind, so share this with your family and encourage the people around you to try these strategies too.
First thing in the morning, think of these things
- 3 things you are grateful for
- How you will make today great
- A positive affirmation "I am......."
Before bedtime, think of these things
- What was my good deed today? (think of your acts of kindness)
- How I'll improve
- 3 great things I experienced today.
Take care and keep smiling
In school, we follow the MindUp Curriculum which supports us in teaching our boys and girls all about the parts of the brain and the function and purpose of the parts of the brain. When we know how our brain works, we can understand why we act and react in certain ways and also it helps to understand more about our feelings and emotions.
Please click on the link below to read information for parents/carers about 'Getting To Know Our Amazing Brain'.
Sometimes We Need to Take a Few Moments to Calm and Relax
A lovely activity to do at home is to all make a glitter jar so that when anyone in the home starts to feel agitated, upset, anxious or angry, they can take their glitter jar, find a quiet spot and shake the jar. Watch the glitter, it is whirling around, this is like your amygdala when you feel angry, stressed or upset. As the glitter settles, watch closely and breathe; this is giving you time for your amygdala to calm and for you to think more clearly and make good decisions. When all the glitter has settled at the bottom of the jar, you should feel calmer and ready to talk or carry on with your day.
Give it a go, make it your own special jar with colours you like, decorate the jar by adding stickers to the lid or ribbon at the base of the lid. Keep the jar somewhere where you can find it straight away if you need it and always place it back in that spot when you have used it.
If you don’t have jars at home, you can use a plastic drinks bottle instead.
You can use glitter glue or glitter.
If you use glitter glue, just add a few squirts to warm water and mix well.
Glitter glue will take longer to settle when you shake the jar.
Experiment by using different types of glitter, add sequins and beads etc.
In school, we take Mindful Moments to help us feel calm, relaxed and it also helps us to refocus. If you would like to try Mindful Moments at home, please look at the top tips below
- Make sure you are comfortable and warm
- You can sit on a chair, on the floor or even lie down
- You can place your hands in your lap, rest them by your side or touch the tips of your thumb and index finger together on each hand
- When you are comfortable, begin to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Focus on breathing deeply to begin with. When your breathing is settled, breathe in to the count of four, hold for the count of four and then breathe out for the count of four.
- After doing this exercise a few times, then let your breathing settle into a natural rhythm.
- Your eyes can be open or closed for the meditation, whichever feels more comfortable.
- Now take some time to think of things which are calming to you, you can also think of things that make you happy and content. If you are holding a Mindful Moment as a family, you may want to talk about something to think of beforehand e.g. a beach, trees, butterflies, a river, the ocean etc.
- An adult can lead the Mindful Moment (as teachers do in school) with a mindful story or talking children through an image e.g. a flower, looking carefully at the petals, the leaves, the scent, the colours. Or you could talk children through an experience e.g. planting a seed, unpeeling an orange, laying down on the grass on a sunny day (think of the senses when talking about the experience – touch, smell, taste, sound, sight – details etc.).
- Instead of talking, you could agree on a thought and play relaxing music in the background whilst everyone is having their Mindful Moment.
- Someone can be given the responsibility of ending the Mindful Moment with a small sound e.g. a soft tap of the rim of a glass with a pencil or a soft ring of a bell etc.
- At the end of the Mindful Moment, you can all enjoy a gentle stretch whilst sitting and then carefully stand and then enjoy another gentle stretch.
A Mindful Moment may work better at certain times of the day for you and your family. Discuss when is best for you all and make it a habit every day to come together for a Mindful Moment.