We have been looking at simple habits that we can embed to help our mental health. Take a look and see what you can embed at home.
1)Celebrate a Positive
In school we have daily opportunities to celebrate the positives that have happened in the day. We also celebrate achievements as a school by giving megastar points and in our weekly celebration assembly. We believe in the power of praise.
At home the impact of sharing a meal at the end of the day and talking about something that has happened in the day in a positive way supports the brain to be positive.
2) Power of Nature
In school we have focussed on the positive impact of nature within our curriculum and the proven impact this has on mental wellbeing. As a school we are working with an approach called Muddy Puddles. This enables us to take lessons outside as much as possible and building a love of nature for our pupils. We are lucky to have the beautiful Platt woods within walking distance of our school but we are also establishing a forest area, allotment and indoor/outdoor school environment on our new site.
At home taking a short walk and listening to nature sounds can help our mental health. Setting a daily time for a short walk (dogs help us do this but everyone can!). Even listening to nature music or looking at some natural photography online can help the brain calm.
3)Tracking our Mental Endurance
Currently society has a significant issue with cognitive fatigue resulting in a mental health crisis. The pressures of anxiety, stress and lack of sleep or rest build into cognitive fatigue and results in people unable to access any coping strategy and resulting in burnout.
In school we build in regular breaks for the children so that they are not fatigued. We also have support staff trained in techniques to help pupils with anxiety and stress.
At home supporting good sleep is really important. A set bed time and ensuring the children are refreshed for school is so important. Whilst home schooling is happening, taking a screen break and doing a short fun activity so the brain can relax is key. If children are struggling talk to the school staff and we can help with strategies.
4) Being part of a team
In school we build our sense of community and team in so many ways. As a class we have a shared name to help with a sense of belonging. We build in collaborative learning tasks, team activities in sport and have regular social breaks together.
At home this can be supported by building in social activities such as play dates (even virtual), family activities such as board games, going to the park together or cooking dinner together. When the opportunity allows joining sports teams, brownies/scouts and other group activities.
5) Prosocial behaviours
This is the benefit to our-self by helping others.
In school we build opportunities for prosocial opportunities for this by using our core value of CARE whenever possible. We have developed acts of kindness throughout the curriculum, building in charitable work as much as possible. We explicitly teach children how to be thankful for what they have and to share this.
At home this could be by challenging each other to complete an act of kindness. Calling a relative on the phone (over zoom are beneficial).