Senior students were introduced to the “Be Like Batman” concept when they undertook their first session on their Wellbeing Theme – Self-Monitoring, and the work we do throughout the term with identifying what does and doesn’t work in terms of our individual wellbeing, and creating a first draft of a wellbeing plan will be some of the key outcomes of this program.
Recently I read Shannon Harvey’s My Year of Living Mindfully and was struck by one of her recommendations – that when it comes to our Wellbeing, we should Be Like Batman.
I am sure she doesn’t mean staying up all night fighting off that which would threaten our loved ones, but in fact she talks about what makes Batman a superhero.
In comparison to Superman, Wonder Woman and various other characters in the DC Universe, Batman could be considered a pretty average superhero… I mean, he doesn’t even have any superpowers! And yet, he stands shoulder to shoulder with the superhuman.
So what does Batman have that makes him extraordinary?
Harvey suggests that Batman’s success and superhero status comes from something we should all look to cultivate – good strategies and good technology.
Without those superpowers to rely upon, Batman has to be really clever about fighting evil and maintaining the balance of good – and this is something we could all look to adopt. With good strategies and good technology we too can effectively balance our own wellbeing.
Let’s start with strategies. A strategy is an idea you make conscious – something you actively and routinely put into place, in this case, to promote wellbeing and positivity.
Embracing the five daily habits of the Wellbeing Hive is intended to be one of these strategies – making time each day to connect, be mindful, explore your creativity, feed your soul through reading and look after your body with exercise. Ticking each of these off can be a brilliant strategy for looking after your wellbeing and an easy way each day to make time to take care of yourself.
In addition, we need to identify our wellbeing boosters as well as our risk factors. If Batman was not conscious of all the weapons in his arsenal (and the possible ways the Batmobile could be threatened) he would have been opening himself to risk. What are the things that always give you a mood boost? In lockdown last year I learned that a walk in a green space will do wonders for my mood – and that if I do not take a few quiet minutes each day to quieten my mind and read, I wont feel right. It’s tremendous to be conscious of these things and to know you can draw upon them whenever you need.
Conversely, to truly be in charge of our wellbeing, we also need to be conscious of those metaphorical “orange lights” – things likely to have a negative impact. Stressful times at work contribute to this, as do upcoming exams and assessments or even spending time with certain people. Drawing upon a booster to assist us to manage an orange light can help us feel more in control during difficult times – even unexpected ones. What do you have in your arsenal to help you Be Like Batman on the bad days (which we all have)?
Technology can also be a good resource. Used appropriately, not only can it assist with our daily habit of connecting (another thing we learnt last year) but can assist us with self-monitoring and help us achieve our wellbeing goals. There are various meditation apps that lead us through a mindfulness practice and help us embed and extend these. There are tracking apps for our health and fitness as well as many to help us monitor and improve the quality of our sleep. You can even use technology to reach out and seek support easily any time you need to ask for help. Students at St Margaret’s Berwick Grammar can use the Skodel check-in tool to track their mood and to seek help when needed.
Never has technology had the capacity to play a more powerful role in helping us maintain a sense of wellbeing.
This term culminates with the first draft of an individual wellbeing plan – a document whereby we begin to work with these concepts and begin to find the ways to connect them. And isn’t that a strategy even Batman would use? You are welcome to work with us this term to construct your own wellbeing plan!