As Term 1 draws to an end, I want to acknowledge the efforts made by our Senior Students and staff to embrace our first wellbeing theme for 2021 – Self Monitoring. Perhaps you have been following along with us as well in your family, and taking note of the activities your son or daughter has been undertaking on a Wellbeing Wednesday – and if so I thank you. It’s wonderful thinking that the whole family may take something from the work we are trying to do to encourage our students and community to be conscious of their own wellbeing. In particular, Self-Monitoring was about empowering young people and helping them to be conscious of things that had a positive influence – as well as the things that didn’t. Good and bad habits, plus mood boosters and stressors were a big part of what we learned about this term.
This wellbeing focus also aimed to normalise the need for help. It can be difficult for all of us – and perhaps especially for young men – to know when to ask for help. Our partnership with Skodel aims to assist with this – and there are students out there who know they can say on their thrice-weekly check in that they need someone to touch base – and also some wonderful staff keeping an eye on your child and recognising patterns that may indicate a desire or a need for help. Such is the strength of our community.
Our next wellbeing theme follows on well from this – and in Term 2 we will focus on NOTICING. Like Self-Monitoring, part of this focuses on ourselves and checking in with ourselves through the work you have done this term. Are you noticing that you are tired? Avoiding a certain friend? Getting enough exercise? It takes what we have put in place during Term 1 – and asks them to continue to practice and implement these skills. But Noticing is not just something we do inwardly. Our students will also be encouraged to focus on others, using care and empathy and drawing upon their character strength of Social Intelligence. We’ll be asking them to notice things about their friends and family that may indicate they need checking in on. You’ll also be pleased to note that we will be emphasizing what Ethan Kross in his book Chatter called ‘invisible support’ – doing little things for each other when we notice we need them. I hope this means your child brings you a cuppa in the morning every so often – and becomes more alert to those tiny things that help family life go smoother.
Noticing also focuses our attention on the beauty of the world around us – which helps us to take pleasure and joy in the simple things. Like me, some of you may be big believers in the practice of gratitude – of expressing appreciation for all the small things in your lives such as sunshine on a day we expected to be grey, that colleague at work who brightens your day or the YouTube video that provides inspiration or even a giggle. There is so much to be grateful for in life when we start to look for it.
It should be another interesting term ahead – and learning about ourselves should be the core of all things that we do. Take care – rest up. And maybe take what we learnt from self-monitoring and put some boosters and positive habits in place that will support you in Term 2. I know that’s what I will be doing.