Our focus on Self-Monitoring last term helped us to determine as a community, that things that boosted our wellbeing, and those things more likely to cause stress and throw our emotional balance off-kilter.
We are furthering this work in our new wellbeing theme Noticing, and many of the activities ask us to look at what does and doesn’t contribute to our wellbeing (with a special focus on our habits). There are many other aspects to this wellbeing theme as well.
In order to protect these knowledges and understandings we have worked to build over the last term, students are now extending their Goal and Action Plans to include a Wellbeing Plan – a simple document they can refer to often which outlines those key things that they have worked to identify. You might also like to go on this journey with us, through creating a document that gives you a quick reference to insights such as:
We have also invited all our staff to complete their own version of the plan, one that places their purpose in teaching at the centre of it. What helps them be their best for their personal and professional lives?
We aren’t alone in believing this to be important. Our partners at Skodel are currently designing their own wellbeing plans, with the assistance of Andrew Fuller, expert on the teenage brain.
It can be really important to document these given how easy it is in times of stress and change to forget those things that are helpful. COVID provides us with a particularly powerful example of this. Life changed so much that we were unable (and often, not allowed) to undertake those things that we regularly and perhaps unconsciously do in our healthy routines that keep us on track. In reflecting on this time recently, I realized how much missing a regular yoga practice has impacted on my body and my capacity to be mindful. I have now just begun to put that back in my weekly schedule. This plan may also help us with accountability – we know we all like chocolate or ice-cream, but if you are monitoring your tummy and know too much dairy makes you feel bad – you have all the data in front of you to discourage you from having that extra scoop of ice-cream that tastes good in the moment, but makes you uncomfortable the next day.
It’s also great to be able to pull out of your wallet (or phone) at any time – a whole bunch of things that make you immediately feel better. People you can call. Songs that act as a personal motivator. Tiny actions like walking the dog or getting out into the garden that are an immediate (and perhaps previously unconscious) boost.
We invite you all to take part in this with us – and perhaps our new theme of noticing will help us all support each other by noticing the little helpful or destructive things we haven’t picked up on yet!
Main Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels