Mental Health Awareness Week 10th - 16th May 2021
This year the theme for Mental Health Week is Nature as over the past year many of us have turned to nature as a coping strategy, enjoying daily walks and appreciating the natural world around us.
This week at school we will be focusing on how important it is to get outdoors and appreciate nature, to inspire the children (and adults) to connect with nature in different ways and seeing the impact this can have on our mental health.
Please follow the link below for more information on Mental Health Awareness week and to find resources you may like to complete at home.
This week in school we are celebrating Well-being Week. It is so important that we talk about our feelings, now more than ever. It is ok not to feel happy all of the time, but it is important that we have strategies we can use to make us feel happy. A really important thing to do is to talk about our feelings with a trusted adult. Throughout the week your class teacher will be setting activities for you to do focusing on well-being.
I have got an activity I have filmed for you all. I hope you enjoy it!
During this strange time, finding some time for calm and reducing stress is really important. Below are some activities that you and your children can complete. Let us know if you are completing any of the tasks, we would love to hear from you.
Make Your Own Mandala
Mandalas have been used for meditation in Eastern Cultures for centuries. Circular in shape and usually containing geometric patterns, they are symbols of the universe in both Hinduism and Buddhism. Their patterns also make them a great mindfulness tool. You can use just about anything to create a Mandala, but it is nice to use items from nature.
Have the children engage in their senses as they work. Notice the weght of a tone in their hands. The smell of a leaf or flower. The texture and colour of other natural objects. It is a lovely way to connect with the earth and the environment around you in a mindful way.
What you’ll need:
A round base of some sort – paper plate, cardboard or a round placement.
A selection of natural items – shells, pebbles, flowers, stones and leaves. You could also use wool or thread and some lollipop sticks to create the lines of your mandala.
What to do:
Gather your supplies together and get creative! Mandalas are typically symmetrical, with a repetitive pattern or sequence of some sort. But of course, this is not vital to this particular exercise. Encourage the children not to think whether their mandalas look ‘good’ or ‘right’ and just focus on the process of creating and being aware as the work. I have included some examples below.
What you need:
As a family, or children can do this individually if they want their own jar, decorate an empty jar. Think about colours, animals, things in nature that make you happy.
Using the scrap pieces of paper, write down some happy memories that you have created together as a family. You may also want to include favourite songs, films or stories you have read.
You do not need to fill the jar completely straight away, as and when you remember a happy memory, write it down and add it to the jar.
Each day, someone pulls a memory from the jar and shares it with everyone. This can be a really positive start to the day.
You could fill the jar with positive quotes or with your favourite people – real or fictional – and say what you like about them.
“What’s in the Box?”
This exercise teaches children to notice and understand their feelings.
1. Fill an empty cereal box with something unexpected like buttons, paper clips, coins or colouring pens. Ask your kids what they think is inside. Take all their suggestions and be encouraging, really get their imaginations going.
2. Then focus on their emotions. How do they feel about not knowing what’s inside? Are they curious? Excited? Frustrated? It doesn’t matter what they feel, only that they mindfully acknowledge what those feelings are.
3, Now tell them that you’re going to empty the box. How do they feel now? Even more excited? Worried? Relieved? Again, spend some time getting them to think about and communicate their emotions.
4. Tip everything out. What’s their reaction? Surprise? Disappointment? Where did the excitement go? Has it gone away? Spend some time talking about how the activity made them feel.
Have a look at these websites which have lots great mindfulness exercises.
Below are links to websites that have videos, activities and support for children who may be feeling anxious or worried about COVID 19.