The importance of kindness and the 5 Ways to Wellbeing
Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 has come at a very appropriate time as we are all having to find ways to cope and carry on in challenging times.
MHAW 2020 focused on kindness and why it matters. The joy of giving our time, support and donations benefits the person receiving them and ourselves, but the theme of kindness also involves being kind to ourselves. As we have heard a lot, we are in unprecedented times, and as such, there is no map we can call on to ensure we can cope with the change and uncertainty we are facing. We need to be kind to ourselves, to give ourselves the time and space to develop our own ways of coping and, hopefully, thriving.
Our MHAW has been based around The 5 Ways to Wellbeing – Giving, Taking Notice, Connecting, Learning and Being Active. Each day, activity ideas and information have been shared on the Year Group Google Classrooms, and it’s been great seeing how many girls have been trying out activities such as the Kindness Bingo and some of the mindfulness activities like colouring and body scan meditations.
Pupils have been sharing some ways that they have been coping during lockdown with lots of girls enjoying Joe Wicks’ YouTube workouts, yoga and running. Many girls said that keeping to a routine has really helped them feel in control and has made the time pass quicker. Families have been playing board games together and going for lovely walks. Staff have also been finding ways to find a routine and keep active. Mr Dudley has been running the equivalent of a marathon each week (26 miles!) and has managed it every week so far! Mme Hallauer is enjoying getting into running as well and is using an app a pupil recommended called Couch to 5K. Miss McLeman is using the same app and has completed her first 5K this week! Well done, everyone!
There have been lots of crafting and cooking skills on display as well with staff and pupils learning new skills or developing existing ones. I learnt how to knit some slippers, but I did not do this because I needed slippers… I did it as I needed to find a way to relax and stop thinking about the thousands of thoughts spinning around during the long days of lockdown. Finding something that you enjoy, which occupies your mind and possibly your body as well, helps to reduce your unhelpful or negative thoughts. This half term holiday, why not try out different activities to see if you can find one that works for you. Not every activity will work for everybody, for example, Miss Parkin has made some excellent loaves of bread, but I had complete failures every time I tried, although they would have made great doorstops!
It is important to know where you can find information and support for your wellbeing and mental health. information has been shared in the Year Group Google Classrooms about advice and services that are still available for the pupils and their parents/carers during the lockdown. I want to take the opportunity to highlight the following services again:
– Herts Mind Network 01923 256391 – Advice line for 10-17-year-olds. Emotional support, advice and information if you are worried about Coronavirus and how the current measures impact you. Open on Mon, Wed and Fri 13:00 – 16:30, Tues & Thurs 17:00 – 19:30 and Saturday 10:00 – 13:00.
– Shout Crisis Messenger 85258 – A free 24/7 text service for people experiencing a mental health crisis and who need to speak to someone as soon as possible.
– Samaritans App – Launched this week, the app offers support and guided activities to improve wellbeing and mental health.
Please contact your daughter’s Form Tutor or Head of Year if you need further support with your daughter’s wellbeing or mental health. The pastoral team has a twitter page, and an Instagram account both called @bhgs_wellbeing where information is shared, and services are signposted.
Finally, I would like to say thank you to Natalie, our school counsellor, for providing lots of activity ideas and resources and also all of the staff and pupils who have helped and engaged with this online MHAW.