At the Priory, we teach our pupils that maintaining good mental health is equally as important as maintaining good physical health.
Just as we have to engage in a number of healthy behaviours to be physically healthy, there are things we can do to promote our mental health.
With this in mind, pupils are taught to engage in the "5 Ways to Wellbeing" to nurture good mental health. This message is threaded throughout our PSHE curriculum, Collective Worships and designated Wellbeing days throughout the year.
The Mind website explains that;
There is strong evidence that indicates that feeling close to, and valued by, other people is a fundamental human need and one that contributes to functioning well in the world.
It’s clear that social relationships are critical for promoting wellbeing and for acting as a buffer against mental ill health for people of all ages.
With this in mind, try to do something different today and make a connection.
- Talk to someone instead of sending an email or text
- Speak to someone new in your class
- Ask how someone’s weekend was and really listen when they tell you
- Put five minutes aside to find out how someone really is
Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups.
Exercise is essential for enhancing thinking skills, and for promoting well-being.
But it doesn’t need to be particularly intense for you to feel good - slower-paced activities, such as walking, can have the benefit of encouraging social interactions as well providing some level of exercise.
Today, why not get physical? Here are a few ideas:
- Take the stairs not the lift
- Walk to school - perhaps with a friend – so you can ‘connect’ as well
- Get off the bus one stop earlier than usual and walk the final part of your journey to school or work
- Have a kick-about in a local park
Reminding yourself to ‘take notice’ can strengthen and broaden awareness.
Studies have shown that being aware of what is taking place in the present directly enhances your well-being and savouring ‘the moment’ can help to reaffirm your life priorities.
Take some time to enjoy the moment and the environment around you. Here are a few ideas:
- Take notice of what 'zone' you are in
- Take a different route on your journey to or from school, and look around you - can you spot a pretty flower or interesting tree?
- Watch the clouds float by
- When engaging in something relaxing like reading a book or having a bath, take notice of how you feel; do your muscles feel more relaxed? Do you feel calm?
Continued learning through life enhances self-esteem and encourages social interaction and a more active life.
Evidence suggests that the opportunity to engage in work or educational activities particularly helps to lift mood.
The practice of setting goals has been strongly associated with higher levels of wellbeing.
Why not learn something new today? Here are a few more ideas:
- Find out something about your classmates
- Sign up for a class or after school club
- Do a crossword or Sudoku
- Research something you’ve always wondered about
- Learn a new word.
Research has shown that committing an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in wellbeing.
Giving could be as simple as:
- Holding the door open for someone
- Giving someone a compliment
- Offering to do some chores at home.
This short film explores the 5 Ways to Wellbeing further...