Healthy Mind Toolkit

There is no doubt that 2020 created challenges and situations that we could never have imagined.

The impact of COVID-19 has been felt by everyone; pupils, staff, parents and our wider communities. To support us all in trying to reflect on what we have learnt and to help us move forward in what will continue to be unsettled times, we have created a Healthy Mind Toolkit, for everyone to share and be a part of.

In line with our Charter for Well-being and our focus on the PERMA model we will be suggesting 7 methods that look at how we can find greater M-E-A-N-I-N-G in all that we do. We hope that our suggestions will remind us all, about how we find purpose when times are tough and the importance of seeing the bigger picture and working towards an end goal, to develop positive emotion.

M IS FOR MANAGING RELATIONSHIPS

How could you connect with people?

  • Organise a family fun night of board games.
  • Pick up the phone and ring/facetime an old friend and share memories.
  • Take 5 minutes out of your day to speak with one of your parents about their day.

People with strong and broad social relationships are happier, healthier, and live longer. Close relationships between family and friends provide love, meaning, support and increase our feelings of self worth. Broader networks bring a sense of belonging.

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E IS FOR EMOTIONS

Look for what is good – positive vibes attract positivity!

  • Write down three things that you really appreciate in your life.
  • Ask a friend/family member to talk to you about their hobbies and interests and see if you have an interest in it too.
  • Write a realistic to do list and be proud every time you complete a task – tick it/cross it off with pride.

Positive emotions such as joy, gratitude, contentment, inspiration, happiness and pride are not just great at the time, but it has shown that positivity attracts positivity – if you are positive then others around you will be too. So, although we need to be realistic about life’s ups and downs, it helps to focus on the good aspects of any situation – the glass half full rather than the glass half empty.

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A IS FOR ACCEPTANCE

Be comfortable with who you are!

  • Embrace what makes you unique – look in the mirror and tell yourself why you are unique and how this adds value to you.
  • Think positively and speak kindly to yourself – do not compare yourself to others.
  • Ask a friend what they love about you and accept their answer by saying ‘thank you’.

No-one’s perfect. But, so often we compare our insides to other people’s outsides. Learning to accept and appreciate that each and every one of us is unique and amazing is a huge step to improving happiness, improve well-being and improve resilience.

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N IS FOR NEW THINGS

Keep learning new things!

  • Ask your mum or dad to teach you to cook a new recipe.
  • Research a new book and start reading – maybe it could be learning about a historical event?
  • Learn some basic first aid skills – think how you could help yourself and others in the future.

Learning affects our well-being in lots of positive ways. New ideas help us stay curious and excited. It also gives us a sense of accomplishment and helps boost our self-confidence and resilience. There are many ways to learn; from friends and family, online courses and even through formal qualifications.

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I IS FOR INVOLVEMENT

Be part of something bigger!

  • Organise or plan a run/jog with your friends.
  • Help a sibling to tackle a difficult homework task or question.
  • Join a sports club in school or even consider looking at local sports clubs close to you. Is there a sport you have always wanted to try?

To be involved and involve others in everyday life can provide a purpose, feeling of happiness and prevent stress, worry and anxiety. We might all have different ways to feel involved, so try out one of the ideas around the outside of this box or if you can think of anything similar, then set yourself a goal to pursue it.

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N IS FOR NEED

Making time for ourselves!

  • Complete a HIIT workout online.
  • Go out for a walk for an hour and see how far you can walk in that time.
  • Bring nature indoors and pick a lovely houseplant to have in your room.

Our body and minds are connected and being active can help make us happier and is good for our physical health. Making time for ourselves is also extremely important to boosting our mood and improving our well-being. This can include making sure we have enough sleep, eat nutritional meals and relaxing away from technology. Connecting with nature can be a perfect way to do this. Try to make time for yourself three times a week for 60mins. What will you do with this time?.

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G IS FOR GIVING

What act of kindness could you do today?

  • Smile at everyone you pass today.
  • Ring an elderly relative to see how they are.
  • Let someone special know everything you appreciate about them.

When we give to others it activates areas of the brain associated with pleasure, social connections and trust. It’s not all about money – we can also give our time, ideas and energy. So, if you want to feel good, do good! What act of kindness could you do today, tomorrow, this week and beyond.

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