This week, pupils in the Lower School are taking part in the mental health initiative ‘Mind Your 5’.
Mr Kothakota (Deputy Head: Pastoral) and Miss Windsor (Head of Lower School) spoke to the pupils during their Life Education lessons last week and outlined the importance of looking after our mental health and how, by trying five well-being activities each day, we can maximise this.
The ‘Mind Your 5’ categories that contribute to a healthy mind and therefore a happy mind are:
- Healthy practice (e.g. eating three balanced meals a day, ensuring you incorporate fruit and vegetables into your diet, sleeping for at least 8 hours each night and cutting down on sugary drinks and non-healthy snacks)
- Activity (e.g. taking part in fun activities, such as team sports, clubs and societies, yoga or mindfulness, going for a walk, singing, running, baking or drawing)
- Positive thinking (e.g. turning negative thoughts into more positive thoughts, considering things you are pleased with or finding alternative solutions to a problem)
- Positive emotions (e.g. paying someone a compliment or being a good friend, creating a playlist of songs which make you feel happy, spending time with friends or family, sharing worries or concerns with others)
- Your interactions (e.g. catching up with an old friend, joining in a family activity, talk to someone you don’t normally talk to, have face-to-face catch ups with people as opposed to always talking online)
Pupils have been given their own ‘Mind Your 5’ booklet and are making notes of the five things they will be trying to do each day to maximise their mental well-being and try something new. In doing this, our aim is for all pupils to create their own personalised mental health toolkit which they can make use of throughout the academic year, and beyond.
Keep up to date with our pupils’ five things throughout the week by checking back on this article.
Rory’s 5 things:
- Healthy practice: reducing the amount of bread I eat every day!
- Activity: throwing a ball with my brother Dougie
- Positive thinking: thinking about happy things when I’m feeling sad
- Positive emotions: cheering up my friends when they’re sad makes me feel happy
- Your interactions: talking to friends from my old school and making new friends at my new school
Douglas’s 5 things:
- Healthy practice: turning the lights off in rooms when they’re not in use for a happier environment
- Activity: playing more sport to increase my heart rate
- Positive thinking: thinking about my friends makes me think positively
- Positive emotions: thinking about funny things makes me feel more positive
- Your interactions: talking to friends when I’m feeling stressed
Miss Windsor’s 5 things:
- Healthy practice: go to bed earlier
- Activity: yoga
- Positive thinking: focus on the positives
- Positive emotions: listen to a favourite song once a day
- Your interactions: make time to catch up with friends and family after work
Mr House’s 5 things:
- Healthy practice: no puddings at lunch!
- Activity: cycling instead of getting the bus, even in the rain…
- Positive thinking: trying stand-up comedy for the first time on Monday meant mentally preparing myself for a positive experience, rather than worrying about it going horribly wrong (it went well!)
- Positive emotions: spent an hour on Monday night watching amateur comedians, and laughed the whole way through.
- Your interactions: spoke to my Mum to plan my visit for her birthday in October (in Australia!)
Miss Chetwood’s 5 things:
- Healthy practice: sleeping 8 hours, no biscuits at break and dessert is fruit salad at lunch.
- Activity: ride my bike and listen to my audible book.
- Positive thinking: instead of worrying about Year 7 and a scary Whatsapp image I made a plan to stop them looking at it!
- Positive emotions: gave my son a hug and told him he could do his biology test.
- Your interactions: called my sister on the phone to make plans for Christmas…
Miss McCloud’s 5 things:
- Healthy practice:I’m trying to include more fish in my diet, last night I had salmon which is usually a rare treat in my house!
- Activity:I’m training for a half-marathon so go on at least two runs a week, as well as playing netball in my own time.
- Positive thinking:I’m training for a half-marathon so go on at least two runs a week, as well as playing netball in my own time.
- Positive emotions: I listen to music, particularly ‘The Greatest Showman’ soundtrack, when I want to make myself feel happier.
- Your interactions: I make sure I make time to speak to my friends and family every day. A lot of them live far away so I have to make do with Facetime, but it’s better than nothing!
Zara’s 5 things:
- Healthy practice: I walk to school every day.
- Activity: I do Drama Club every Saturday and play after-school netball.
- Positive thinking: I talk to my older sister who helps me think positively.
- Positive emotions: Getting a cookie for my sister every day helps me and her feel good!
- Your interactions: I talk to my dog! She looks like she understands me and holds all my secrets.
Jess’s 5 things:
- Healthy practice: I go on lots of dog walks and I get smoothies from the school tuck shop.
- Activity: I play after-school netball.
- Positive thinking: Being proactive helps me think positively.
- Positive emotions: I help my sister with her tuition, which makes me feel happy and proud of her.
- Your interactions: I feel comforted when I talk to my friends.
Thomas’s 5 things:
- Healthy practice: trying to get as much sleep as I can so I don’t fall asleep in Period 1!
- Activity: I play tennis and rugby regularly.
- Positive thinking: I try to find alternative solutions to different problems.
- Positive emotions: Reading and listening to music makes me feel positive.
- Your interactions: I get in touch with my cousins on the other side of the world (Australia!)
Esme’s 5 things:
- Healthy practice: I’ve cut out going to the tuck shop for all of this week.
- Activity: I go to multiple netball training sessions outside of school hours.
- Positive thinking: I try and think positively in the mornings, such as ‘today is going to be a great day!’
- Positive emotions: I’m making an effort to feel happy this week.
- Your interactions: I’m trying to give other people compliments, like ‘you look really nice today’ or ‘you played netball really well!’
Pranay’s 5 things:
- Healthy practice: I’m playing a lot of cricket this week.
- Activity: I play fives almost every day at school.
- Positive thinking: My mantra is ‘never give up.’
- Positive emotions: I’m trying to make other people laugh.
- Your interactions: I’ve made some new friends in fives this week; they’re in the year below (Year 7) and are new to the school.
Scarlett’s 5 things:
- Healthy practice: I play football on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday and I’m training in goalkeeping on Thursdays.
- Activity: I’ve had a lot of involvement in the school musical prep and sports clubs.
- Positive thinking: I had a conversation with my parents about how I can think more positively, which made me think positively itself!
- Positive emotions: I listen to other people and talk to them about their feelings.
- Your interactions: I’m making an effort to keep in touch with the friends I made at summer camp.