"You have enhanced the curriculum by offering Mindfulness lessons. This has impacted positively on pupils’ ability to concentrate and learn effectively."
OLOL is championing the use of Mindfulness during the school day to teach children calming techniques and strategies; to help ease any anxieties they may have and encourage them live in the ‘now’ rather than the past or future. We are taking our lead from Wendy Guest, SafetyNet Mindfulness Practitioner, who is leading staff training and pupil support.
So far, children and staff are really enjoying this new initiative, and positive impacts have already been felt in all aspects of school life! We are dove-tailing this teaching with other curriculum aspects including RE, PHSE and Protective Behaviours.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is when we are thinking about what we are doing right now. Ignoring the past or the future, we just think about the present. Of course, sometimes, we want or need to reflect positively about the past or become excited about things in the future. Mindfulness is about living for the here and now and enjoying this very moment of our lives!
Can you be more ‘Mindful’ from now on?
Plan for future, reflect on the past, however, concentrate and enjoy what you are doing at the moment.
Your mind will feel more like a calm snow globe than a snow storm!
Some Mindfulness Activities
Laughing is a fantastic way to relax. Try some of the activities below with a friend and relax and have a laugh.
- Pull silly faces at each other.
- Draw some silly pictures.
- Tell funny jokes to each other.
- Remember some funny times.
- Sit or stand comfortably and close your eyes.
- Imagine you have a balloon in your stomach. When you breathe in, imagine you are blowing the balloon up slowly.
- Then, hold your breath for a few seconds then slowly breathe out and imagine the balloon is going down.
- Repeat until you feel calm and you are able to think more clearly
- Make sure you are comfortable either sitting or standing in a quiet place if possible.
- Close your eyes and take some slow deep breaths through your nose.
- Concentrate on your breath flowing in and out of your body.
- Notice how it is cooler when you breathe in and warmer when you breathe out.
- Continue until you feel calm and relaxed
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS
- being friendly, generous and considerate of others;
- showing good will to others;
- being concerned when others are upset or worried;
- helping people when they need you;
- doing something nice for someone else, without expecting anything in return.
ONE A DAY – WHAT COULD I DO?
- Let somebody else go first.
- Share your snack.
- Draw someone a picture.
- Leave a positive sticky note for someone.
- Hold a door open for somebody.
- Compliment someone.
- Donate toys or clothes to charity.
- Wash the dishes without being asked
WHY BE KIND?
Being kind to someone can make them feel happy and it can also make you feel good about yourself too.
What will you do today to make someone else feel happy?
CALMING A CHILD
Try these simple techniques:
- Talk to me – without trying to offer solutions, give your child space to talk about their feelings openly. This will help them verbalise worries.
- Show me – your child may find it easier to draw their worry or fear. You can then ask them a few questions about what they have drawn.
- Tell me a story – you can help your child to get out of their pattern of worry or fear by telling a story about it and changing the ending.
- Let’s find out – research your child’s fear together, using books and the internet, and try and rationalise it. It may help your child to feel empowered.
- I’m going to take a breath – model this great calming strategy to your child so that they can copy your behaviour and get out of the height of their worry.
- I can’t wait for you to tell me about – change the subject by encouraging your child to think about something exciting that is happening later in the day.
- This will pass – remind your child that all of these feelings pass eventually. It’s ok to have these feelings; it’s also ok to let them go.