Marking Mental Health Awareness Week
It is Mental Health Awareness Week, and now more than ever I think it is important to talk about the mental health issues that we face in education. The burnout that many teachers experience as well as the increase of anxiety and peer pressure among our students is chiming loudly for attention and positive changes. After experiencing two long depressive periods in the last nine years, I'm grateful for bringing mindfulness into my daily activities and teaching practice. Making sure that I keep the garden of my mind well-tended is of vital importance for me. This is what I do daily in order to keep anxiety and fears at bay: focus on my breath through various mindful breathing activities, include a form of exercise such as dancing, yoga, or running, involve my senses to stay in the present; self-massage my neck and shoulders to release any tension; soak up the sounds and smells in nature take my mind on regular walks, quieten my mind through creative activities, such as colouring and knitting; keep a gratitude journal, write off my feelings and thoughts when they get too loud; listen to relaxing music be aware of my thoughts and the sensations they bring ️and when my mind wanders off again, I shift my attention back to the now What do you do in order to feel inner calm? Leave a comment below.
Also, I am happy to see that so many coaches and educators are currently pinpointing the problems we face in education. Did you know that according to a new study one in seven secondary school pupils are suffering from significant mental health problems here in the UK? The study, led by the University of York and Hull York Medical School, found that girls and year 11 pupils are particularly affected, with emotional problems such as anxiety and low mood on the rise. Shocking, isn’t it?⚠️ After witnessing the emotional pain my students go through regularly, I decided to apply the principles of mindfulness in my English lessons. There is so much research nowadays which proves that after practising mindfulness regularly students: 1️⃣feel more relaxed 2️⃣become less reactive are more focused 3️⃣become more present 4️⃣improve their academic performance 5️⃣achieve better classroom participation 6️⃣become more self-aware 7️⃣are more compassionate and 8️⃣self-compassionate 9️⃣become more resilient and happier There are many different mindfulness methods that I use in my classes such as: Mindful Breathing Visualisations Waking up the Senses Expressing Gratitude The Power of Kindness Nature-based mindful activities The Power of Positivity Embracing creativity I have featured 101 activities to teach English mindfully in my book with the same title. I am happy to announce that the Kindle edition will be free this weekend – 15th & 16th May. You can find the book on your local Amazon website. Don’t miss your chance to grab a free copy and bring positive changes to your classroom. You can find more information about the book on my website.
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Until we meet again, be blessed