Mental Health Awareness week

This week is Mental Health Awareness week and this year's theme is Kindness. 

We must remember that these are unprecedented times that are affecting the whole world. It is great to stay positive and keep busy, but it is just as important to allow yourself and your families time to express their emotions and relax. 

To support our students with this we have set a range of fun, optional home learning activities across the Academy. These include KS3 PSHCE lessons and Head of Year tasks set on ClassCharts in the High School and some activities for Primary School children on the homepage of our website under latest news. 

To support all of our families here are a few nice links and ideas that we hope will help:

  • Parents: Take Time to Relax: here's a link to an article with 100 lockdown activity ideas.
  • Acts of Kindness: the theme of Mental Health Awareness week this year is Kindness. Our Academy Counsellor Julie Bockling, has put together a list of acts of kindness. This is on the homepage of our website under latest news. 
  • Continue to help older children avoid 'fake news' by showing them this myth buster website:
  • The NPSCC Learning website has a lot of articles, advice and resources for parents and carers and children and young people
  • Sleep: rest your body and mind: Have you ever tried 'starfish breathing'? Hold your hand out in front of you and spread your fingers like a starfish - bbreathe in as you slowly trace your little finger with the index finger on your other hand. Pause for a second at the fingertip— breathe out as you trace down the other side of your little finger— repeat for each finger and your thumb.
  • Looking after your mental health during uncertain times: Our Academy Counsellor Julie, has put together another document with health tips and links to support. 
  • Exercise: go to the following link to try Mr Thomas's High Rise Fitness Challenge.
  • Sing! Singing is proven to release endorphins. Take part in Mrs Lashmore-Bennett's Community Choir. You can also check out some of the ARA staff videos, on the ARA Performing Arts YouTube channel whilst you are there. 
  • Managing screen time: We are all so dependent on phones, tablets and computers for communication, work and learning at the moment but it is important to have a break from the screens! Try to limit screen time to short chunks of time. Take lots of short breaks if working on something big. Try to have at least one full hour in the morning and then one in the afternoon with no screen time. Try to switch off screens at least an hour before bed. It is really important for sleep to give your eyes and brain a rest from the light emitted by devices.
  • Family – treasure the time together: As the family sit down together for a meal, each take a turn to share something someone has done for you which has made you happy, something you have done for someone else to make them happy and something new you have learnt that day.
  • Connect - Find an excuse to chat: Think of an interesting question to call, text, email or shout across the road to a neighbour (be at least 2 metres apart!). You’d be amazed at the conversations you may start... You could ask: if you could travel in time, when and where would you travel to and why?

Ideas for younger children:

  • Coronavirus: A Book for Children: Our Academy Counsellor Julie, has recommended this downloadable book that is a tool to explain and help start conversations about Coronavirus with younger children. There is a link to this on our homepage in latest news. 
  • Mindfulness: Why not try some yoga... cosmic yoga in particular is great for younger children, which tells a story in which children become to characters by completing the yoga poses. These videos can be found on YouTube by typing in cosmic yoga.
  • Reflection: Can you draw a picture or write a list of all the things that make you happy? Once finished put this in a safe place so you can always have access to it
  • Nature: Fresh air helps to send plenty of oxygen through the blood and allows your lungs to work at full capacity. If possible ensure that you are able to get some fresh air throughout the day, this may be going on a walk with an adult, going in the garden or even asking an adult to open a small window.
  • Kindness: As this years theme of Mental Health Awareness week is kindness, can you do something to make someone else feel happy? This may be making a card for someone, drawing someone a picture, helping to tidy up etc. It has been proven that doing something to make other people feel happy, makes us also feel happier too!

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