How to Get the Most Out of Amaven’s Mindfulness Resources
In 2019, the first big change for education has been a renewed focus on mental and emotional wellbeing. Across the country, schools are rethinking what it means to be happy. And mindfulness is at the heart of many of these journeys.
Mindfulness encompasses many different practices and ideas. If yoga isn't your bag, try a little meditation. If meditation is too slow, give deep breathing a go. Whether your pupils are inspired by confidence mantras, relaxation stories, sensory nature walks or just opportunities for personal reflection, the end goal should be the same - self care.
Our Healthy Schools Programme provides teachers with a library of mindfulness resources; from wake up and cool down yoga to home activities, classroom games, wellness bulletins and advice on adopting mindful habits. Like similar schemes in Salford, North Yorkshire and Tyneside, our mindfulness programme is designed to help young people develop emotional regulation skills.
Click to read more about Amaven's Mindfulness Month and why mental health is so important for the Healthy Schools Programme.
You don't have to be a diehard yogi or a new age thinker to benefit from core beliefs at the heart of eastern philosophies that say happiness is borne of awareness. We expect so much from our young people these days. And it's easy to forget that navigating school, friendships, growing bodies and burgeoning brains can be tough.
It's worth reminding children they have a right to pause, reflect and ask themselves: 'How am I feeling today?'
3 Steps for Teaching Mindfulness to Your Pupils
Teachers are encouraged to approach mindfulness from flexible perspectives. It's not about forcing children to do yoga. Yoga is just one example of a mindfulness activity, one of many ways to make conscious movement fun and interesting.
Celebrate pupils' curiosity by showing your own. Help young people find new ways to investigate their thoughts about themselves and the world. Paint reflections in puddles. Write stories about ants in the playground. Breathe slow. Breathe fast. Create a 'live' mood board. Say hello to the sun. Describe the skin on your favourite fruit. Inspire pupils to notice more.
Try It: Download our 5 Senses Nature Hunt Worksheet for a simple way to get your pupils feeling curious about sights, sounds and smells.
Keep your mind open but your goals clear. Each time you begin a new mindfulness activity, know what you'd like to achieve. Discuss this objective with your pupils. Maybe it's a calm classroom after lunch. Or better coping techniques for feelings of sadness. Perhaps it's a stronger connection mind-body connection.
The beating heart of mindfulness is awareness, particularly awareness of emotions and intentions. It's beneficial for children to pause and think about why they make the decisions they do. Mindful thinking helps young people avoid reckless responses, take control of their thoughts and process feelings more constructively.
Try It: Why not give our Mindfulness sessions a go? These soothing videos are designed to reduce stress and create calm in the classroom.
Don't forget, mindfulness is about awareness and conscious decision making, not perfectionism. Celebrate qualities like resilience, adaptability, resoluteness and emotional intelligence. Ensure your pupils know it's better to try and fail than not try at all.
Make it your mission to empower young people and give them the confidence to 'go for it,' even if there's a risk of getting it wrong. This is especially vital when it comes to physical activities. When outside influences - social media, movies, TV ads - tell kids success is flawlessness, be the one giving them a better narrative, a more positive message.
Try It: If you're unsure about yoga routines, try gentle stretches and static poses to get pupils accustomed to slower, soothing movements. Check out the power poses on our Cool Down Yoga Worksheet.
Healthy Schools: Get all of these mindfulness resources and more by logging into your school portal.