Improving our wellbeing may not always be straightforward, and there can be many factors that impact our mental health and wellbeing in all areas of our life. The radical changes and upheavals that we have gone through during the covid pandemic has highlighted the value of the simple steps things that help us to maintain good mental health.
Sometimes changing an old habit or taking on a new routine can have a significant impact on our wellbeing. Here are some steps that teachers, school staff and school leaders can take to cultivate positive mental wellbeing:
1. Keep Emails in their place
Smartphones allow us to check our emails from anywhere, at anytime. This can be convenient and useful. However, it makes it far too easy to develop the habit of checking our emails outside of working hours.
To prevent emails sneaking into our time off, try removing work email account from your smartphone.
It can also be useful to change our mindset around emails. Rather than ‘checking’ emails, think in terms of ‘processing’ emails. Only open your email account when you are in a situation were you can reply and deal with what you have received.
2. Create a welcoming staff room
Teaching can be a challenging and overwhelming job. So having a staff room that is inviting and comfortable, allowing people the opportunity to recharge during the day can be transformative.
The way that a staff room is laid out can also encourage positive interaction between people and foster connections. Keeping the space clear and having a communal area were staff can easily sit and eat together can be hugely beneficial.
3. Use Mindfulness
Starting a simple mindfulness practice can be transformative to our wellbeing. Many people may have tried mindfulness before but found it challenging to keep it as a regular habit.
Start small, and keep it regular. You could try ‘mini mindfulness’. The next time you have a brief moment to yourself, it could be at the interval between one meeting and the next, or when you arrive at a location in your car. Close your eyes, and take three breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth.
This simple habit of ‘resetting’ before starting our next segment of the day can give us a boost of energy, and it’s an easy way to integrate mindfulness into our every day lives.
4. Step out of the tunnel
When we face a tight deadline or we have a lot of commitments to juggle, we tend to focus solely on the outcome of ‘getting things done’. The experience of having too little time to complete a task can put us into a mental state of ‘tunnelling’.
When we are in the state of ‘tunnelling’, in which we focus solely on reaching one outcome, this can cause us to neglect other areas of our life. If we are in this state of mind for long period of time, this can cause certain areas of our personal life to suffer.
If you find yourself in this state, take a moment to step out of the tunnel.
- Are there any areas of my life that I have been neglecting recently?
- What activities or habits would I like to do more of?
Learning the habits that bring about positive mental wellbeing can be learnt from a young age, that’s why at OpenView Education we work with students of all ages in our interactive mental health workshops.
If you would like us to visit your school with one of these workshops or with our Anti-Bullying Workshops for Anti-Bullying Week 2020 One Kind Word, get in touch today and a friendly member of our team will talk through the best options for your school.