Good morning, Prep School family,
I hope you are well and had a lovely weekend in the sunshine! I had a great weekend of looking after Arthur and Amelie, seeing friends, having an October BBQ, Sunday lunches, pub quizzes, lots of family times and the odd adult rose coloured drink – well the sun was shining, it would be rude not too! It was a weekend of warm and happy thoughts, lots of cuddles, vitamin D in bucket loads and plenty of fun had. A weekend of complete rejuvenation, my soul feels full and happy even if my body is a little tired! A weekend of excellent memories made that has set me up for a positive start to the week.
I thought I would write this week about mental health as today, Tuesday 10 October is World Mental Health Awareness Day. As you know mental fitness and emotional well-being is something that we place extremely highly at Highclare School. Ensuring that the children are mental fit and healthy is part of our duty of care and something we do on a daily basis in school. We actively encourage the children to talk to us about how they are feeling, we have cuddly worry monsters in each classroom for those children who find it hard to express themselves to write down their worry and have it discussed with their teacher and gobbled up by the monster. We confront feelings and emotions head on and teach the children how to deal with a range of emotions throughout their time with us. We talk to the children about their feelings from the moment they start school in Cygnets. We learn to understand how we are feeling and recognise these emotions in our bodies. The emotional development of the children is our first priority. However, our duty of care doesn’t stop with the children, it extends to each and every one of you in the Highclare Prep School family and beyond.
For those of you that know me well, I find it really hard to talk about my feelings and emotions – I am often referred to as the ice queen by my family! I am great talking to other people about their worries and concerns and I am always here to listen to anyone else’s problems or upsets but when it comes to my own feelings, I find it very hard to be able to say out loud how I am feeling on the inside. I know I cannot be the only one that feels like this, I’m sure some of you are relating to this right now. I feel emotions bubbling up inside me and that sometimes makes me react to certain situations in ways that I know that I can handle better. I wish I had had teachers when I was at school that understood and realised the importance of mental well-being and ones that helped me to process my feelings and emotions. I think this is one of the reasons why mental health is so important to me as an adult. I know that I have developed the resilience and ability to accept my emotions over the years and I feel lucky that I can, in the main, deal with these well (Mr Bennett might disagree with this statement!). However, I am fully aware that there are so many people out there struggle with their own personal battles that are finding it very hard to muster the resilience that they need to help them regroup and refocus on the positive. Mental health needs talking about freely without the stigma that is sometimes attached to it and I am super proud of how we do this at Highclare. So everyone, remember – it really is ok not to be ok. It’s ok to talk about feelings and emotions and it is ok to have an off day or two. Life isn’t perfect, you don’t have to be perfect – in fact, life is more fun if we embrace the imperfections occasionally! Remember to talk and always be kind to others. Remember together things are easier.
As mental health is so important for us all, I follow lots of people on social media who openly talk about their own mental health and the journeys that they have been on. Some of these are ‘celebrities’ and some of these are ‘normal’ everyday people. What I like about this mix is that mental health is applicable to everyone we ever come into contact with – friends, family members, popstars, footballers, actors and actresses . . . everyone has mental health, just as everyone has physical health! I have seen many posts this weekend about mental health and one that struck me the most was about how to take charge of your own mental health by raising your happiness through little daily acts. It spoke about focussing on the positive, no matter how small and being grateful for the small things in life. I thought I would share my favourite 20 tips with you. None of these are ground breaking, none of these cost much money but they are all realistic and achievable and I am sure you have some of your own ideas as well.
- Run a bubble bath and relax
- Have fresh flowers in the house (a personal favourite of mine)
- Drink lots of water
- Go for a walk and at this time of year, jump in fallen leaves
- Say something nice to someone you love
- Read a book
- Stare at the stars
- Phone a friend
- Eat food that you love
- Listen to music
- Have an extra cup of tea
- Go and do some gardening – reconnect with nature
- Stroke a pet – Patsy is always in school if you don’t have a pet at home!
- Write a diary to unload your feelings
- Putting your pyjamas on extra early none evening
- Watch a feel good film
- Snuggle on the sofa
- Have an extra five minutes in bed
- Sit and breathe
I am going to leave you with one of my favourite quotes that I have shared with you before but I love it that much, I am going to share it with you again!
“Instead of talking in the hope that people will listen, try listening in the hope that people will talk.” – Mardy Grothe.
Quote of the week: “Admit it. You’re not like the others and that is not just ok. . .it’s absolutely beautiful” – anon
Well-being tasks for this week: These are all based Optimistic October –Actions to help you focus on what really matters.
Tuesday 10 October – Take a small step towards a goal that really matters to you
Wednesday 11 October – Start your day with the most important thing on your to-do list
Thursday 12 October – Be a realistic optimist. See life as it is but focus on what is good
Friday 13 October – Remind yourself that things can change for the better
Saturday 14 October – Look for the good in people around you today
Sunday 15 October – Make some progress on a project or task that you have been avoiding
Monday 16 October– Share an important goal with someone that you trust
Jokes of the week: If you think you can do any better, please send your jokes to me and I can include them in The Bulletin.
What kind of rocks do ghosts collect? Tombstones.
How do ghosts send letters? Through the ghost office.
What do witches’ cats eat for breakfast? Mice crispies.
Why did the ghost starch his sheet? He wanted everyone scared stiff.
Where does a ghost go on vacation? Mali-boo.
What is something that makes our family special?
If our whole family lived in a zoo, what kind of animals would each person be?
5 things that I am grateful for or looking forward to this week:
Can you try this simple exercise in gratitude and positivity?
- I am looking forward to having a clear out of a cupboard that I haven’t touch for years!
- I am looking forward to getting into the garden this weekend and tidying it up
- I am looking forward to having my family around for the day on Sunday
- I am grateful for the late October sun
- I am grateful for the changing colours of the leaves
Sleeps til Santa: 75 sleeps. . .
Have a wonderful week,
Take care of yourselves and each other and remember to be kind, always,
Much love this week,