Good morning, Prep School family,
I hope you are all feeling well and rested after the half term break. I hope you all had a fabulous time whatever you did. I was lucky enough to have a week in Cyprus in the sunshine and it was just glorious. Mr Bennett and I went with our friends and we had the most relaxing time. Our days consisted of sunbathing, sleeping, reading, swimming, eating, adult beverages and playing in the pool. The evenings were full of card games, delicious food, more adult beverages, sunsets and the most excellent outdoors piano bar with a singer who did requests each and every evening. . .what more could you ask for! The half term holiday also gave me a chance to reflect on the academic year so far and prepare for the next half term and the lead up to Christmas. This half term is my favourite of the whole year. I love the lead up to Christmas, I love all of the events that happen within the Prep School, I love seeing all of our parents and wider families in school and I love seeing the happiness on the children’s faces. However, more about my love of Christmas in the coming weeks!
For now, I am going to continue to focus on autumn. Whilst some of us look forward to the autumn, with the promise of cosy jumpers, hot drinks, fires, warming soups and spending more time indoors. For some people the autumn months are less appealing, with fewer daylight hours and much colder temperatures. As the seasons change, you may notice a change in your positivity or your mental well-being. As winter is getting nearer and especially now that the clocks have changed, we may experience a sense of loss for the brighter days gone by and apprehension for the colder, darker months ahead. However, there are many positives about this season. I have mentioned this in a Bulletin earlier this year but after the half term break and the return to the normal routines, I thought it would be good to revisit these reasons.
Pick out the best bits. Although there may be parts about the upcoming months that you don’t enjoy, there may also be things you’re excited for, such as bonfire night, the first frosts or simply being able to wear cosy socks and woolly jumpers. Identifying what you are looking forward to and focusing on those activities can help us to feel more positive about the change in season.
Back to basics. The summer months can be a hectic time with travelling, increased responsibilities (like childcare), and a packed calendar of social events. This time of year can be a perfect opportunity to wind down and focus on the basics that embody good health and well-being including sleep, food and exercise. You may have more time on your hands which you can use whichever way benefits you. Whether it’s cooking a new warming recipe, getting back into a book series you like, beginning to watch those feel good Christmas films or simply taking more time to be in the present and relax.
Introduce new hobbies or activities. We might not be able to do all of the same things that we enjoyed in the summer months but why not use the coming weeks as an opportunity to start a new interest. This could be something indoors or outdoors – whatever you like! Go on, be adventurous!
Exercise. We may feel less inclined to want to get out and be active when it’s colder outside, but exercise in any form can help boost our mood and give us more energy. It’s easy to feel lethargic when we spend excess time inside, so whether it’s a brisk lunchtime walk or going to the gym, there are ways to keep us moving and energised, whatever the weather. My favourite winter activity is going for an evening walk. I love the cold and dark nights, looking at the stars, listening to the silence around me and most of all I love the feeling of coming back home into a cosy house to have a cup of warming tea!
Stay connected to others. If you are like me, I go into hibernation mode at this time of year and I have to really make an effort to go back out once I have got home after work. This may mean we feel that we’re seeing less of our friends and family when the days are shorter. That’s why keeping in touch with loved ones is important, to increase social connectedness and combat loneliness. I also make a concerted effort at this time of year to check in with my elderly neighbours, to check that they are ok and that they have had some human connections throughout the week. This does not take a lot of effort on my part but it makes a huge difference to someone who might not have seen anyone else to speak to in the week.
Remember no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
Quote of the week: “Rest is not idle, it is not wasteful. Sometimes rest is the most productive thing you can do for your body and soul” – Erica Layne
Well-being tasks for this week: These are all based on New Ways November–Actions to help you focus on what really matters.
Tuesday 7 November – Be creative. Cook, draw, write, paint, sing
Wednesday 8 November – Plan a new activity that you want to try this week
Thursday 9 November – When you feel that you cannot do something, add the word ‘yet’
Friday 10 November – Be curious. Learn about a new topic or an inspiring idea
Saturday 11 November – Chose a different route and see what you notice on the way
Sunday 12 November – Find out something new about someone you care about
Monday 13 November – Do something playful outdoors – walk, run, relax, explore
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 do you call a duck who likes watching fireworks? A firequacker!
What do you get when you cross a dinosaur with fireworks? Dinomite!
What was Guy Fawkes’ favourite meal? Bangers and mash!
Did you like the fireworks? Yeah, they were a blast!
I don’t know about your feelings on fireworks…But they really brighten up my night.
When you feel angry, how do you deal with those feelings?
If you had to pick a theme song to describe you, what would it 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 Arthur and Amelie to stay at the weekend.
- I am looking forward to an exciting professional adventure this week.
- I am looking forward to meeting up with a very old friend who I haven’t seen for a long while.
- I am grateful for a lovely half term holiday.
- I am grateful for the gorgeous rainbow of autumn leaves on show at the moment.
Sleeps til Santa: 47 sleeps. . . Christmas is coming!
Have an amazing week and remember to look after yourselves,
With much love,