Self-Care & Mental Wellness

  • 5 Ways to Mental Well-Being
    The 5 Ways to Mental Well-Being are evidence-based actions that when practiced regularly help enhance and maintain mental well-being. There are simple activities that we can do on a daily basis in order to promote feeling good about life, and support dealing with stress and challenges.

         1. Connect 

    • Supporting Evidence: Social relationships and belonging are critical for promoting mental well-being and for acting as a buffer against mental illness. Feeling close to and valued by other people is a fundamental human need and one that contributes to functioning well in the world.
    • Key Messages: Giving time and space to both strengthen and broaden social relationships is important for mental well-being.
    • Everyday Practices: Mixed Up Lunches. Clubs/Executive Council. Lunch bunches. Small group/counseling. Tip Line. Helping Hands. Teen Leadership classes.  Connecting through generations.  High School students helping Middle School students select courses/schedules.

         2. Keep Learning

    • Supporting Evidence: Life-long learning can enhance self-esteem, encourage social interaction, promote a more active life, and have a positive impact on an individual’s well-being and resilience. Research has shown that subjective well-being is increased for those who teach themselves new things weekly.
    • Key Messages: Reflecting on personal interest and values to make choices around formal and informal learning promotes mental well-being.
    • Everyday Practices: “30 Day Challenge”.  Afterschool/homeroom club day (teacher or student led) to learn something new.  Add programs to build student leadership/confidence.  Hobbies.  “Just keep learning, just keep learning!”  Model lifelong learning. 

         3. Be Active

    • Supporting Evidence: Regular physical activity is associated with a greater sense of well-being and lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups. Engagement in physical activity is beneficial by providing increases in perceived self-efficacy, a sense of mastery and a perceived ability to cope. It also distracts from negative thoughts.
    • Key Messages: Taking time regularly to participate in physical activity is essential for mental well-being.
    • Everyday Practices: Activity day during advisory.  Two recesses per day.  Recommend quick cardio/brain breaks before tests.  Yoga balls/bouncy bands in classrooms.  Yoga in high school as P.E. credit.  School-wide weekly fitness goals.  Design lessons so students move in transition time between activities. 

         4. Take Notice

    • Supporting Evidence: Being aware of what is taking place in the present (mindfulness) predicts positive mental states, self-regulated behavior and increased self-understanding. Increased self-awareness is valuable for choosing behaviors that are consistent with ones needs, values and interests.
    • Key Messages: Taking time to notice one’s thoughts and feelings and the surrounding environment will support mental well-being.
    • Everyday Practices: Journal- take time to reflect.  Make book-to-self connections.  Establish healthy routines and habits.  Practice Yoga, GoNoodle , Breathe, Maximo. 

         5. Give Back

    • Supporting Evidence: Helping, sharing, giving and team-oriented behaviors are associated with an increased sense of self-worth and positive feelings. Happiness and life satisfaction have been strongly associated with participation in the community. Research has shown that doing an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is associated with an crease in well-being. These behaviors can be particularly important to the development of social cognition in children and youth people.
    • Key Messages: Taking time to participate in giving back contributes to individual and community mental well-being.
    • Everyday Practices: Random Acts of Kindness/Kind Kids Clubs.  Educating students about the importance of intentional acts of kindness.  Staff modeling kindness to peers and our students.  Compassionate service projects/days (for students, for staff, and for community members).  Peer Mentorship Opportunities- PALS, HOPE Buddies, and Circle of Friends. 

    Click on links below for helpful resources: