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Mindfully Returning to School

Posted by on Aug 1, 2020 | Comments Off on Mindfully Returning to School

Mindfully Returning to School

Mindfulness – the simple (or not so simple) act of paying attention to what is happening in the present without judgment. With the unique situations that returning to school during a global health pandemic brings, practicing mindfulness can help to create intentional environments for both you and your students, which can help alleviate some of the stress. Mindfulness is powerful, intentional, and evidence-based. It helps improve: 

  • Social skills
  • Emotional regulation
  • Behavioral regulation
  • Overall global executive control 
  • Attention and concentration
  • Memory
  • Planning and organization
  • Self-esteem
  • Calmness
  • Relaxation
  • Self-acceptance
  • Sleep
  • Anxiety
  • ADHD
  • Negative affect
  • Depression 

Whether you are a parent or an educator, the following list of mindfulness activities can be used throughout the day. Mindfulness can be a great way to transition between activities, bring students back to the present moment, or a way to begin and end the day at home. These mindfulness activities can be used for individual youth or a group of students. 

Body Scan Activity:  A body scan activity is a simple mindfulness meditation. A body scan allows focus to be brought to different parts of the body. This can help release tension or promote a calmness in the present moment. Lead the body scan yourself or you can follow along to the following video. Body scan meditations for all ages can be found for free online.

Gratitude Check-In: Set a time for students to create a list of things they are grateful for. These things can be big or small. Gratitude check-ins can be done daily or weekly. If youth are comfortable, sharing can be a great way to build rapport and receive some insight on what they are experiencing. Some gratitude prompts include:

  • Who is someone that inspires you? 
  • What are you looking forward to this week? 
  • What is something nice you did for yourself this week? 
  • What is an act of kindness that was shown towards you recently?

Circle of Control Activity: During a time when there is so much uncertainty, the circle of control activity is a great way to support youth in pulling their focus back to what is within their control. Youth will draw a circle on a sheet of paper. Inside the circle, they write what they do have control over. Outside of the circle, they will write what worries and concerns are out of their control. This OP Quick Connect video walks you through the circle of control activity.

Let us know what mindfulness activities you find helpful and check out our other blog posts at opheliasplace.net!