One can often find themselves searching for joy and reasons to celebrate, as we continue to navigate the uncertainty of what things will look like in six months, six weeks, six days and even tomorrow. But one can’t underestimate the power of gratitude on your wellbeing as we each unpack the impact of isolation and uncertainty in different ways. You can find that joy in a simple conversation across the dinner table, or as you walk the dog with a member of your family, or share some banter while one peels the potatoes and the other scrambles to find the recipe book to work out how long to boil the perfect egg for. Take the time to share with others the everyday things you are grateful for and listen to what they have to be grateful for.
So, what is it that you are grateful for? Is it that you have additional time to spend with members of your immediate family? Or that you don’t have to fight the terrible traffic on the way along Barkers Road or getting stuck as you want to enter or exit the turning circle to pick up and drop off your children? Or is it that each night you are warm and have had enough food to keep your tummy satisfied until the morning?
For me, it is knowing that I have wonderful support mechanisms around me – by which I mean the people around me.
It starts at home with my family – a warm greeting when I arrive home from work or a simple coffee on the desk as I weave my way around the complexities of the ‘new norm’. It extends right the way to staff at school, those onsite and those who are endlessly striving and prepared to go the extra mile every day to make the learning as engaging and exciting for the students under their care. These simple everyday occurrences, when reflected upon and shared with others, create a sense of joy and reason to celebrate.
As we track through the final three weeks of term, take the time to not only smell the roses (although that is important of course), but also to recognise and acknowledge the efforts of those who have continued to adapt and find ways to support the students to engage them with online learning.
Last night we had a warmup session to the 21 Days of Wellbeing, which commences tonight, with a live webinar by Dr Justin Coulson titled ‘Lightening the Lockdown Load’. This was just the tip of the iceberg for parents and students to both support and guide them and provide a sense of hope and wellbeing with ideas for all over the next 21 days. Our Junior School students will all be engaged in several class-based activities across the next three weeks and in a dedicated wellbeing day on Tuesday 1 September, the first day of spring, titled, Spring into Spring. During this session, they will be able to create and decide the direction of their day’s learning in consultation with their class teacher in a ‘Choose your own Adventure’ series of activities, culminating in the most colourful virtual House Cross Country event. Details of this fun-filled day will filter through Canvas announcements and through the class and specialist teachers across the next two weeks.
My advice for enhancing your wellbeing is simple, but can’t be underestimated: take the time to be in the moment, to listen, to see and to appreciate. I wish you all well and many calm days ahead as the evolving climate continues to deliver much uncertainty, but with it, opportunities for us all to reflect on our previous habits and practices.
Deputy Head – Student Welfare