Focusing on the Whole Child: Wellness Tips to Help Students

Posted by Terri Brinston on Oct 15, 2018, 7:06 AM

Focusing on the Whole Child: Wellness Tips to Help Students

The kids are finally settled back into their school routine and parents are breathing a sigh of relief knowing that for a few hours a day their children are safely in the hands of educators. If you are a school administrator, teacher, school support staff, or even a coach, your carefree, manageable summer schedule is a dim memory. You are inundated with parents, students, emails, and demands on your time.

Depending on where you stand, the reality or your view of a new school year is very different. When it comes to the well-being of students, I believe everyone has a place at the table regardless of their role or responsibility. If their center of focus is the well-being of the child/student, we are on the right path.

Don’t Lose Sight of Your Focus (stay the course)

Now that we have a few weeks under our belt and the dust has settled, I urge you not to lose focus. Your primary objectives must be centered around the whole child. A well-developed plan will have a major impact on your student’s success and our schools in general. Long ago, the depth psychologist Carl Jung contended that “What you resist not only persists but will grow in size.” Today this viewpoint is abbreviated to “what you resist persists.” If we do not direct our focus on supporting the entire child’s needs, what we see happening in our education system will only continue to decline.

Strategies You Can Teach to Influence Each Area of the Whole Child

I encourage you to evaluate your role and your objectives weekly, set a reminder in your calendar. As a teacher, I look at my objectives for the week, and I ask myself, “how am I impacting my students in a way that will add value to not only their understanding of the lesson but to their life?” This very simple practice has changed my teaching approach, and I see a very profound difference in my areas of influence. I am confident that it will make a difference with yours as well.

You may lack the knowledge of how to support your students in all areas but recognizing your lack of knowledge is half the battle. Talk with other teachers, compare notes and share ideas. When you evaluate your weekly objectives, think about the whole child (holistically). Review ways that you can impact their physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Here are some examples to help you begin planning ways you can teach children that will influence each area of the whole child:

Physical Well-being

  • Exercise daily (with a partner if possible)
  • If you feel lonely, frustrated, or stressed go for a walk or run
  • Get enough rest, about eight hours of sleep nightly
  • Explore clubs or sports
  • Drink at least eight glasses of water a day
  • Eat breakfast daily
  • Eat nutritious foods (fruits, vegetables, lean meats)
  • Wash your hands often and always before you eat
  • Always be aware of your surroundings
  • Never get in a vehicle with a driver who has been drinking
  • Always wear your seat belt
  • Act prudently

Emotional Well-being

  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule
  • Avoid procrastination- it stresses you
  • Talk to your friends if you need support
  • Understand it is normal to sometimes feel isolated, lonely, or sad
  • Eat foods rich in Omega –3 fatty acids (salmon, herring, sardines, and tuna) evidence suggests they may help ease depressive symptoms
  • Find humor in situations
  • Do volunteer work
  • Take care of your spiritual, physical, intellectual, and social bodies to feel emotionally balanced
  • Express gratitude to those around you

Spiritual Well-being

  • Be grateful for all your gifts (material and non-material)
  • Be aware of your intuition and listen to it
  • Find people who share your sense of morality
  • Ask for help when you need it
  • Attend a service or ceremony to enhance your spirituality/faith
  • Check out events and activities that support your culture and/or ethnicity
  • Find someone to attend these events with you
  • Remember to meditate or pray
  • Be kind to at least one person every day
  • Share your talents and gifts- be a person with and for others

Let me and my team help you refocus your impact. Click to learn more about who we are and how we can help

Please share this article with your staff and leave me a comment below.

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