To reinforce the notion that talking about mental health and well-being should happen regularly, not just on one particular day, SCS’s student Wellness Committee and the LINCWell Department partnered on a Well-being Week to usher out January. With the stated goal of promoting community, self-awareness, the power of positive self-talk, and leadership, the week included planned activities to mark Bell Let’s Talk Day on January 29.
How do you brighten a Monday in January? With an unexpected dose of happy, courtesy of the Wellness Committee. Girls arrived at their lockers that morning and were greeted with handwritten Post-it notes, designed to promote positive self-talk. The inspirational Post-its shared messages of appreciation, compassion, and thoughtfulness. Students then took those happy thoughts with them to an empowering lunchtime activity. “Shred the Stigma” asked participants to take a thoughtful approach to externalizing and naming any thoughts or worries that have been sticking around for too long, so they could shred them and say goodbye. Students noticed an unintended outcome of sharing their experiences in a group setting; they saw they weren’t alone in experiencing discomfort, and felt empowered by letting the worry go.
Nothing Stacks Up to Brekkie Together
Bell Let’s Talk Day started with pancakes! The entire SCS community was reminded why breakfast is the most important meal of the day as they gathered in the gym for the 3rd annual Community Breakfast. Students and staff connected over griddled goodness and an upbeat playlist before heading to their first class. “When looking at the factors that optimize personal well-being, a community breakfast is a natural fit,” says Megan Clay, LINCWell Program Manager. “Breakfast gives us energy and boosts brain power, and gathering as a community provides happiness, security, and support.” During the breakfast and throughout the day, students and staff took part in important discussions and activities in support of Bell Let’s Talk Day. Mindful colouring, a photo booth where students could pose with statements about why mental health matters, and a “Be There” talking circle over lunch further promoted the power of connection and positive mental well-being.
State Your Intentions
Well-being Week concluded with a focus on intentions. An intention is an idea that one plans to carry out. It might be a goal, a purpose, or a heartfelt wish. Sometimes, stating an intention out loud or creating a physical piece around it makes it even more powerful. The final lunchtime activity brought groups of girls together to craft intention bracelets, where mindful words like “calm”, “optimism”, and “enough” were turned into wearable art. “Taking a mindful moment can take on many forms; it may be an activity that calms and focuses your attention,” explains Ms Clay. “Creating intention bracelets is just one example. Crafting activities, like colouring, knitting, and making glitter jars have been some of the best received introductions to mindful experiences for our girls.”
Well-being Week was a wonderful example of SCS students taking the lead on shaping the environment they want to see and feel at school; namely, one where connections foster open conversations about mental health and well-being on any given day, not just one day dedicated to talking. The Wellness Committee and LINCWell are working together to make sure the positive conversations continue long after Well-being Week!