Monday, March 1, 2021
5 Ways to Wellness: Return to School Edition

We’ve put together a number of fun and mindful activities that you can practice during the lead up to the return to school. 

Here’s hoping this is the last lockdown and we can get back to some form of normality.   

This transition however could potentially be a difficult one, especially for children who may be nervous about the return to school, catch up learning or seeing other people outside of their bubbles. 

So we have gathered some playful, fun and creative exercises that they can explore throughout the next week to help manage stress levels, encourage creative thinking ready to learn, stretch out and energise their bodies and generally keep track of their wellbeing.  

5 Fives to Wellness: The Return to School Edition.

The Stress Reliever 

 Journaling is a great way to relieve stress and gain a better perspective on things that you are worried about. There are so many benefits to keeping a journal, which can consist of detailed diary entries, or even quick one sentence thoughts jotted down. Such as helping us learn from our experiences, improving communication skills, boosting memory and even helping us sleep better. 

Write one each of the following every day: 

- One thing you are looking forward to 

- One thing you are worried about  

- One person you a excited to see 

- A class you don’t want to do 

- A class you really want to do 

- Something you have learned during the lockdown that you can teach your friends 

The Mind Prepper 

Prepare a story to tell friends and classmates back at school, but make it as exciting as possible. Think of something that happened to you whilst you were off school and turn it into a real adventure. 

For example, did you go on a long walk with your Family? imagine if you got lost, or met a dragon, or even found some hidden treasure. Think about what you would have done in these situations and turn it into an amazing story. 

It can make it simpler by using a basic story arc to make our story as exciting as possible. 

- Story setup example: One day we went on a walk that took us into a thick forest… 

- Growing action example: In the forest we found some hidden treasure that was guarded by a dragon… 

- Climax example: The dragon thought we were trying to steal his treasure so chased after us through the forest, breathing fire and roaring loudly. 
- Falling Action example: Finally he realised we were not there to steal his treasure and he was just grumpy because it is uncomfortable to sleep on treasure. 
- Resolution example: Once we got home we found big cushion for the dragon to sit on so he would be more comfortable. In return he shared some of his treasure. 

Now you try… 

The Body Flexer 

Simple stretches can be a great way to relax the body and mind, with different poses helping with different things. These stretches, or Yoga poses can be done anytime, anywhere and are perfect to energise us in the morning, or help calm us in the evenings before bed. 

Here are five stretches to help you chill. 

The Resting Pose 
Simply lay on your back with your arms rested by your side (or anywhere they feel comfortable) and concentrate on breathing deep, with your eyes closed until you can feel your whole body relax. 

Tree Pose 
A favourite of our Beasties. Stand on one leg with the other bent, the sole of your feet rested on  your inner thigh. Concentrate on your balance by choosing a point to look  at and focus on. Slowly lift your arms above your head, and maybe like a majestic tree slowly sway in the breeze, breathing deep and letting your mind quieten.  

Star Pose 
Because you are a super star. Stand with your feet wide apart and legs stretched (be careful not to hurt yourself), then stretch your arms out to make a star shape. Hold this shape, standing tall and stretching out, breathe in deep and exhale. 

Mountain Pose 
Stand up as tall and straight as you can with arms down by your side, hands wide open. Not carefully stand on your tiptoes and hold that pose, breathing in and out. Picture yourself as the mountain standing high above the clouds. 

Crescent Moon Pose 
Similar to the tree pose stand up tall with your arms stretched up above your head, hands together. Slowly bend to the side (left or right) whilst breathing deep and holding this position as if you were the crescent moon. Then do the other side. 

The Deep Breather 

Deep breathing features a lot throughout Book of Beasties, largely due to its many benefits. Such as decreasing stress, relieving pain, increasing energy and even improving digestion. But it can sometimes not be the most fun thing to do. So let’s make an adventure out of it.  

Let’s create a deep breath obstacle course with each point in the course acting as a deep breathing exercise.  

- Smell the flowers   
Walking through a meadow we see some beautiful flowers. Let’s smell them. Slightly bend down in front and take a big deep breathe standing up straight as you do.
- Be a bunny breath   
Hopping up next to you comes a cure little bunny. Copy her nose movements, taking three or four short sharp breaths in through the nose, and the breath out long a deep.
- Chase away the snake breath   
Oh no! A snake is slithering towards the bunny. Chase the snake away by taking a big deep breath and slowly blowing it out making a loud hissing noise. 

- Jump in a hot air balloon breath  
Time to take to the sky in a hot air balloon. Breath in as deep as you can and arms out stretched into the sky blow out as long as you can, blowing the balloon into the clouds.
- Land the balloon and blow out the candle breath 
It’s time to go home. Let’s land the balloon and blow our the candle ready for bed. With a big long, deep breathe in and quickly breathe out, blowing out the flame. 

Try coming up with your own deep breathing adventure. 

The Creative Juicer 

Dancing is a natural reaction to such things as music or a good beat, with children dancing even before they can walk. Exploring new movements and creating original dance routines helps to learn new skills, developed better understanding of how their body moves, boosts energy, realises pent up tension and is just good, playful fun. 

Try coming up with your own dance routine, drawing out each movement first to plan the best routine you can think of, then choose a song to dance to, or just freestyle it in silence. 

Imagery from Pixabay.