To celebrate the raising of awareness of mental health on World Mental Health Day we want to share with you EXCLUSIVELY, five of the ways we improve our mindfulness and mental wellbeing using Book of Beasties. READ ON...
Today is World Mental Health Day, a day that we can take full advantage of to raise awareness, talk, help, listen and do everything we can to spread the positive message of mental health.
Book of Beasties is a unique tool that offers a platform for young people to discuss their emotions, worries, mental health. It gives them an opportunity to discover simple and alternative wellness exercises that suit them, and could possibly be used outside the classroom to help them manage their's and their friend's mental health.
Below, especially for World Mental Health Day we have exclusively listed five of the ways we deliver these wellness exercises via Book of Beasties: The Mental Wellness Card Game. Enjoy.
An age-old art of exercise dating back some 5,000 years to India. More than just a trendy method of exercise, Yoga focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing, potentially boosting physical and mental wellbeing. We have hand selected some postures that are specially designed for young people due to their simplicity and possible benefits such as balancing emotions, stress relief, relaxing muscles and calming the mind. In the game, Volta is our yoga master who comes all the way from Peru to help the Beasties feel better using these ancient techniques. You can find out more useful info on the NHS website here.
We, here at the Book of Beasties HQ believe that the ability to manage our worries and concerns is one of the first steps to staying on top of our emotions. Recognising what is causing us stress helps us visualise them and possibly making them easier to tackle, or at least easier to explain so someone else who could maybe help.
In our groups when playing Book of Beasties, we don't force anyone to share their worries or concerns, as they can be a very personal thing - but to maybe make them more manageable we write the worries we can't control down on a red piece of paper (it's what Purrgy's head is made from), fold them into a paper airplane and throw them away so we are in a better place to deal with the worries we can control. Psychology Today shows us a few ways to stop worrying about things we cannot change.
The Realisation of Beauty
Deki is a Beastie that doesn't like the way she looks, even though she is a beautiful Beastie on the inside and out. We maybe all feel a little self-conscious every now and then, sometimes worse than others. And it can be a real challenge to see the good bits about ourselves. #BodyPositivity can mean a handful of things, from being happy with the way you look, to not judging others about the way they look - or from understanding what you may class as imperfections, to embracing them as they are.
We like to write down or even draw what beauty means to us and discuss all the ways we can have inner-beauty. You can discover possible ways to feel good about your body from the Positive Psychology Programme here.
Positive Fortune Teller
There is a whole psychology behind #positivethinking and spinning negative thoughts into more positive ones. And there are lots of documented benefits from having a positive outlook on life. #PositivePsychology focuses on just that, the positives and reasons to feel good - as opposed to the reasons we may be feeling bad. Sticking with our Origami theme in Book of Beasties we create a fortune teller and write in them the most positive things we can think of. Then we spell out something we consider negative, choose a calming colour and flip open the fortune teller to reveal the good thing we can replace that negative thing with. We have found this to be a good way to show how we can flip-turn-upside-down (Prince of Bel-Air reference) some negative thoughts to give us a more positive view on life. Check out the Action for Happiness website for information of Positive Psychology.
Remember when you were young and you had your favourite thing that you took everywhere with you? (Mine was a tiny little Panda bear) Our comforts are absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, especially if they bring you a bit of... #comfort! Little moments of crisis can call for a bit of TLC, but not always necessarily from another person, it can also come from our favourite thing. Be it a teddy bear, blanket, or puppy or computer... It can be anything at all. One of our Beasties, Gagatek, needs his favourite thing (the Gagabear) to help calm him down. We enjoy discussing with the group what everyone's favourite thing in the world is, and that maybe brings them some comfort. Then we draw them down for everyone to see (or in secret if they prefer). All the comforts in Book of Beasties are from children that took part in our trials. If you want your comfort to feature in any of the upcoming expansions, you can contact us below, and we'll be sure to get back to you.
Today (#worldmentalhealthday) is a great day to raise #awareness of #mentalhealth, but it shouldn't be confined to just a day, or a week, or a month. We are trying to make mental health a part of every day conversation - to normalise and #destigmatise the subject amongst young people (and everyone else) so that they may be more equipped to deal with issues of their own or their friends going forward.