August 6, 2021

Focussing on Wellbeing

In my video editorial earlier this term, I talked about the skills and mindsets that our students have developed throughout this pandemic that are demonstrated through their ability to think creatively, manage change, persevere and in events like House Music, demonstrate a flexible mindset to achieve their goals.

Rapid changes into lockdown, such as the one that we are currently experiencing, can be very unsettling for our children and ourselves. One way to provide some stability or reassurance is to continue with, or re-consider the things that brought happiness, joy and a sense of wellbeing to our family lives last year. Many people proudly shared experiences such as:

> playing games together, both inside and outside (if possible)

> doing activities together such as cooking or meal preparation

> exercising together

> sharing experiences where you are intentionally noticing things around you, for examples, the texture of trees or beauty of flowers in your yard

> sharing music together, and

> finding ways to show gratitude.

Valuable time with family members is protective for our children. It provides opportunities to talk about things that interest, entertain and even worry us. We communicate and support each other, and through moments of joy we feel more connected and energised.

However, at times of heightened anxiety, such as during a lockdown, it is very common to retreat into our devices (adults as well as children), focussing our attention away from each other and often disregarding our need to disconnect from technology for our own wellbeing. As family time can provide moments of joy to connect and energise us, it needs to be prioritised and planned.

Young people’s dependency on devices to be connected not only in classes and activities, but also with friends online is significant. For many, the reduction of other opportunities during lockdowns also accentuates this time spent on devices. It is important to monitor your child’s use of technology as it is possible that they are accessing a much wider range of sites, and some may not be age appropriate. Typical signs that they need a break from their devices include a determination to be on them, changes in mood, a lack of sleep or disturbed sleep.

Being present and sharing enjoyable family experiences during lockdown is not only prioritising our children’s wellbeing, but our own as well.

Please reach out to any of us if you need assistance during this time.

With best wishes,

Debbie Dunwoody