This month I'm walking 100km to raise money for a Mental Health service provider I refer to regularly at work. The Black Dog Institute has wonderful free information, self-tests, apps, webinars and more. They can help guide people to access the support they need, when they need it, and that includes ongoing support for better mental wellbeing long-term. My fundraiser is here. I'm also helping my colleagues with mental health events for Queensland Mental Health Week at work, which is an interesting process as I'm learning what services are available. During my Mental Health First Aid training, and my current Diploma of Community Services I've been alarmed by the statistics around mental health and suicide. I'm also aware that mental health issues affect a large proportion of the service users where I work, and that a person's mental health can affect employment, economic security, social connection, physical wellbeing, and almost all aspects of their lives.
I've been homeschooling for over 25 years, and I've loved the increased availability of resources to use with children to encourage whole child learning - mind, body and spirit. Growth mindset and mindfulness resources, beautiful children's books, meditations for calmer kids, and so much more are all mainstream these days. Back in the day we had to "mail order" these things from suppliers far away, at great expense. We have a lovely variety of 'tools' we use here for yoga, bedtime relaxation, creativity, and thoughtful activities which lead to important conversations. Here are a couple we've enjoyed recently:
I've used this tool for years with various children. They simply define things they CAN control and things they CAN'T control on a sheet of paper or a whiteboard - and then you can discuss these together, addressing any frustrations or other negative feelings. I also did the circle of control activity alongside Zeah, and in the teens/adults version there's a third circle for 'things I can influence'. What I like most about this easy activity is that it leads to recognising our ability to control (or not) various aspects of our lives. I've overheard many family members shrugging things off with a quiet "outside my circle of control" and a sigh. This is a great tool for over-thinkers!
Finally, I'm enjoying a very appropriate audiobook during my extra walks this month. It's called Walk Yourself Happy and it's full of lovely stories, great tips, and clear science supporting what I know in my soul - walking in nature can cure most heart heaviness!
I wish you all the very best this Mental Health Week, and always. Thank you for reading my blog. If you'd like to email me, please do!
The amazing view from my regular walk along my street.