Mental Health Week 2021 runs from 10th May to 16th May with the theme of connecting with nature and the environment. During this pandemic, many children, young people and adults have experienced a mental health problem, or seen a loved one struggle. In our busy lives, it is important that we find time to relax and connect with one another, connect with ourselves and connect with nature. There is growing acceptance and evidence that access to nature is crucial for our mental health, and millions of people discovered that during lockdowns in 2020.
Agora International Schools in Spain have created a Body, Mind & Spirit programme in response to the situation experienced over the past year and aims to improve the physical and emotional health of Agora students. Workshops will help students understand how to identify their emotions and feelings of uncertainty and isolation, and how to work towards combatting these feelings. Activities such as hiking and an overnight stay in the mountain hut will be included in the programme. Emotional fatigue, adaptation to change, stress management, empathy, resilience and cultural tolerance are some of the aspects that will be worked on throughout the week, all in spaces surrounded by nature and open air.
The need to safeguard everyone´s mental, physical and emotional wellbeing is a top priority for Globeducate. The second phase of our Globeducate Wellbeing Programme for Mind, Body and Spirit, which launched in January in nine countries for all of Globeducate’s employees, has recently completed. Carefully selected course leaders have supported our teams in feeling invigorated, to learn a new skill, build confidence and encourage a sense of community across all the teams in different countries. From yoga, Zumba and Mindful-Nature Connection, to interactive Indian cooking classes and Personal Mastery, the programme created the opportunity to make new friends and contacts through sharing interests and experiences.
Read some of the fantastic feedback we have received:
“I’ve never tried yoga before so the Globeducate wellbeing programme gave me the perfect opportunity to try it in the comfort of my own home. The instructor was very welcoming and friendly and there were several participants from different countries. Maria modelled and explained each move carefully and the session was easy to follow. The relaxation at the end has stuck with me and I have used it to relax when I’ve found it difficult to get to sleep. I wouldn’t hesitate to sign up again for similar activities”.
Sarah Holtom, Stonar School, UK
The Zumba Toning class was amazing. It was fun, energetic and very active! There was a perfect mix of work out activities and a good level of entertainment. The structure of the class was sensational: it helped me destress from the week, be fit and, most importantly, enjoy!
Gessica Cosi, Canadian School of Florence, Italy
I thoroughly enjoyed the Indian cooking class with Monty and Harshita, which was the perfect way to relax and unwind on a Friday evening after a busy week. They were brilliant hosts, transporting us into their kitchen in Jaipur as they guided us through their recipes for Chicken Tikka Masala, Aloo Masala and Jeera Rice. The food was delicious and surprisingly simple. I’ll definitely be cooking the recipes again.
Jennifer Wallace, ISN Nice, France
Rafa’s wine class was the highlight of my week and made me start the weekend fully relaxed (and knowledgeable!). Step away from the thought that wine classes are boring with Rafa. After one hour with him, you learn so much about the wine experience without feeling lost with fancy expert wine vocabulary. It was funny, instructive and Rafa was incredibly happy to answer our questions and I can now say I have a personalised wine adviser among my contacts.
Laura Martinez, ICS London, UK
I was given the opportunity to learn about essential oils. After the two-hour class led by Louise Kelly, I was enlightened by the benefits, on how and where they can be used. Louise clarified the power of essential oils and helped me understand that in stressful moments I can use natural solutions instead of using synthetically manufactured products.
Isabel Poco, Nobel International School Algarve, Portugal
The Mindful-Nature Connection course was a condensed 4-week course which allowed us to destress mid-week and consider and enjoy our surrounding environment. Hazel led guided meditations which we are now able to practice ourselves. I particularly enjoyed all the different breathing techniques, one of which I used last week to calm myself down!
Hannah Larsen, Mougins School, Spain
The Personal Mastery course with Hazel Farrer was hugely impactful on my current thinking. The small group size felt intimate, and we quickly formed a bond. I felt comfortable to share thoughts either by speaking or live messaging sometimes. The content really got me thinking about my own values and visions for life, and I found it a very cathartic way to spend 1hr 30 even after a very busy day at work. I enjoyed the meditations as well – fantastic for re-setting the mind.
Amy Grace, Globeducate, Portugal
Hazel Farrer, is our programme tutor for Personal Mastery and Mindful-Nature Connection and shares the following tips on maintaining a healthy mindset:
- Communicate – with family or close friends, have a zoom coffee, check up on how they are, chat to keep in touch
- Keep active – stretch regularly throughout the day, go for a walk, try yoga or a zoom class for fun
- Eat the right foods – what gives you energy, builds your strength and helps your immune system?
- Connect with nature– interact with nature’s immune boosters, improve your oxygen uptake, feel happier outside
- Disconnect from the screen – take regular screen breaks, switch off an hour before bed, try non computer hobbies
- Look after your mental health – find things to laugh at, try a mindfulness course, download a meditation app
- Go to work – if at home, get dressed for work, create work time routines, have a work space, don’t work in bed
- Find time to do the things you love – put in some nourishing and fun things, take out some of the depleting things
- Get comfortable with being uncomfortable – embrace changes as a chance to grow at this time. This too will pass
- Control what you can – let go of the rest, use this time to see what’s important, who’s important and treat yourself as important