At Maidstone Intermediate, we want our students to be supported in all aspects of their Hauora (well-being). This includes physically (tinana), mentally and emotionally (hinengaro), socially (whānau), and spiritually (wairua); as well as cultivating an environment of inclusion and belonging. Our Meeting Challenges programme involves working with our counsellor in a way that equips students to face challenges, while remaining strengths-focused. It is important to us that students feel safe, their voice is heard, and they are advocated for.
A great place to start when it comes to looking after our own well-being is to start with the basics. These include our eating habits, sleep routine, water intake, exercise, and reducing screen time.
Eating Habits – Research shows that there is a strong link between how the food we eat affects our mood. Nutrients that can help boost our mood include fruit and vegetables, dark leafy greens, whole grains, probiotics, beans and lentils, omega 3, and antioxidants from berries. Health Navigator elaborates on the connection between food and mood, while this article provides helpful tips for healthy eating.
Sleep Routine – Having a consistent and good sleep routine is important for the mental health of our tamariki, as it increases resilience, helps regulate their emotions, and allows the body to rest and process information. A lack of sleep can mean an increase in irritability, sensitivity, and impulse. It can contribute to depression and anxiety, make it hard to cope with stress, and interrupt hormones.
Water – One of the most simple acts we can do to improve our mood is to drink water. It is suggested that tamariki drink seven glasses of water a day. A healthy water intake is able to boost our concentration, and reduce anxiety levels and tension.
Moving our body can do wonders for our mental health, our capacity to learn, and regulate our emotions. This video
offers insight as to the impact exercise has on our brain.
Screen Time –
Screens and technology are a big part of our day-to-day lives. However, it is important that we are able to regulate the time we spend on them, and take breaks. Reducing screen time can be especially helpful when it comes to having healthy sleep habits. For more information and tips, watch why screen time needs to be controlled
and balance screen time
Anxiety is something a lot of people experience. It may be for a short time or more long term; as well as ranging from mild levels to high levels, and for various reasons. Either way, this anxiety toolbox
offers five sessions to help manage anxiety, along with printable and practical resources for each session.
Mindfulness – Breathing & Grounding
Mindfulness is a helpful tool when it comes to managing anxiety, stress, and helping to regulate our emotions. The concept of mindfulness is about being present, and using various tools and techniques to do so. A few commonly used mindfulness techniques include: deep breathing and grounding which aim to reduce anxiety, and regulate our nervous system.
For practical ways to start, try some of the following exercises.
This can be another way of practising mindfulness, and can look different for everyone. Happify has an online meditation 101
for a helpful starting place. Headspace
also has a 10-minute meditation
for reframing stress, as well as many other helpful resources and information on their website.