We live in a pandemic and wellness is something that we prioritize at school, building community, supporting each other, students, teachers and staff, and the broader community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, self-care is more essential than ever to help build and maintain a healthy immune system.
Research shows that exercise helps boost the brain and the immune system, and if we combine this with a regular healthy food diet and enough sleep, we will start finding some balance. Is this enough? Well, same as we take care of our bodies, we need to take care of our minds. Meditation helps.
One of the most successful things that we have been doing for all staff during PD days is the hour of wellness. Just in the middle of the day, before our lunch break, staff participates in different activities for 45 minutes or an hour, depending on the activity.
This is possible thanks to the generosity of many teachers, TAs, and staff in general that are offering a range of activities, that include physical and sporty activities, musical, mindfulness, art, cooking, games… We can’t be more thankful to these individuals for offering their time and knowledge to others. At the same time we recognize that when you give you receive, and most of the time, you feel great by sharing, interacting with others, and especially freeing your mind. This really helps us to get through long sessions of meetings or sitting downtime during the PD.
Allowing time to care for ourselves is not selfish, it’s necessary. There is still a lot to do, but we are slowly starting to understand it and adding it to our busy lives.
We believe that as human beings we need to interact with others and during online school, we don’t have the same opportunities so we recently have started an idea to connect with others, encourage others, lift each other up and inspire others by sharing different activities that we are up to during our free time.
Using a platform called “Padlet”, teachers and staff add an idea, something that makes them feel good, and try to inspire others to do something similar or possibly get an idea from that. There is also a possibility to comment on each other, and be grateful for what they have shared. I have personally used social media as well as the “Padlet”, with the hashtag #ISPPinspires to share a few things that help my body and mind smile and get me through the days and weeks. This has a wider impact, as it can inspire, or not, people that might not be at ISPP, or even in Cambodia, but might have to go through the same process of stressed, overwhelmed lives.
We understand that everyone has a different story and we all have our own struggles and happy moments. Reflecting on those experiences, acknowledging them, and being grateful for what we have, might help us to get through this pandemic and difficult times.
Leticia Carino, PYP PE Teacher, Wellness Committee Leader
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