Gratitude, Empathy, and Mindfulness – We Need Resilience Right Now!

In These COVID-19 Times, We need Resilience Right Now!

I've been very humbled by the heartfelt messages and emails I have received recently from so many of you. It's times like these when the strength of the community and our partnerships are so important. The Minimbah Staff and I are so grateful for your support. Take a bow one and all because you are doing a fantastic job out there in ISO-land.

For the last few years, Minimbah has been a partner school with The Resilience Project. Two years ago, Martin Heppell joined us to share his wisdom and practical approaches to developing resilience in young people. 

With the incredible support of the Minimbah PFG, we have maintained our partnership with the organisation, and last Monday, staff met via Zoom with the founder of The Resilience Project, Hugh Van Cuylenburg. 

Again, we're reminded of just how vital practising gratitude, empathy, and mindfulness are in developing resilience - not only in ourselves but also in our students. Startling statistics suggest 24% of primary aged students have a mental health issue right now, and experts are expecting this to rise by 10% – 15% due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation and its likely impacts in the future. 

It's easy to be overwhelmed with statistics, even more so now, the constant reports of doom and gloom on the horizon. I actually prefer to focus on hope, and I believe very strongly that without a positive outlook and without hope on that horizon, it is difficult to rise above the negativity which sometimes permeates our thinking. A positive mindset is my 'go-to' element of mindfulness! 

Many years ago, I did some' Positive Psychology' training based on the customer experience at Pikes Place Fish Market in Seattle, USA. The basic premise was about finding joy in what you do, sharing that joy with others and choosing your attitude. I can tell you honestly; it's a philosophy I still practise today. There is no way, I get it right all the time, but I do genuinely try to choose a positive attitude each day. I hope it rubs off! Here's a link to Pikes Place Fish Market. It's so much more than just about throwing fish! You can do the research. 

I also believe this is why I find there so much synergy with, The Resilience Project. Hugh tells us to focus less on the struggle and to become better at stopping and paying attention to the 'now.' He is also a great believer in 'practice makes perfect.' 

Like anything worth doing, we need to practise it. The simple GEM approach is all about practising Gratitude, Empathy, and Mindfulness. 

Martin Heppell from The Resilience Project Presenting at Woodleigh School 

While many things are happening in the world today, which are challenging, we are also experiencing many moments we would not have had if the coronavirus had passed by us. 

Time spent with family is precious, and we now have it in abundance. Hugh reminds us to look for the positives, to focus on what went well and what we can look forward to, getting us through our troubled times. Do something for others, look out for a family member struggling, be present with your partner or your children, laugh together. Be mindful of perspective-taking and catastrophising. 

Now, something we can look forward to! Hugh will be available for parents on Wednesday, 20 May, from 6.30 pm in a special Zoom meeting for Woodleigh Families. I hope you can make time to join one another for what promises to be a worthwhile and energising parent education session from The Resilience Project; save the date now! 

Happy Mother's Day to all our Minimbah Campus Mums!

Thank you for all that you do, we hope you get spoilt rotten today, get to spend time with your families and bask in the joy that is motherhood.
A big shout out too, to the other amazing female role models who shape the lives of our students. Nans and Grandmas, Aunties, Teachers, Coaches and Friends!

Take care everyone   

ROD DAVIES Deputy Principal - Head of Minimbah Campus