October 24-28, 2022
Why Mental Health Week? While the importance of mental health is year-round, SPMS Mental Health Week is an opportunity to bring awareness, provide resources and offer simple coping strategies that students may choose to incorporate into their lives immediately or at some point in the future. Middle school adolescence is a period of rapid change, growth and development. If it feels like you’re experiencing whiplash from the dramatic shifts in your student’s moods or behaviors, there’s a reason for that and it is perfectly normal!
E-book Resource (Download Here) In planning the activities for the week, we structured the activities around five themes: Exercise, Nutrition, Sleep, Mindfulness and Connection. We created an e-book of resources gathered from existing SPUSD sources, our community of parent experts, and trusted online sources, to provide a broad overview of adolescent brain development and how these ideas relate to mental health and wellness. This e-book is meant to be a collection of resources and a place to start if there is something you would like to learn more about.
The ultimate brain hack! Engaging in physical activity that requires your full concentration allows your brain to take a break from things that might be worrying you. Soccer skills, exercise stations with The Upstanders, and Yoga will be featured during the week to encourage students to get moving as a way to manage feelings of stress and anxiety.
Information about the importance of good nutrition and how it impacts our moods. Students will have a chance to take a “Quick Quiz” for a piece of dark chocolate*, a proven dopamine booster. (*If students do not like chocolate, they may choose a mental health themed sticker or an SPMS silicon bracelet.)
Information about the importance of sleep and sleep hygiene will be provided and students may take a “Quick Quiz” for a chance to Spin-the-Wheel for a sleep mask or some Sweet Dreams herbal tea.
Make Your Own Journal Pages – There are so many ways to organize but the best one is the one that you will use! Discover some new ideas for putting your responsibilities and goals in order. *Encourages responsibility.
A Tree of Wellness Wishes – Did you know that making a wish is a form of positive thinking? *Strengthens coping skills and flexibility in framing situations.
188.8.131.52.1. – This guided walk will ask you to engage all of your senses to help center and ground you in the present moment. *Builds awareness of surroundings.
Art & Origami with The Upstanders – Enjoy some coloring pages and origami activities to give your mind a break and maybe make some new friends! *Encourages resilience. Completing ANY small task builds confidence and ability to follow through.
Shred Your Stress with The Upstanders – Students write down a worry and then put it in the shredder! *Encourages acceptance of situations outside of one’s control and perspective.
Saved a Seat for You – We have created spaces to encourage sitting with new people for lunch and providing some silly icebreaker questions to kickstart the conversation. Ask your students if they tried it and made any new friends!
Puppy Love – Dog trainer and SPMS parent, Toby Bangar, and “Service Dog-in-Training” River have been visiting the campus on Fridays at lunchtime to give a little lift to students. On Friday, October 28, River will be available for pets and joined by fellow dogs-in-training Riddley, Odette, Grizzly, Durga, Kuma! Interacting with animals has been shown to decrease levels of cortisol and lower blood pressure. Other studies have found that animals can reduce loneliness, increase feelings of social support, and boost your mood.
In addition to the above, students will receive raffle tickets for participating in the various activities. Prizes include: At home exercise kit (jumprope, pull up bar, resistance bands), At home yoga kit (mat, blocks, yoga ball), At home sleep kit (essential oils, sleep mask), Bullet Journal kit (nice journal and fine tip pens), ATK Young Chef Cookbook + $10 Teamorrow gift card, Mandala Coloring books + colored pencils, and Kids Against Maturity game cards!