We strive to support the health and well-being of all members of our community and this applies to our well-being initiative. Beyond providing a rigorous academic curriculum, we also engage students in a variety of physical activities while also supporting their socio-emotional development.
In conjunction with the Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA), UWC East Africa continues to review and refine the initiatives that we implement to meet the social and emotional needs of our community members. Through our Life Skills curriculum, mentoring program, and residential care staff, we are constantly assessing and meeting the needs of our students beyond their academic expectations. Pastoral care is another component of the support system, and professional development is ongoing to ensure all staff are properly trained.
If you have any concerns, please feel free to contact the Counseling staff at Counselor_moshi@uwcea.org or Counselor_arusha@uwcea.org. It is important that everyone is aware that help exists in our community, you just have to reach out and connect to the resources that exist. We also invite you to read the weekly newsletters below that our Well-Being Committee creates to provide resources to promote the healthy development of our community. This began during the COVID-19 pandemic, but continues as we recognize the need to address all aspects of well-being throughout the year.
Be well and stay connected.
Wellness Wednesday was a weekly newsletter produced in UWCEA until the end of September 2020. Here is the last edition.
- 30 September Wellness Wednesday Weekly
Wellness Wednesday Weekly
Volume 2 Issue 8
Wednesday, 30 September 2020
Filling Your Self-Care Toolbox for the Break (and Beyond)
Greetings UWCEA Community,
How do you make the most of a break during a very busy year?
You pack some essentials to ensure you can practice self-care!
With a well deserved break ahead of us, we wanted to provide some tools for you to explore as you take time to refresh, renew, and recover from the first quarter. Although many have faced an array of emotions over recent months, we cannot help but appreciate the determination and perseverance exhibited throughout our campuses. We recognize that this can take a toll on many as they strive to achieve at high levels over an extended period of time, and encourage everyone to use this break to discover new ways to thrive in the months ahead.
Within our school community, there is an ongoing practice of reflection as we seek to improve the ways we identify and support the needs of others. However, there is also an emphasis on providing strategies to encourage balance in the approach to our collective wellbeing. It is said that you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him (or her) drink. We know that there are times when people forget to access the tools at their disposal to maintain their mental health, so, we wanted to share some with you today.
A recent blog by Nedra Tawwab highlighted some of the key ideas related to self-care, and provides a prescription for how to begin creating a healthy space in your life. Her tips are straightforward and concise and, if followed, can help to clear the clutter that so often lead to the disappointments and frustrations that limit our enjoyment of daily life. Here are ten Real Self-Care tips to practice over the break.
In addition, last Friday evening, Dr. Marc Brackett (a professor at Yale University) started a presentation asking, “How do you feel?” We hear this question all the time, but do we really take the time to answer it honestly and reflectively. In his presentation for CASEL CARES, Dr. Brackett delves into the topic of Permission To Feel for Adults. Listening to this recording, you can continue filling your self-care toolbox with the wisdom that comes from a deeper understanding of your emotional intelligence and strategies to enhance your ability to self-regulate, while you model the skill for the children in your life. To further understand the information presented in the recording, Dr. Brackett and CASEL created resources that include a self-care self-assessment and other tools available on this link. Also, for parents who are interested in learning how this works with children, please register to participate in another event on Friday evening. The focus of this presentation will be on what you can do to support the children in your life with their emotional health during challenging times. Link to register for the event, or to receive the recording.
There is a tremendous amount of work being done around the world to train members of society to address the basics of mental health in the same way people are trained to provide medical first aid. This has become even more vital during the pandemic and lockdowns that were instituted in parts of the world. A program called Mental Health First Aid has been gaining momentum throughout the world, and can lead to better understanding the needs of individuals in our community, as well as providing basic tools to support. Last week, an article in the Washington Post provided insight into this program, and we welcome you to discover more by reading it yourself this link. Now more than ever, it is essential that we all fill our toolboxes with some resources to address our own mental health, and those that we encounter who may need our help.
World Mental Health Day
Each year, on 10 October, the World Health Organization sponsors World Mental Health Day. This year, WHO has put together some virtual resources that cover a range of important topics and provide ways to engage in this annual awareness campaign. Although we will still be on our break at this time, we strongly encourage our community to find ways to participate in the events on that day, and consider ways that we can build our mental health toolbox for the duration of this school year. On this link you will find information about how the World Health Organization is gearing up for this year’s awareness event, and the activities you can tune in to participate no matter where you are in the world.
Finally, we will be scaling back the frequency of the Wellness Wednesday Weekly messages in the next quarter now that we are back on campus. However, we will transfer the work to more on campus opportunities for enhancing the wellbeing of our students, staff, and community. Recently, the Moshi Primary Student Voice demonstrated what this can look like, when they took it upon themselves to travel around the school community spreading positivity. Our young student leaders decided they wanted to end the quarter by sharing some love and spreading joy across the campus. They wanted to hug everyone but decided, in the current climate, that fist pumps, hip bumps and high fives were safer! What a great way to end the quarter and this newsletter.
Moshi Primary Student Voice in Action
Enjoy the break, and help to spread some cheer as you practice healthy self-care.
Your UWCEA Wellbeing Committee