Key words: mental health, wellbeing, coping skills, help-seeking skills
The purpose of this lesson plan is to support students to prepare for the Stress Less Mediation video. Students begin to consider the knowledge, understanding and skills required to manage their own mental health and wellbeing, and to support that of others. Students may also contemplate how mental health and wellbeing can be enhanced and strengthened at an individual level, and learn about coping skills, help-seeking strategies and the availability of community support resources.
Important note: This class requires students to maintain four minutes of silence, preferably whilst remaining still. If you have students in your class who will find this difficult, or for whom this request is not appropriate, you may wish to provide an alternative or modified activity for them.
If any students are deaf or have hearing difficulties check out this video on mediation and mindfulness.
PART 1 Everyday stress
Before watching Rosie’s ‘Stress Less Meditation’ video, ask students to make a list of the things in their lives that may be causing them stress, and then write them on to individual slips of paper. If they can’t think of anything, they should come up with a theoretical list. E.g. what sorts of things might be stressors in the lives of young
PART 2 Create a stress jar
Ask students to fold up the slips of paper and put them into their individual jars putting the lid on tightly once all slips of paper are inside. Each jar should be labelled in some way (not necessarily with names) so that students can identify them if you or they wish to use them again.
PART 3 Take a load off
Ask students to imagine that they have ‘de-cluttered’ their mind by taking some of the things that have been causing them stress ‘out of their heads’ and capturing them in their individual jars.
PART 4 The importance of being still
Before watching the ‘Stress Less Meditation’ video, ensure that students are aware that they will need to be silent and still for a period of approximately four minutes. Encourage students to get comfortable, either in their chairs, sitting cross-legged on the ground, lying flat on the ground or moving to more comfortable seating if it is available (e.g. beanbags).
PART 5 Watch
Watch the ‘Stress Less Meditation’ video. If practical, it would be valuable to undertake the meditation along with your class.
PART 6 Identifying relaxation techniques
Once your students have viewed the video, ask them to identify any techniques Rosie utilises that could be used in their lives when they are not able to watch the video. Discuss as a class.
PART 7 Managing stress
Ask students to take each slip of paper from their jar in turn and think about a strategy they could use to manage that particular stressor. The Australian website ‘ReachOut ’ is a useful resource for this activity.
If you intend on practising Rosie’s meditation regularly, students could be given the option of personalising their jars by decorating them with pictures or messages. It is strongly suggested that the jars are not kept in the classroom, instead keep them in a ‘safe’ space, such as a teacher’s desk.