22 Jun 2022

Five Ways to Wellbeing: Keep Learning

3 Ways to Keep Learning This Summer

The summer is approaching – 8 weeks free from the structure and routine that schooling provides. Many of us in the community – parents, staff and students alike – are looking forward to the change. Later wake-ups, no homework and no long lines for the 69K bus are certainly attractive! Whilst we tend to associate summer break with positive emotions, there is another aspect of our breaks that may be less visible. Summer means change, and change often comes with anxiety. School provides an anchor, and built in social connections. It’s tough not to see friends as regularly over the summer, and for some, friends may be changing schools or relocating – things will never quite be the same again.

Learning is essential to optimum mental health, but it is not at all limited to school. If we find ways to keep learning, we can take advantage of the change in pace and structure to grow in different ways and boost our experiences of positive emotions while we’re at it. Think a bit outside the box (or outside the workbooks) and try one of these 3 ways to keep learning this summer:

1. Journal to learn about yourself.
Journaling builds the healthy habit of reflection and reduces stress. It doesn’t need to be an essay every time – bullet journaling is a great way to quickly capture insights and highlights that can reveal patterns over time when done consistently.

2. Netflix to learn or practice a language.
Spending time on the sofa binge watching your favourite show is not a bad thing! Lean into it while you have the chance. And while you are at it, why not switch the subtitles to a language you are less familiar with to stretch your linguistic pathways?

3. Swallow your pride and try something new.
It takes courage to do something you don’t already know you are good at – there’s no way of knowing how it will turn out and the chances of initial failure are high. And yet, isn’t failure the best way to learn? Practice beginner’s mind without the external pressure of meeting anyone else’s expectations. Go ice-skating, try a new instrument with lessons from YouTube, or give baking a go. Whatever the tangible outcomes, you won’t be disappointed by your personal growth.

Dionne Lashley
Vice-Principal, Guidance & Wellbeing