The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

12 Wellbeing tips: How to make your life better and improve other people's lives at the same time

During the conferences which run in the Senior School at this time, I spoke to the new Year 10s and 11s regarding some aspects of their Wellbeing, and I offered the Year 11s a selection of tips which I believe can help them to ride life's waves and get the most out of the opportunities presented to them. I thought I would share these with the wider community, as it is never too early (or too late!) to lock some of these into how we live our lives:

  1. Get an alarm clock and a water bottle
    • Good sleep is crucial to your ability to function well
    • Don't have technology near your head while you try to sleep – use a simple alarm clock to wake up at the right time
    • Get into a routine – get up and go to bed at the same time each day
    • Having a water bottle with you will enable you to stay hydrated
    • Remember, the body (including the brain) is 60-65% water – keep topped up
  2. Find a spot
    • You need a place – preferably outside in a natural setting – where you can go to relax and DO NOTHING
    • We have been conditioned to think that if we are not using every moment of every day, we are wasting time
    • Doing nothing is not a waste of time; it is essential to coping with life's pressures
    • Gaming is not doing nothing
    • Taking time out, switching off, day-dreaming, reading a book – good things can happen when you let your mind wander
    • Find a place where you can enjoy the sun or the shade, or the ocean or the breeze
  3. Search for your passion
    • Finding the thing or things you love doing (and are good at) will help to give your life purpose
    • You have to try things; don't expect that your passion will find you
    • School is a great place to begin the search: it is safe and there are lots of things you can try which will help you work out what you like and are good at and what you are not so interested in
    • Stick at it – don't give up
  4. Fix it Yourself ….but if you can't, Get Help
    • Try to work out your problems yourself
    • Think about how you have solved problems in the past
    • Ask for advice
    • Ask for help – don't ask too soon, but don't wait too long
  5. Be kind
    • No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted [Aesop]
    • We have a duty to make other people's lives better
    • We should practise kindness every day in lots of little ways
    • Through serving others – giving back is good for everyone
  6. Show Gratitude
    • This is a combination of kindness and respect
    • It reminds us to be humble, because we acknowledge that others have done something for us, which in itself is a reminder that they think we are special enough to give up some of their time for us
  7. Practice Mindfulness
    • Mindfulness is focusing on the moment, training our attention on something simple to help us cope in difficult situations or get the most out of ourselves
    • Focus on breathing is a common form of mindfulness
    • Smiling Mind is a great app to start, with plenty of meditations you can try
  8. Display good manners
    • Good manners are a sign of respect for others
    • Refer to your Good Manners Card - regularly
  9. Have a laugh
    • Laughter is sunshine; it chases winter from the human face. [Victor Hugo]
    • A smile is the shortest distance between two people. [Victor Borge]
    • Laughter (at the right time) is a great way to reduce stress
    • It is also something that can be shared with others
    • It's important to be reminded of the brighter side of life
  10. Get connected
    • NOT via the internet – we spend too long on our machines already
    • Connect to yourself (listen to your body)
    • To others (listen to others)
    • To nature (feel the world around you)
  11. Be Curious
    • Pay attention to what is going on around you
    • Think about others
    • Ask why things are the way they are – and how could they be better
  12. Get creative
    • Being able to think differently and consider alternative solutions is perhaps the critical skill of the future
    • Creativity is an expression of what it is to be human
    • Creativity comes in many different forms – write a poem, build something, bake something, paint, draw, take a photograph, find new ways to be kind, write music, perform...the list is endless

Mr James Hindle
Director or Student and Staff Wellbeing