Mindfulness at Milwaukee Collegiate Academy

Milwaukee Collegiate Academy believes in addressing our student’s social and emotional well-being. Anxiety can be a huge issue for our students and we are working to develop coping skills and de-escalating behavior using mindfulness.

Notice 5

Notice 5

A huge part of being mindful is working on your ability to be present in the moment. Our strategy this week will help us develop that skill. It’s called Notice 5 things.

Ever think about how often we arrive home after work and think, ‘wow how did I get here?’ or how often we do an activity and think, ‘there’s no way that was 75 minutes…’ Being present in each moment can help us make the most of our time and find ourselves having fewer and fewer times when we think, ‘where on earth did that hour go?’

  1. Pause for a moment and take a deep breath, noticing the busyness of your mind and trying to focus in only on your breath.
  2. Look around, and notice five things you can see. Just notice. Maybe you notice the color of the walls, or the trinket sitting on your desk that you placed there 2 months ago and haven’t thought about since. Notice 5 things you can see.
  3. Listen carefully, and notice five things you can hear. Maybe you can hear the pipes, maybe you can hear the teacher next door, or your own breathing. Just notice 5 things you can hear.
  4. Notice five things you can feel. Maybe you notice the wind from your fan on your face, or your watch against your skin, or your feet touching the ground. Just notice 5 things you can feel.
  5. Take your time with this activity, maybe take one minutes for each step, and then reflect on the way those 3 minutes felt, and how the rest of your day feels too.

Have a great rest of your day, everybody. Don’t let this be your last mindful moment before next time, either.

Brought to you by Christiane Buethe, Special Education Teacher and Restorative Justice Circles Instructor.
Calming Breaths

Calming Breaths

Anxiety is something that many people everywhere face everyday. While there is no simple solution or “quick fix” for anxiety, there are strategies we can use and teach to others to help us cope, feel a sense of calm and reset so we can continue with our days.

Today we’ll be doing some nice simple calming breaths.

Calming breaths

  1. Find a comfortable seated position, planting your feet on the ground and sitting up tall. You may close your eyes or keep your eyes open and focused during the exercise, whichever feels better to you. For some people, keeping their eyes open while feeling anxious may be the best bet.
  2. Place one hand, palm down on your chest, and the other hand on your back (back of hand should be laying on your back with your palm facing out.) If this is not within reach for you, place your second hand on your belly.
  3. Take a deep breath in through your nose. Feel your hands move apart as your rib cage expands. Feel your body filling up with air.
  4. As you exhale through your mouth, feel your hands moving back toward each other.
  5. Repeat this for 5 breaths, trying to lengthen the breath each time.

I hope you enjoyed this little mindful moment, and that it isn’t your last until next time.

Brought to you by Christiane Buethe, Special Education Teacher and Restorative Justice Circles Instructor.
Gratitude Affirmations

Gratitude Affirmations

Take a second to sit up tall, roll your shoulders back, and take a deep breath. Maybe let your eyes close and take another one. Beautiful.

Sometimes it’s seen as a negative thing to show love for yourself, but today we’re going to challenge that, because we deserve it. We’re going to do this with something called Gratitude Affirmations.

Gratitude affirmations are a kind of meditation practice that is intended to change our perspective when we are feeling down. It can take as much time as you’d like, but I usually try to set aside at least 3 minutes to do this.

  1. We begin by settling in, as always. Find a comfortable seated position, place your hands on your knees, and roll your shoulders back, feeling the invisible string at the top of your head gently lifting you up toward the ceiling. Let your eyes gently close and take a few deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  2. After settling in, we are ready to begin with gratitude for ourselves. Think of things you are grateful for that come from yourself. This can feel unnatural at first, but lean into that feeling. Say the things you are grateful for in your head. For example: I am thankful to my body for allowing me to live a healthy and zestful life, I am grateful for my patience in challenging situations, I am grateful for my sense of humor that allows me to connect with others, etc. Take a breath with each affirmation.
  3. Next we will begin focusing on our gratitude for our relationships. For example: I am grateful for my family for supporting me, I am grateful for my mentors who always challenge me, I am grateful for *friend’s name* who loves me for who I am. Repeat these mantras to yourself as you take deep breaths.
  4. Lastly we will meditate on our gratitude for the universe. For example: I am thankful for the nature around me and the chance to live in this world, I am grateful for the sunrise that lifts my spirits as I drive to work each day, I am grateful for the home I live in, etc. Repeat these mantras to yourself as you continue to breathe consciously.
  5. Take a last cleansing breath, inhaling deeply through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Allow your eyes to slowly open.

Notice how you feel as you go about your day after this practice. Don’t judge, just notice. Has your outlook shifted? Has your self-talk become more kind? Maybe! I hope so!

Have a great rest of your Wednesday, and don’t let this be your last mindful moment of the week.
Brought to you by Christiane Buethe, Special Education Teacher and Restorative Justice Circles Instructor.

About Mindfulness at MCA

Milwaukee Collegiate Academy believes in addressing our student’s social and emotional well-being. Anxiety can be a huge issue for our students and we are working to develop coping skills and de-escalating behavior using mindfulness.

Mindfulness allows one to be aware, to be understanding, and to be positive. It helps to calm anxiety, to focus the mind, and even to boost brain function.

According to The Atlantic, Google, General Mills, the Seattle Seahawks, and the U.S. military have embraced mindfulness as a means of boosting performance and productivity, while its potential as an antidote to the distractions and stress of everyday.

This year, MCA has converted a small classroom into a “Peace Room” equipped with comfortable seating, soft lighting, and artwork.

Why does MCA practice mindfulness? Mindfulness can improve attention, reduce stress, and can result in a better emotional regulation and improved capacity for compassion and empathy. It is the right thing to do for our students, staff and community.

Milwaukee Collegiate Academy

4030 N. 29th Street,
Milwaukee, WI 53216
PHONE: (414) 873-4014
FAX: (414) 873-4344
Office Hours: 7:30 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.

Judith Parker, Principal

© 2017 Milwaukee Collegiate Academy

Our Eight Character Strengths

  • Love
  • Optimism
  • Zest
  • Social Intelligence
  • Grit
  • Curiosity
  • Self Control
  • Gratitude

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