Promoting Mental Health in Boarding

By Catherine Beaulac, Head of Shin Saimdang House

Every week, in Shin Saimdang Boarding House, students have an opportunity to learn how to practice Mindfulness during Mindful Monday classes. The class is 20 minutes long and teaches students the skills they need to be able to practice Mindfulness on a regular basis. Students are realizing the benefits of learning Mindfulness skills to help them manage and reduce stress, regulate intense emotions and develop concentration to improve learning. There has been significant research in the past decade, that highlights the positive impact this practice can have on school aged children and adolescents. Stress is a challenging reaction that is often unavoidable in a high achieving academic environment. It not only creates physical discomfort, but it can also impede a student’s ability to retain information and to think clearly. These effects on the brain can have negative impacts on academic achievement as well as overall wellbeing. In Boarding, we teach the importance of learning healthy strategies to cope with stress in order to reach your full potential. Through focusing on the breath, and using it as a tool to direct the mind to the present moment, students are able to reduce the effects of stress on the body and the brain.  Mindfulness is practiced every week in Shin Saimdang House. Many students who attend Mindful Mondays have also been practicing Mindfulness on a daily basis on their own through guided meditations they find online and through apps such as “Calm”.