As high school counselors, we know that mindfulness resources can help lower stress levels and increase academic engagement for our students.
However, we don’t have the time to create resources to make an impact in this area as we’re busy doing other individual counseling, small group counseling, classroom lessons, and a million other things that are on our plates!
With the right mindfulness resources in your hands, students can engage with meaningful and memorable coping strategies! When we’re proactive on the front end to teach our students healthy habits, the reactive piece of our day-to-day responsibilities will slow down.
Imagine the impact we can have on students by teaching them skills with mindfulness resources on the front end before they’re in crisis! When students have the right tools in their toolbox, they will be more confident in their stress management skills, social skills, academic skills, and more!
Here are 4 creative mindfulness resources to engage your high school students in individual counseling, your classroom lessons, your small group lessons, or even school-wide!
1- Mindfulness Bulletin Board
This is one of my most popular resources because so simply to set up and engaging for all stakeholders. Grab some scissors and a stapler and get to work hanging up a new bulletin board in your lobby, hallway, or office! This mindfulness resource has 8 mindfulness techniques with detailed strategies to take away and immediately put into practice. Once you set it up, you can use it OVER AND OVER!
Students, staff, and families all comment on how engaging this bulletin board is! Each set of strategies can be printed on cardstock and put in a folder on the bulletin board for a physical takeaway, but there is also a QR code component for a digital takeaway! (This has been especially helpful in a pandemic or post-pandemic school setting.)
Considering hanging up the Mindfulness Bulletin Board but not sure if it would be effective with your school or student population? Here are “3 Quick Wins by Using Mindfulness Bulletin Board in Your High School!”
Once you cut out and hang up this bulletin board, you’ll see students actually becoming interested in your mindfulness strategies and techniques! This bulletin board is a passive way to teach them very active skills.
As parents pop into the building for meetings, tours, and events, they will stop and check out the information you’re passing along to students. Many times, parents have an antiquated or outdated perception of what high school counselors do every day, so this can be an example to them of how you teach social-emotional learning to students.
I love seeing this mindfulness resource make its way into the classroom setting, too. I’ve seen teachers stop by and grab some resources to hang in their classroom by the door for when students are lined up and waiting to leave class. I’ve brought these quick scripts into classroom lessons to get us started in the right mindset- calm and ready to listen and participate.
I have found success with this bulletin board with students of all ability levels in the high school setting! There is a technique that every student could resonate with this mindfulness resource.
2- Strategies for Mindful Moments Bulletin Board
This second mindfulness bulletin board is a great visual to represent 26 different mindfulness techniques… one for each letter of the alphabet!
These strategies are helpful because there isn’t a one-size-fits-all for coping skills. Depending on a student’s personality, interests, traits, and habits, they may need a variety of strategies to pull from. (Isn’t this true for us as adults as well?!)
Post this bulletin board in a high school counseling lobby where students or families are waiting and have time to read through and look at all of the pictures!
Here are 5 examples from the specific 26 “Strategies from Mindful Moments” you get with this mindfulness bulletin board download, so you can get a feel for what’s inside:
- A- alerting your body’s awareness (scan your body from head to toe)
- B- breathing exercises (inhale- count to 5, exhale- count to 3)
- C- creating space to move your body
- D- drawing, coloring, or journaling
- E- eating while being aware of senses (taste, smell, colors, temperature, texture)
3- Mindfulness Check-In Digital Counseling Activity
This Mindfulness Check-In Digital Counseling Activity is a versatile mindfulness resource perfect for touching base with students in individual counseling first and foremost. (If you’re wondering how to use digital check-ins with students in general, check out this blog post for 4 ways to use them!)
Once you have this resource downloaded, you can use it over and over again with your students. It’s the resource that keeps giving!
After Leslie M. used this digital check-in, she returned to say, “This is one of the first digital activities I used this year to connect with students who chose to learn at home. User-friendly prompts and engaging pictures. Very happy with this resource.“
It is so rewarding to see students grow in their skill set and learn new things to help them progress in their stress management, in their self-awareness, and in their healthy habits! I love the feeling of helping a student be prepared whatever is thrown at them in their academic life or personal life.
Engaging digital check-ins and activities like the Mindfulness Check-In can be meaningful and make a huge difference in students’ lives!
4- A School-Wide Mindfulness Day
If you’re looking for a school-wide event to push out to your students and teachers, try organizing a Mindfulness Day!
The planning isn’t for the faint of heart, but the results are SO worth it!
Prepare some activities and mindfulness resources to host at different stations. Consider setting up in an area where there is a lot of space (like a gym or cafeteria) where students or whole classes can wander around and participate in the things that are interesting to them.
Some ideas for activities include: a silent disco, a puzzle station, yoga, therapy dogs, gratitude journaling, and more! Read more ideas for activities on this blog post!
To prepare for a large-scale event, we made sure students and staff had plenty of time to hear about the event and what it would entail. We hosted it during lunch time so that there was no missed instructional time for teachers (unless they wanted to bring their students themselves).
Each counselor was in charge of running a station, and we had some community volunteers running other stations like yoga and the dance party.
If you’re into hosting larger scale, school-wide events (I love them!), then check out this blog post about hosting a career fair for your high school students and this blog post about hosting a VIRTUAL career fair!
Find all of these career activities and more bundled together (and discounted) in this High School Counseling Mindfulness Bundle!
If you’re looking for more ways to impact your students through mindfulness resources, download this Mindfulness Freebie full of positive affirmations… it’s a part of the larger Mindfulness Bulletin Board!