On this page, you will be connected with resources that will help our school community grow together. Resources shared here aim to encourage a growth and shift in mindset and foster positive mental health and overall well-being. Thank you to Ms. Jayme Francis (GWSS Guidance Counsellor) for sharing these insightful and inspiring articles with us. These articles also appear in the weekly GWSS Principal's Blog.

April 11, 2021

Finding Relaxation and Calm in Difficult Times

We've made it to April Break! I am sure that most of you are looking forward to a true break from the routine this coming week. It has been a long and hard few months and we have all earned some time to truly unplug, relax, and recharge. The articles linked below offer some suggestions and tips for self-care and I strongly encourage you to give yourself permission to reconnect and to tune into what your mind and body need over the next week. Self-care is a key element of good mental health and a healthy mind can help us deal with the challenges we encounter in our daily lives.

Remember, #mindsetmatters now more than ever!

Five Tips for Relaxing during Difficult Times

9 Practices To Help Maintain Mental Health during a Lockdown

(this is an older article, but the tips and info is still very relevant!)

April 4, 2021

Understanding the Impact of Stress and Power of Intentionally Choosing Gratitude

Understanding how the stress of the last year has had an impact on our lives and our bodies is an important step in further understanding how to manage this stress and its impact. This article explores what scientists are calling "Covid Stress Syndrome" and offers some simple and effective ways to manage the stress and anxiety many of us face every day.

One very effective way to diffuse the stress of the pandemic is to make an intentional choice to focus on the positive things that have happened this year in your life. Actively choosing gratitude can have a profound impact on our stress levels, mindset and overall sense of well-being. This short video explains the science behind gratitude and the direct positive impacts it can have on your health.

March 28, 2021

Season of Change and Growth

The arrival of Spring and the beautiful weather this past week have both been a much needed reminder to pause and acknowledge our appreciation and gratitude for the predictability of season change and renewal--particularly in such an unpredictable time! Acknowledging this period of new growth and change in nature can be a helpful way of connecting to the idea and possibility of growth and change in ourselves and in our personal lives as well. This period of hope, growth and renewal is a great time to take a closer look at our routines and habits and to make a commitment to grow and change in our own daily lives.

The articles linked below offer some tips for changing and improving self-care and although many of the ideas are small and subtle, the impact can be dramatic and profound. Seize and enjoy this time of growth and rebirth and remember #mindsetmatters always!

The science of self-care: How tiny habits make a big difference

Practicing Self-Care When Time is Hard to Find

March 21, 2021

The Power of Resilience and Positive Mindset

To say that our resilience and ability to be positive has been challenged in recent months is an extreme understatement! This year has presented challenges and situations that many of us could never have imagined possible. Ironically however, it is in fact our resilience and ability to change our negative mindset that has, according to one researcher, served us better than we might realize throughout the long months of the pandemic. Our adaptability has driven us to seek new and safe ways to connect socially with others and this has led to a level of happiness that may not have been anticipated in the midst of a global pandemic. Read more about this study and the findings here.

In April of 2020 Brene Brown offered some tips for coping during the pandemic. One year later these tips are certainly worth revisiting as a way of reminding ourselves that we are much more resilient than we give ourselves credit for!! #mindsetmatters

March 14, 2021

A Year of Living with COVID-19

This past week marked one year since our world changed dramatically, in ways none of us could have imagined. The post-Covid world has brought about so many changes in almost every element of our daily lives.

This anniversary is likely bringing up a wide range of emotions and it is hard to ignore the sense of loss many of us may be feeling. However in contrast, it is important to acknowledge that perhaps this past year has led many of us to a new sense of appreciation and gratitude for what does remain in our lives and a newfound sense of hope for what is to come.

This news clip explores the simple question "What are you looking forward to?" with Canadians from across the country and it is safe to say that this question has become one filled with emotion and deeper meaning.

And while we patiently wait and contemplate what we are all looking forward to, this article offers some great tips to help us intentionally work towards developing and maintaining a positive attitude and outlook, even when it's hard! #mindsetmatters

March 7, 2021

The Importance of Meaningful Connection

Finding common ground and meaningful connection with others during times of hardship and social isolation is one way to help shift our mindset to a more positive and hopeful perspective. Recognizing and empathizing with others helps us to understand and process our own experiences and this in turn helps us to connect more deeply with those around us.

This article takes a closer look at an ancient greeting and the power that lies within truly acknowledging and honouring the presence of others.

This article provides some simple but meaningful ways to stay connected to others when being physically together isn't possible.

And finally, this article offers some tips to foster hope in our daily lives. #mindsetmatters

February 28, 2021

Pursuit of Wellbeing

This article thoughtfully explores the notion of happiness and highlights how the constant and sometimes competitive pursuit of happiness can actually lead to negative feelings and disappointment.

The author offers the pursuit of well-being as a much more gratifying and realistic goal. This perspective encourages us to think about happiness as a by-product of well-being and a journey rather than a final destination. #mindsetmatters

February 21, 2021

The Value of Rest

Rest comes in many forms. There are different types of rest that our body needs and having a better understanding of what our body really needs will allow us to have a truly rested mind and body. Giving ourselves permission to value and prioritize rest will ultimately enable us to be healthier, happier and more productive.

This article explains the different types of rest that every person needs and this article reminds us of the importance of truly appreciating and valuing rest in our everyday lives. Cozy up, enjoy these articles and then make sure to give yourself some time to truly rest this weekend!

February 14, 2021

Staying Positive

Shifting our mindset to remain positive can be exhausting and difficult, especially when the world around us is filled with ongoing and at times overwhelming challenges. Some of us may be feeling the fatigue of the last year and it is common to fall into focusing on failure and the negative things happening in our lives.

The articles below offer some tips for remaining positive and embracing and learning from failure during these challenging times. The power of a growth mindset can shift us from a "never" to a "just not yet" outlook and this can make all the difference in our overall mental health and well-being. Mindset Matters, especially when things are hard!

Five Ways to Stay Positive through Lockdown

How to move on after failure & rebuild your confidence

February 7, 2021

Back to School 2.0

As we all prepare to return (yeah!) to a more normal and familiar version of school, it is important to shift our mindset back to a more consistent routine. It might be helpful to think about this as a "Back to School 2.0" to revisit this article that was shared earlier in the year that discussed supporting teens' emotional well-being as they return to the classroom… many of these things discussed are still very relevant!

Here are some other resources that you may find helpful as we pivot once again!

6 Self-care Steps for a Pandemic

HDSB Well-Being and Mental Health resource page

January 31, 2021

Reducing Anxiety, Stress, and Worry

Feeling the winter and lockdown blues? Feeling restless and tired of screens? Feeling like you need to take some time for yourself and your mental health? This article offers some tips and concrete reasons to embrace the winter weather and get outside! Your body and your brain will thank you!

This is another resource that provides 10 tips and things to do to help you and those around you 'bounce back' and reduce any Covid-related stress and anxiety that might be surfacing.

January 24, 2021

You’re Doing a Good Job

Our new 'normal' right now can feel very difficult and monotonous for sure. We are inherently social beings and so this time of social and physical distancing can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation. It's important to acknowledge these feelings, while also acknowledging that this won't last forever. Remember that this time apart is so that we can be together again, safely, soon!

This video serves as a great reminder to all of us that we are all doing "a good job", in all the roles we are playing right now, even when it's hard and exhausting. Enjoy this beautiful song and I really encourage you to take the message to heart...and maybe grab some tissues before watching it!

Remember, your mindset really does matter.

January 17, 2021

Growth Mindset

Focusing on a flexible and growth mindset as we face the challenges that lie ahead of us will help us as we respond in times of stress, anxiety and uncertainty.

This article explores the growth mindset and the impact of having a growth vs fixed mindset can have on our overall functioning, well-being and progress. With so much beyond our control right now it is imperative to focus on that which we can influence and change and our mindset is a great example of something we CAN change. Mindset truly does matter and sometimes even the smallest shift in how we view something can have the biggest impact.

January 10, 2021

Beginning 2021 with Realistic and Simple Intention

New Year's resolutions can be a bit of a trap--that which is designed to help us be successful can actually be the very thing that leads to disappointment, frustration, and a sense of failure. It is perhaps better to think of this time of year as a period of refocusing and readjusting of priorities, rather than just a time of reinvention or redesigning.

This article highlights several things that can lead to a healthy "you" and provides the science behind the thought; oftentimes when we understand the "why", the follow through becomes more intentional.

This article similarly outlines ways to reduce stress so that we are able to live happier and healthier lives. There is a lot happening in our world right now and the best way to cope is to practice self-care and self-acceptance daily. Calm and resilience begin at home with our own mindset. Be well and all the best for a mindful 2021.

September 20, 2020

Tips to Support Your Child’s Mental Wellness and Prepare for the Start of the School Year

Heading back to school is always a time of transition, but this year the changes will be much more far-reaching for most of us. Not only are parents and students being asked to make sense of a whole new set of back-to-school rules: we’re also having to cope with high levels of uncertainty—the fact that there are still so many unknowns. Click here for some tips to support your child's mental wellness and prepare for the start of the school year.

The 2020 Back-to-School List for Teens’ Emotional Well-Being

Back to school and return to routine can bring about a mixture of emotions in the best of times, never mind during a pandemic! Families are likely feeling this back to school season very differently indeed. It is important to acknowledge the impact on our mental health during this time of significant change and to focus on ways to be proactive to protect our well-being. Here are a few resources to help you and your students navigate this new normal together!