Fundamental Habits: Mindfulness & Singlehood

Independence or singlehood is the most critical stage of the family life cycle. During this stage, one strives to become fully able to support himself or herself emotionally, physically, socially and financially. Utilizing Sharon Lipinski’s “7 Generosity Habits” and Learning to Breathe:  A Mindfulness Curriculum for Adolescents , Sasha Roble, a FACS teacher from Pennsylvania, created this lesson which encourages students to strive for a healthy body, mind and spirit. Keeping in mind throughout the lesson, that taking care of oneself means that you have a solid, strong foundation from which you can give to others throughout the family life cycle. After spending some time on managing one’s physical health, students in this lesson focus on the concept of mindfulness. Scientific studies show that mindfulness boosts your immune system, increases positive emotions, decreases depression and anxiety, grows additional gray matter in the brain, fosters compassion and enhances relationships.

Set

  • Mind Full or Mindful?
  • Moving your body, doing your job, loving your family, playing a game, preparing a meal… everything you do requires your mind to engage, plan & direct. Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to what’s happening in our lives in a particular kind of way: on purpose, in the present moment, and with curiosity, openness and kindness.

Materials

  • Projector & Screen
  • Laptop
  • Chime
  • Hershey Kisses
  • Embroidery Floss & Beads
  • Clasps and/or Key Rings

Activities

  • Activating Strategy – Using the Guided Notes Worksheet, students will complete the Daily Do Now: When you brush your teeth in the morning, what do you think about?
  • Mindfulness Google Slides – Students will take notes using the Guided Notes Worksheet. The teacher-led discussion includes links to various YouTube clips to introduce students to the concept of mindfulness & meditation.
      • Disney “Mickey & the Roadster Racers”, recently featured mindfulness on Season 1, Episode 9, Guru Goofy. Min 3:50 – 5:20 in which Goofy tries to teach Donald mindfulness techniques to help him relax by mindfully breathing.
  • Mindfulness Student Activities – Once students have completed their Guided Notes Worksheet, the teacher will introduce them to three mindfulness techniques which can be incorporated into their daily lives.
    • Five Minute Mindful Breathing Activity (can be adapted to a 1 – 2 minute activity)
    • Mindful Listening
      • Materials Needed: Chime
        • Begin this exercise by having students seated comfortably in their chair. Students may close their eyes or soften their gaze.
        • Provide students with the following instruction. “When I chime the bell, to sit and enjoy the silence.”
        • Ring the chime after 1 minute or so.
        • Discussion: Pose the questions: what were you thinking about? What did noises did you hear? Have students think, pair up & share -or- use it as a journal entry.
          • Further discussion: Most of the time you are surrounded by a whole range of environmental noises and most of them barely register in your awareness.Much like the noise inside your mind, external noises often go unnoticed. The noise in your mind and the noises in the world around you both form an invisible backdrop to your entire life.
          • Ask students:When was the last time you REALLY listened to the sounds that are taking place around you?
        • Instruct students to sit comfortably and close their eyes (or soften their gaze. Provide students with the following instruction.” When I chime the bell, listen intentionally to the sounds around you.”
        • Ring the chime after 1 minute or so.
        • Discussion: After this exercise, what did you hear? How was this exercise different than the first time? Students should be able to list many more sounds if they completed the exercise by listening intently.
      • Mindful Eating
        • Materials Needed: 1 Hershey Kiss/student
        • Link to Instructions
          • To begin and end the exercise, you can use a chime.
    • Bead Breathing
      • Materials Needed: Embroidery Floss + Beads + Clasps or Key Rings
        • Materials Needed: Embroidery Floss + Beads + Clasps or Key Rings
          • The purpose of bead breathing is to provide students with a hands-on approach to take a set number of controlled, deep breaths. As students move beads from one side of the bracelet/key chain to the other, they are to inhale through their nose and exhale through their mouth.
            • Provide students with 2 color beads and the letters to spell the word breathe. However, this can be easily adapted by providing students with 7 colored beads to represent the word B-R-E-A-T-H-E.
            • Students have the option to create a key chain or a bracelet.
            • When bracelets are done, complete the mindful breathing exercise again, but with each breath, have students move a bead.
          • Discussion: Through this activity, students will have a physical reminder to take time to breathe. Has there ever been a time where you felt like you couldn’t breathe because you were stressed? Sometimes the most stressful situations can become lighter if we remember to breathe.

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