Happiness Recipe Rest

What makes you happy? Or maybe a better question, what keeps you engaged in the present moment?

I posed this question to my students. In a world of competing, demanding stimuli, the currency of attention goes a long way. Within the instructional framework, a calm, focused, happy state of mind is one that is also ready to learn.

We began by filling out the Happiness Recipe Worksheet from the Yoga Calm® curriculum. After all of the self-work we have been doing this year, most were able to answer the questions fairly easily.

They were also excited to take the worksheet home and interview a family member. I even challenged the students to predict possible answers. “Besides doing the laundry, I am not sure what other activities my mom enjoys” and “I don’t think my dad ever gets to be alone” were some of the responses. Do you think you could predict your child’s or partner’s answers?

Allowing Rest Time

After processing through this activity, I decide to integrate the responses into Rest. With the hurried energy of the school year, taking a few moments to stop and settle are essential for student (and teacher) well being.

legs on chair and listening to iPad

We have been using The Boat Ride as a scripted relaxation. (Here is the audio recorded by Lynea Gillen.)

My students love the imagery of floating in boat. Based on this script, I created a google doc. In a Mad Libs format, students were able to edit and insert their answers from the Happiness Recipe.

Integrating Technology

Although we seem to be bombarded with news about the detrimental effects of technology and brain development, I will argue that there is a place for technology to support mental health. My students have access to one-to-one on iPads. I have been waiting for the moment to integrate our lessons with this amazing technological tool.

To begin, students shared the document to an online digital portfolio and recorded their voices reading the script. Here is an audio sample. Now, students have a personalized rest story that is easily accessible.

It is important during rest that students are given choice for body position. Head on Desk and Child’s Pose are popular and both are found in our Move Mindfully Card Deck. Then, using the iPad, students can listen to their own voices, on headphones, visualizing happy moments. It’s like giving yourself a pep talk!

A student commented, “When I’m feeling anxious, I like hearing my voice and remembering all the things that bring me happiness.”

What do you use for rest? Have you tried personalization? Please leave a comment!

Be Well,
Stephanie Kennelly

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