By GILLIAN WHITE
Since coming back from remote and hybrid learning, Cranberry High School’s female gym classes have been incorporating activities to improve students’ mental health. The last fifteen minutes of every block period are set aside to focus on “mindfulness.”
Students start by lying on mats in a relaxed position, listening to videos such as “Mindfulness Breathing Exercises” and “Body Scan Meditation.” They practice calm breathing, a technique designed to release stress. Afterwards, the girls are required to complete a reflection questionnaire in Google Classroom to express feelings pertaining to their meditative experience.
Senior Merissa McCoy said, “I have definitely felt more relaxed and a little more stress free after gym class.”
Andrea Barrett, the girls’ physical education teacher, acknowledged her lack of confidence in the excitement of the mindfulness exercises when compared to other gym activities, but she also recognized the importance of promoting mental health, hence why mindfulness is being incorporated in the first place.
“The students are doing really well with having an open mind and trying to let their body and mind fully relax in the moment while listening to different recordings,” Barrett stated.
In the year of COVID-19, mindfulness can be an excellent way for students to escape the daily stress of high school life. These positive activities are planned to continue throughout the school year and potentially even next year in hopes of achieving maximum wellness.
Gillian White and Bo Myers are students at Cranberry High School and members of Cranberry Chronicles, the school’s journalism/publications class.