Meet the Author: Molly CollinsPhysical Education Teacher | Head Softball CoachPLT4M Coaches Club MemberAuthor of multiple articles featured on PLT4MMindfulness – 8 Ideas For Teachers & Students At Home In our current situation that has led the world on a path of uncertainty, confusion, fear, and anger, we at PLT4M want to try to bring you back to the present and what we should all be grateful for, our health. Now, within our health, there are five components; physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health. Physical health is pretty self-explanatory, whereas the others become a little tricky. Staying mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually healthy is just as important, if not more important, during this time. As we may not be able to control the current illness that is sweeping over the world, we can take a step back and control the present gifts that we have been given. GOALS:Positive VibesFind Your Stress Relief Find Time With Yourself & With Family MINDFULNESS ACTIVITIES 1) WRITE A LETTERI learned at a young age from my Grandparents how important handwritten letters are. It shows that you care, that you were willing to take time out of your day to share moments/thoughts with someone not physically there. It gives so much more meaning than a phone call or text. Think about it… how excited do you get when you get mail in the mailbox. Brighten someone’s day. I suggest writing to someone that has made a big impact on your life; mentor, coach, teacher, boss, teammate, etc. and let them know!2) TAKE A WALK OUTSIDE -TAKE A FAMILY MEMBERFresh air has so many benefits from strengthening your immune system, increasing blood flow, decreasing heart rate, to more energy, and just flat out makes you happier. So grab a family member and take a walk outside. Time to talk or just be with family is great to build that social connection. I suggest first thing in the morning to help you get woken up or after lunch or dinner to help with digestion. Other options are to listen to a podcast or calming music during your walk. Or even maybe think about no cell phone or music, just be present. 3) TIME WITH YOUR PETYou don’t have to try and convince me of the benefits of animals, especially to mental health. If you have a pet, spend time with them and only them no distraction of technology. Pet, play, or walk with them; it’s all they want time-with their human. It will make them feel loved, all while increasing endorphins and lowering your heart rate. If you do not have a pet, visit a shelter, and volunteer. 4) BREATHWORK – MEDITATIONThis is an overlooked mind-body practice. Proper breathwork lowers stress and anxiety while getting you more in touch with yourself. Sit in a quiet space with no one else. Then you have a couple of options; you could turn on a self-guided meditation from YouTube or an App like Calm. Or just lay or sit in silence and focus on your breath. You’ll want to focus on 5 seconds of inhaling, 5 seconds of exhaling with that breath coming from your belly. 5) WATCH AN INSPIRATIONAL MOVIEHave you ever watched an inspirational movie and afterward felt like going out and doing some good in the world? Find a new inspirational movie or one you haven’t seen in awhile, then try to apply something you learned from the movie. Even just talking about what impacted you with a family member or friend. My Top 10 Inspirational/Impactful Movies: The Ultimate Gift, Peaceful Warrior, Facing the Giants, I Can Only Imagine, Remember the Titans, Freedom Writers, In Pursuit of Happiness, Coach Carter, Invincible, Soul Surfer, Woodlawn. Request a demo to see how you can use PLT4M in your Physical Education or Athletic program!Request A Demo6) CLEANHaving a clean space helps to clear your clutter in your head. Take some time and clean out your closet. Do you have clothes, shoes, etc. that you may not need anymore? Dust, vacuum, straighten up, and then donate all your unneeded things. The relief you will have will make you feel refreshed for a new beginning. Declutter your mind and space!7) JOURNALOne of the best mental and emotional health tips is journaling. Writing down what is going on in your head helps to release the hold those thoughts have on you, whether you knew it was affecting you or not. Other benefits include self-reflection, goal setting, inspires creativity, and boosts memory. Here are some good journaling topics: What is courage and strength? Are they different? What has been the most impactful life experience you have had? What has been the most difficult life experience you have been through? What are your goals this year? Describe a hero. 8) READ A BOOK/LISTEN TO A PODCASTFIlling yourself with knowledge is a powerful tool. Find something you are interested in or want to learn about and read/listen up. Reading or listening to podcasts helps to build confidence in literacy, helps to stay focused, and provides many different viewpoints. Continually educating yourself in any capacity is a positive, let me suggest some of the best podcasts and books I have found to love. Books: Life is not an Accident by Jay Williams, First: What it Takes to Win by Rich Froning Jr., Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins, Choose to Matter by Julie Froudy. As Many Reps As Possible by Jason Khalipa Podcasts: Chalk Talk by PLT4M, The Within Her Podcast by Kaci Kersey (Females), The Only Way Through by Under Armour-The Human Performance Podcast, The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes, Squat University by Aaron Horschiq. IT’S NOT DIFFICULT, IT’S JUST PRIORITIZING ITWherever you are, be there fully. Take these next few weeks to create good habits and abolish negative ones. Be present and practice your mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health. Once you get those down, the rest comes easy. The ability to get through difficult situations, failure and negative vibes will generate an unstoppable, confident, successful individual. This is what health and wellness are all about, connecting the dots to becoming a better you. Always in pursuit of better!