Weekly Message: 3/23/2018

Happy Spring Marvista!

Today I’d like to share about a Meta-moment strategy we are using around our school to help students (and adults!) feel more calm and focused throughout the day. The strategy is called “hand breathing”, and it is one I encourage you to ask your student about! I’ll describe it below but it’s helpful to see what it looks like too.

To do hand breathing, you take a pointer finger and slowly guide it up and down each finger of the other hand, starting at the base of the thumb.  As you move up a finger you breathe in, as you go down a finger you breathe out, adding up to five breathes total.  Here are several other tips:

  • Breathing is to be done quietly and slowly.
  • Breathe in through nose (like you are smelling soup).  Breathe out through mouth (like you are blowing on soup).
  • Breathing should be from the belly, not the chest.  Imagine a balloon in your belly filling and emptying.
  • It can be done privately (hands under desk/on lap) or publicly.

You are also welcome to explore the science behind deep breathing, and here is an article that helps explain what is happening: https://www.careworkshealth.com/blog/benefits-of-deep-breathing-exercises-for-mind-and-body/

Here is one more video I would recommend watching that has kids describe deep breathing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVA2N6tX2cg

I hope you add this to your own tool kits too for when you are under stress, it really works! I do deep breathing often before doing classroom lessons and it makes a big difference for me.

Warm Regards,
Andrew Ritsema
School Counselor