Wellbeing – practising what we preach

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24 November 2020

Wellbeing is an important focus for Catholic schools in Melbourne. For Kahli Schroder, Year 5/6 teacher and wellbeing leader at St Bede’s School, Balwyn North, it’s about practising what she preaches.

‘I guess for me, being the wellbeing leader, I never want to teach wellbeing without first being fully immersed in it myself.’ Practising meditation with her children or teaching them grounding exercises is an authentic expression of her own wellbeing practice. ‘I choose books deliberately for the school based on what I think they could get out of them from a wellbeing point of view.’

Kahli’s approach puts wellbeing on the front foot, rather than something to deal with when we’re not feeling good. ‘I always talk about the bravery in my students of seeing a psychologist. I’ve gone to meditation teachers, to psychologists, to kinesiologists, not because I’m not well, but because I want to be seeing the best people to be more informed. And when I’m feeling really good about myself.’

Kahli shared more about her own proactive mental health and wellbeing practice in an article for Teacher:

I am grateful for … being able to love and trust myself. I have definitely had to work on this and I am so grateful that I can now say that I do.

To calm myself I … walk and walk and then walk some more while listening to music. I also journal. Both walking and journaling help me to clear my mind, gain perspective, compassion and understanding. I also love doing some deep breathing.

I am proud of my body for … letting me know how I am feeling and helping to make tough decisions and the right decisions.

My workout playlist always includes … I love just putting on a Spotify workout playlist and getting a surprise.

To switch off from work I … love coming home and having a shower in the dark. I do light a candle and I also put on some quiet reflective music. It is honestly the best, I highly recommend it. You can even change it up with some songs you can sing in the shower.

A book I’d recommend reading is … I can’t decide. I love Untamed by Glennon Doyle, Atomic Habits by James Clear, The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris or The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I love reading books that I can find myself in, get lost in, feel deep emotions with and books that help me to gain perspective to be better.

On the weekend I like to … be on continuous brunch dates with friends. I basically like to eat and walk my way through my weekends.

To care for my overall wellbeing I … meditate, journal and exercise every day. I speak with a few friends daily. I am also currently seeing a kinesiologist, but have also seen psychologists and counsellors.

This includes an extract of an article that was originally published on the Teacher magazine website on 20 November 2020.