Time Out

Posted: 7th June 2018

After another busy week at Stormont I am reflecting on the importance of time out, for girls for staff and parents too.

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

So begins a wonderful poem by William Henry Davies (1871-1940), whose occupation on Wikipedia is given as ‘poet, writer, tramp’ – to which I would add ‘philosopher and life coach’. Written over 100 years ago, it still resonates today.

Time to stand (or sit, or lie) and stare is important for a healthy mind. Stillness has a positive effect on the body; muscles relax, breathing balances, and the mind becomes calmer as it refocuses on the messages from the senses. Even in a busy space, closing your eyes and taking a few moments to breathe makes a difference. Moments of stillness can help to reduce stress levels and engender a positive mindset, which in turn helps all of us to feel more confident in tackling the challenges we face and to achieve success.

Mindfulness, yoga and quiet times in assembly are only three examples of ways we try to provide time for contemplation at school. A minute or two doing nothing is not wasted time, rather it is an opportunity to put worries aside, to reconnect brain and body with the world around us and promote our own wellbeing.  As Davies wisely concludes:

A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

Mrs Martin