Boosting Mental Wellbeing with The Daily Mile
Crabtree Junior School, Hertfordshire
The Daily Mile team recently met with Mrs. Marianne Wheeler, Mental Health Lead at Crabtree Junior School, Hertfordshire, to explore the positive impact The Daily Mile is having on children facing mental health challenges in her school. Marianne has shared her Daily Mile story below!
Hello, I’m Marianne Wheeler, and I’m excited to share how The Daily Mile and daily physical activity are making a positive impact on our children’s mental health. For the last four years at Crabtree Junior School, I’ve been the Mental Health Lead, dedicated to supporting our children.
Given the mental health challenges our children face, The Daily Mile becomes a crucial source of support. The impact of COVID-19 has caused children to miss important social interactions and has affected their independent skill development, leading to more anxiety. Traditional experiences like sleepovers are less common, causing increased separation anxiety, particularly in younger children. COVID-19 lockdowns, exposure to distressing information through mobile devices, and concerns about global issues such as war and global warming further contribute to heightened anxiety levels in our children.
The Daily Mile is a straightforward concept – we walk, we talk, and we run. As educators, we know the value of creating spaces where children feel comfortable opening up. The Daily Mile provides opportunities for side-by-side conversations; children tend to share more when they’re not face to face, making discussions about topics that they might feel hard to talk about flow more effortlessly.
The Daily Mile serves as a crucial outlet. When children are feeling a bit wobbly, particularly those who are neuro divergent and have different learning styles, stepping into the fresh air for a bit of exercise and a change of scenery truly makes a difference. The Daily Mile is a fantastic tool that aids the children in resetting and finding balance, it provides them with an opportunity for a child-friendly social activity, enhancing their overall wellbeing.
I believe in establishing habits for life. The Daily Mile is a simple routine for our children at school, but it might be the foundation for a lifetime of staying active. Plus, it helps both boys and girls – building connections and maybe even inspiring future joggers or park runners.
Mrs. Marianne Wheeler, Mental Health Lead