Mindful Intentions

Use a journaling template to invite students to share about their feelings, set goals, and manage stress through self-care strategies.
Ages 8-10 / 30
min Activity
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  • Recognize the importance of self-care in navigating academic stress and nurturing their well-being 
  • Complete a weekly journaling template to plan self-care strategies and set achievable goals 

Supporting Research

Self-compassion, which is the practice of identifying our needs and caring for ourselves, helps to reduce stress and increase resilience. During this activity, educators should encourage students to practice self-care by identifying and engaging in strategies that foster their individual health and well-being, such as activities that spark feelings of joy and peace.   

To learn more about this skill, and how it promotes students’ healthy growth and the development of empathy, please check out our Empathy Framework.


Activity Partners

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  1. Begin the activity by asking students the following questions: 
    • What is self-care? 
    • Why is it important to practice self-care?

    You might say: “It’s normal to feel overwhelmed sometimes, like when you have an important exam coming up, or you have a lot of homework to do. Self-care means giving ourselves a break, and nurturing our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Maybe it’s going for a walk in nature, sharing our feelings with a friend, or even just taking a few deep breaths. Self-care helps us feel less stressed and more energized, and also helps us make positive, healthy choices. Today, we’ll be reflecting on ways we can take care of ourselves.” 
  2. Distribute a copy of the “Mindful Intentions” handout to each student, and explain that this handout will guide them through self-care strategies for managing stress. For example, students will: 
    • Share their feelings about the upcoming week
    • Plan how they can achieve a goal that they have set for themselves 
    • Come up with a strategy to address a challenge they are facing 
    • Consider activities for nurturing their well-being (e.g., by exercising and connecting with other people)
  3. Provide 20 minutes for students to complete the handout. Consider asking students to share their reflections with the rest of the class, and help them find ways they can support each other. For example, students can pair up with someone else who has the same goal, or exchange strategies with someone who feels nervous about the same thing. 

    Continue setting aside time at the beginning of each week to make this exercise a regular part of students’ routine, and encourage them to reach out if they need any support or resources from you.

If students in both classes have individual devices (e.g., mobile phone, tablet, laptop, etc.)...

Use a platform such as Google Meet, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams which allows you to screen-share during a video call. 
One educator should set up the Kahoot! game and share the code with students in both classes by following this tutorial about using Kahoot! in a remote learning environment, and share their screen so everyone can follow along.

If students in either class don’t have individual devices...

Follow the same instructions above, with one educator starting the game and sharing their screen so both classes can follow along.  
Instead of students joining the game to answer the questions, they can hold up their fingers, call out their answer, or use a paper template to indicate their response.

If you prefer not using Kahoot!...

Use this document (Spanish version) to prompt students.