Moments to savour

Walking around the School early one morning this week I felt a shift in my mood. Yes, the morning was cold, but also crisp and clear.

The sun was warm on my back as I walked by the Year 12 tables where girls cupped hot beverages to warm their hands, then past Dr Holley’s Voices ensemble, and alongside the pool, where I admired the fortitude of our swimmers as they swam through a misty haze.

I found the sun again alongside the Green Floor and sneaking through every open door and window of the McCrae Grassie Sports Centre, also shining down on Victoria Park.

It’s part of my routine to walk around the School each morning, but on this day, I found myself searching out puddles of sunshine wherever I went, and took an almost childish joy in jumping into each one. It was then I realised, something so small, and so simple, was bringing me great happiness. After months of uncertainty, concern and worry, here was something to hold on to—here were moments to savour.

I’ve recently completed an ‘iso-project’, a short course offered through Yale University studying the science of wellbeing. They discuss savouring as a deliberate, cognisant act; that of purposefully stepping outside of an experience to consciously review and deliberately appreciate it. The research behind this shows that the act of savouring actually intensifies the positive emotions that come with doing something we love, as well as extending the time that we can hold on to those positive emotions.

It follows then, that practising the art of savouring by picking just one small experience to focus on each day—a meal, a walk outside, time with your pet—helps us form a healthy habit. Sharing the experience with another, thinking about how lucky you are to be experiencing such a moment, journaling or taking a photo to remind you of the experience, also helps your act of savouring to become a more mindful experience, and we all know how beneficial mindfulness is to our wellbeing!

So, my moments in the sun that morning, are a treasure I’m actively savouring. My hope is that we will all find, in our own experience each day, some small thing or moment to be grateful for, and that we truly make the time to stop, notice, and appreciate how lucky we are.

Ms Ellena Papas
Dean of Co-curriculum