Relax, Reflect, Refocus
Over the last few days our senior students and staff spent three days away from the College at the annual Senior Retreat. This is a time for the girls and staff to spend time together in prayer, reflection and contemplation, as they explore the possibilities and the challenges that life beyond school might hold for them. This retreat is one of my favourite programs at the College and one that I regularly attend. For me it provides opportunities for students and staff to get to know each other a little better, to understand why we do what we do and to build positive relationships that can grow and develop as the girls commence HSC studies.
Retreat should be a time to relax, to take time out, be still, de-stress and just be. This can be difficult for adults and it is even more difficult for young people facing a very hectic beginning to HSC study. Relaxing is more difficult than many of us imagine. To take time out to fully relax involves finding balance in our lives with the right amount of sleep at night, regular breaks during the day and enough time for exercise and movement. Relaxation takes time and effort and might require some lifestyle changes, however, it’s worth the effort to stay healthy and happy. One of the best descriptions of relaxation I have heard is that it is the “art of doing nothing with intention and purpose.” I must say that I like the sound of this type of relaxation.
Taking time out for reflection benefits us in many and varied ways. For some it is a time to grow closer to God as we come to recognise the many blessings
we have in our lives. For others it is a time for self-reflection as a way of letting go of preconceived ideas and making room for growth in our lives.
Self-reflection can help us gain clarity by using reflection time to dig a little deeper into our motivations and our understanding of situations.
It’s also a helpful strategy in decision making as we take the time to align what we want in life with our goals and ideals.
Refocusing on what is important and gaining a sense of equilibrium is important for every aspect of life. The research in this area is conclusive, illustrating
the benefits of having focus, and the power of refocusing after a period of reflection. Focusing and refocusing makes us feel more positive and in
control of our lives. When we trust ourselves, have a plan and focus, we lay the foundations for success in all areas of life. Refocusing allows us
to gain a better understanding of ourselves as well as helping us gain clarity and enabling us to know our goals and have a plan forward. Focus also
helps improve our problem-solving skills and make better decisions. Aside from the many practical benefits, taking time to re-set and refocus is very
good for our health.
While we don’t claim that the Senior Retreat will solve all of the ills of the world or even the issues your daughters are dealing with, it will hopefully
provide opportunities for reflection, time and space for your daughters to refocus a little and relax. Just as importantly, it will give them
opportunities to make new friends and deepen existing relationships and, even if this is the only benefit, they will have spent some time in the company
I hope you and your families have a relaxing and peace filled weekend.
Dr Frank Pitt
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