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4 Circles of Self-care

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Four Circles of Self-care is a self-regulation strategy for students to better manage personal wellness from multiple dimensions.


As a strategy, this concept can be used actively or passively by classroom teachers as well as other support staff and administration. The core concept is in drawing students’ attention to each of the four dimensions:


Students’ are encouraged to attend to each dimension with regularity by seeking positive actions or choices every day. Some examples of how students’ might practice each dimension include (from KQED)

  • Physical: body movement like stretching, walking, dancing, exercise and sports, and active games
  • Spiritual: activities that create purpose and worthiness such as community service, mentoring, and participation in faith communities and religious practices
  • Emotional: healthy emotional expression like journaling, visual arts, and music
  • Mental: cognitively challenging activities like logic puzzles, math problems, and word games
  • In general, meditation and mindfulness practices can support multiple dimensions as well.

Consider this visual example (below) as well for a representation of what a teacher might display in the classroom. The goal of a passive use of this concept is to provide students with a simple consideration they might implement if desired (like the visual).

An active use of the strategy might include prompting students at the beginning or end of the day to reflect on one area they will address that day and what they plan to do. Another example is to have students brainstorm together activities in each of the four dimensions and contribute to the classroom visual with their ideas.


Read more about the strategy at KQED.

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