Newsletter Subscribe
Australian Catholics Subscribe

Maintaining a healthy mentality: Questions and activities

Michele Frankeni  |  26 June 2019

Read Climbing the mountain in the Winter 2019 edition of Australian Catholics and take part in the following questions and activities.


  • Dave Jorna says Jesus seemed to prioritise self-care. What is his evidence for that? Can you think of other ways in which Jesus took ‘time out’ for himself?
  • Why is it important to practise self-care regularly?
  • What is a holistic lifestyle?
  • What things did Dave do when he ‘experimented’ on himself?
  • What was the particular thing that has motivated Dave to do the work he does?
  • How did he suggest coping with harmful or hurtful behaviours?


  1. As a class, discuss ways in which you can practise self-care. Some activities may be group ones – perhaps doing some exercise together or some guided meditation. See the Spirituality Prayer Day Walk for an example of being closer to God in Nature.
  2.  St Ignatius Loyola promoted a Daily Examen as part of his spiritual exercises. Have someone lead the class in a version of St Ignatius’ Daily Examen. That is: 1. Become aware of God’s presence. 2. Review the day with gratitude. 3. Pay attention to your emotions. 4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it. 5. Look toward tomorrow.
  3. On an individual level, try keeping a journal of your daily activities, thoughts and emotions.
  4. Think about Dave’s advice for taking care of yourself so you have the ability to support loved ones without burning out. During the upcoming holidays make a commitment to take part in at least one activity a day that provides PERMA(H) in your lives. It may be daily exercise, or volunteering, or helping out family and friends.
  5. When you return to school, discuss how these activities made you feel.

For younger students

1. Read Climbing the mountain in the Winter 2019 edition of Australian Catholics or summarise why it’s necessary to be mindful of your own health before embarking on helping each other.

  • Read the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). Jesus told this parable to illustrate that we are all neighbours and everyone is deserving of care. This time, though, think about the Good Samaritan himself. How was he feeling when he came across the man lying injured? Was he worrying about his business or what was going on at home? Was he enjoying being out on the road with nature or was his shoe hurting? Did he really have the time to spend taking care of the injured man or did he want to be on his way? What was it that made him stop and give him the energy to accompany the injured man to the nearest inn for rest?
  • Ask the class to put on a play about the Good Samaritan but spend some time getting to ‘know’ the characters. Give each of them a ‘back story’ that might explain why the Good Samaritan stopped but the priest and the Levite did not.

2. Good Samaritans are among us

Invite a member of your parish community’s St. Vincent de Paul society or food pantry, or a minister of care, to talk to your group.

Ask the guest speaker to share with the children stories of why he or she got involved in the ministry and how he or she serves in his or her ministry.

Encourage the speaker to explain to the children ways they can help others.

As a follow-up, send the speaker a thank-you letter signed by every child.

If your parish has a food pantry, perhaps a tour or a walk-through could follow the speaker’s talk.


Topic tags: ourrelationshipwithgod, familylife, healthycommunitylife

Request permissions to reuse this article

Interested in more? Sign up to our weekly Catholic Teacher and Parish Life e-newsletters for the faith formation resources you need.

Catholic Teacher sign-up

Parish Life sign-up

This website uses cookies to give you the best, most relevant experience.

Using this website means you are okay with this.

You can change your cookies settings at any time and find out more about them by following this link