Meet the Creative: Jessica Wilkinson - The Sea Within
In the latest installment of ‘Meet the Creative’, we speak with Jessica from The Sea Within, which provides creative mindfulness teaching for children and young people across the North West of England.
A great deal has been written about the benefits of mindfulness for adults and the positive impacts of adopting wellness styled activities on mental health and wellbeing, but in a recent report, the BBC's File on 4 revealed that the number of antidepressants given to children in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland has risen, with a total of 950,000 prescriptions issued over 3 years.
With the pressures of exams and the increase in the use of social media use amongst children and young adults, the transition to adulthood is potentially becoming more challenging in our digital age of communication, as they also grapple with common issues of low self-esteem and anxiety.
Studies have shown that regular mindfulness practice improves attention span, feelings of calm, social skills and relationships with others, which makes The-Sea-Within, who work with schools, parents, and other local organisations to provide mindfulness workshops and yoga classes for children and young people, so important. By equipping children with lifelong tools and coping mechanisms through mindfulness and movement, children are gaining greater awareness of themselves, of how their bodies and minds work, so that they can cope with the highs and lows that life may throw at them.
Jessica from The-Sea-Within is passionate about providing children with the the life tools for wellness and happiness, and we wanted to hear her thoughts on what makes a happy and resilient child, where her happy place is and how she thinks we can all navigate the often choppy and chaotic waters of every-day life.
What is your company, what do you do and what makes it special?
The Sea Within is a Creative Mindfulness company, specialising in Yoga and Mindfulness for children. It is special because it offers bespoke well-being services to children and young people with a creative twist.
What made you want to take part in Float?
I am passionate about sharing the magic of mindfulness to all and love the ethos behind Float and the message that it is spreading.
What comes to mind when you hear the world wellness?
Looking after your body, heart and mind.
Why is wellness and mindfulness so crucial in a child's development?
Studies show that regular mindfulness practice will improve attention span, feelings of calm, social skills and caring towards others. Through meditation, movement and creative activities children are provided with an opportunity to gain a greater awareness of their bodies, minds and emotions. In turn empowering them with life long tools.
How do you think the wellness industry is evolving?
Wellness seems to be at the top of the agenda for more and more people, particularly in relation to mental health issues and diet. Mental health issues are no longer a taboo subject and the wellness industry provides an abundance of services and ideas for people to engage with, in order to stay happy and healthy.
How does your work help people to feel good?
Yoga is a magical experience for children. It teaches them how to express themselves, use their imaginations and to learn how to relax. Children often struggle to manage the stresses and pressures of exams, busy schedules and social pressures.
Meditation and yoga movements built into a child's daily routine can dramatically improve their life and ability to cope with what it throws at them.
Can you describe The-Sea-Within in three words?
Educating the heart.
What are the most rewarding aspects of your role?
Seeing children in their happiest, most creative light and giving them the gift of learning self love and emotional resilience. Also...being able to go to work dressed in mermaid leggings and bare feet!
What does happy look like to you?
My favourite jumper, my cat, a good book and a big mug of lady grey tea...failing that, dancing in the sunshine in a field at a festival!
What makes you feel calm?
Walking through the forest, making art and cooking
As the world becomes a more frantic place, increasingly geared towards our online presence, how can your work help children to feel calm and resilient?
We teach young people to practice self love and to listen to (and trust!) their own intuition. This may include setting positive intentions for themselves, such as limiting time spent on social media and recognising the things in their life that they are grateful for.
Yoga and meditation teaches children to access and understand their emotions more easily and to self soothe. Children feel more content and confident and less likely to become affected by the negative effects of social media and advertising. Effectively we help young people to 'own their own light', understanding their place in the world and the importance of happiness over material things.
Can you name one of your happiest memories from childhood?
Flying kites on a windy hill on a hot summers’ day.
What is best piece of advice you have received?
To always follow your gut instinct...it's been right so far!
What would your advice be for parents wanting to ensure that their children are happy and healthy?
Listen to them and take time to play, dance, laugh and create together. Take them to yoga!
What was the last thing you read/watched/listened to?
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey.
What is the most useful thing you have learnt through The-Sea-Within?
To listen and learn from the little people in our lives as they are our biggest teachers.
Grab your tickets for Float here.