“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
At Athlos schools, we focus on teaching children the importance of 12 traits that we call Performance Character traits. Our Performance Character pillar recognizes the deep connection between these traits and success. The development of Performance Character is integrated into every learning opportunity, allowing students to experience this connection first hand. Traits like humility, integrity, energy, and zest become a lens through which students view their learning as about more than grades, but as learning for life.
Like all important lessons, reinforcing learning at home is a key factor to success. One of the best ways for parents to do this is to positively model the traits at home and encourage trait development. In our 12-part ‘Performance Character at Home’ blog series, we offer simple, yet effective, ways to support children’s Performance Character development. In this blog, we look at energy/zest.
What is energy/zest?
Athlos defines energy/zest as engaging in life with enthusiasm and excitement in each day.
Why is energy/zest important?
Though similar to the Performance Character trait optimism, energy/zest is the only trait that solely focuses on approaching life in an enthusiastic, energetic, and vigorous manner. Multiple studies have shown that energetic and zestful individuals tend to be more satisfied with their lives, and have commonly linked their happiness to daily engagement, personal enjoyment, and having meaning to life. As students practice having energy/zest in life, negative feelings and stress become better managed and their education and social life improve.
How can I help my child develop energy/zest?
Research tells us what most parents already know—children are naturally energetic and zestful. However, even the most enthusiastic individuals experience low energy every now and then, sometimes for extended periods of time. There are some tricks to having a little more zest in life, but it takes some testing to see what works and what doesn’t.
Here are a few ways you can foster this trait at home:
- Energy/zest doesn’t always equal physical movement or a peppy attitude. It’s about feeling fully engaged in the world around us, even if it means to slow down and savor positive moments
- and senses. Little actions such as watching the sun set, playing a musical instrument, or “raisin meditation” can help a child slow down and truly engage in the world around them.
- Good habits such as exercise, a healthy diet, and sufficient sleep are the most common suggestions that lead to daily happiness and fulfillment by health officials. By helping your children follow a consistent daily routine of exercise, healthy meals, and going to bed and waking up on time, you’ll find they’ll have more enthusiasm in the classroom, more energy to focus at home, and an overall positive sense of self-worth.
- Novelty and suspense are both energizing elements that build excitement and fight against boredom for children. This can be done through storytelling, cooking, reading a graphic novel, surprise gifts and parties, watching live theater, and visiting a children’s museum or a nature reserve.
- Research shows that spending time outside in nature can restore our attention and enthusiasm, not to mention time outside procures physical benefits and positive social interactions as well. Even a short 15-minute walk outdoors everyday can increase vitality and energy for an individual.