In the spirit of “Community Can’t Be Canceled,” Wellness is using Instagram (@acalaneswellness) to bring wellness-related advice, resources and connection to the school community. We’re working with staff and student organizations like Leadership and Bring Change to Mind (@bringchangetomindacalanes) to provide positive messages and practical guidance for challenging times. If you didn’t catch the launch of our positivity mindset program Three Good Things, you can learn more on Instagram @3goodthings_ahs. We’re trying to increase the reach to these accounts and to @ahs_dons because connection is what we all need the most. You’ll soon see us launch a mindfulness program based on the curriculum of Mindful Schools. We’ll be adapting the lessons for a short form initially and if there’s interest, we may explore the possibility for some live practices. Please tell your students how greatly they are missed and how strongly the entire Dons staff believes in their ability to not only rise to the challenge of the current crisis but to build remarkable resilience along the way. Stay tuned each week for more thoughts and resources. We remain, so grateful to our incredible Parents Club for this platform! (CS – 3/20@2:37pm)
With school closure due to Covid-19 and more time to think as a result of social distancing, we need to reduce stress more than ever. This gift of more down time is perfect for students to catch up on sleep and perhaps to practice presence which we can model. Check-in with yourself throughout the day to ask, “How are things for me right now?” Planning for, protecting against, and ruminating on uncertainty is stressful. Worrying makes sense and so does planning but we can do those things and then shift our attention back to the present. We move out of our heads and into our bodies by sensing our internal experience and immediate conditions. What can I see, smell, hear, and feel right now? What’s happening around me– Are there people to connect with? Beautiful things to see? Opportunities to engage in learning or practicing skills? Am I safe, comfortable, at ease? Kids look to adults for cues so your regulated nervous system will co-regulate theirs. (CS)
We want to remind you of some community resources:
For non-life threatening mental health support: Contra Costa Crisis Center: call 211 or text HOPE to 20121 available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for mental health needs. www.211cc.org can help you reach other community resources.
In the event of a mental health emergency, please contact 911.
As a reminder, here are the counselor assignments and emails. Counselors prefer using the auhsdschools.org email but School Loop messages are also fine.
Student last names
A- E Anne Schonauer email@example.com
F-Lar Christine Todd firstname.lastname@example.org
Las – Rog Marissa Meadows email@example.com
Roh-Z Susan Martin firstname.lastname@example.org
Take the same steps you would take to stay healthy during cold and flu season.
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds, particularly after coughing or sneezing. If you don’t have access to running water, use an alcohol-based hand cleanser.
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Stay away from people who are sick.
- Don’t share makeup, food, dishes or eating utensils.
- Wearing a surgical mask will not protect you from getting sick.
When to keep your student home from school? HERE
This week’s blurb brought to you by the leadership of the BC2M (Bring Change To Mind) club: We are a nationally-affiliated club focused on building awareness of and de-stigmatizing mental illness.Our goal is to create a stronger support system that recognizes that all ranges of mental health are normal! We would appreciate your help in promoting our club and our projects. We are currently working on securing a well-known suicide survivor public speaker (Kevin Hines) to talk to students and the greater community about mental health. We meet Wednesdays at lunch in the Wellness Center. It’s a positive and welcoming environment and most meetings include fun activities and projects. Follow us on Instagram: bringchange2mindacalanes
~Alara, Anna, Claudia, Emily, Kael, Katya and Sadie (CS)
We were planning to focus on the Eight Sources of a Meaningful Life but are postponing in light of the need to talk about sleep– officially a public health crisis per the Centers for Disease Control. No aspect of wellbeing can be achieved without adequate sleep. We’ve all heard the requirement for adolescent sleep (not “time spent in bed”) is 9-10 hours. We have yet to meet a student who reflects they are achieving the low end of that range. For more information on this subject, search Cal professor and sleep expert, Dr. Matthew Walker. He provides immediately actionable steps for reducing “time spent trying to fall asleep.” We’re already implementing some of these with our own families. And when you notice your student is dis-regulated, flip the script: before trying to problem-solve, ask how much sleep they got and encourage curiosity about how they feel physically, emotionally and cognitively when they don’t get enough sleep.
The spring application period for CSF started yesterday, Feb 1. Students in grades 10-12 should apply. Seniors who have been members in the past need to apply this time! CSF rules state that one of the qualifying semesters has to be grades earned in senior year. More info here.
February is American Heart Month.
Wednesday, Feb 5 at 3:15pm
Please join Dvora Citron, RN MS, Acalanes School Nurse in the Acalanes Collaboration Center for A Dialogue on Moving Towards Plant-Based Eating for Heart Health. This is appropriate for anyone with a heart – students, staff and parents! Please respond here to attend.
We’re so thrilled when students share stories with us that demonstrate their own resilience. Along with compassion, resilience is one of our favorite qualities and it’s our very favorite process. The simplest definition is the ability to bounce back from difficulty. A more encompassing definition is: “Resilience is the ability to stay with a sense of flexibility and harmony in the face of challenges and to recover when we leave that flow.” When conditions are hard or things go sideways, be sure to encourage your kids to practice acceptance of difficult outcomes at the same time they process learning–if any is offered (as we adults know, sometimes bad things just happen.) Kids who practice resilience and receive positive validation for doing so will cultivate an even greater capacity to rise to the many challenges that go along with being human.
Sleep: The Most Important Variable in Our Health
Periodically it’s important to remind families about the importance of sleep and what parents can do to help support healthy sleep for their children. Research is continually showing that sleep is the most important part of keepinging ourselves healthy on a daily basis and for long term health and wellness. Here are reminders for you to keep in mind:
- Your student needs 8-10 hours of sleep per night. Your most important role as a parent is to HELP them with protecting those sleep hours in their daily schedule.*
- Keep technology out of the bedroom during sleep time. This is a really hard one that requires discipline and adjustment for many. But honestly, sleeping with technology is not going to result in restful, nourishing sleep.
*Even if you think that there is not enough time in the schedule for your student to get the sleep they need, take a hard look at how much they are doing and consider prioritizing their schedule, putting sleep at the top.
Sick Students? Read this article to see the difference between a cold and the flu.