Crisis Coordinator Newsletter ~ Oct/Nov 2015

Holiday Stress

The winter season, rich with the holidays of Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Kwanza, Christmas, New Year’s, and Solstice, is here. This time of year also has shorter days, a lack of sunlight and is filled with cold and flu symptoms. Now, we are all aware of the horrific events regarding the Paris Attacks. While the holidays can be a joyous and wonderful time, there’s no denying that holiday stress and feeling overwhelmed can sometimes creep up on even the most calm and organized among us. It can also trigger feelings of sadness, lonliness and anxiety. Keeping in balance during this time is important and helps to keep us healthy and happy.

Reducing Your Holiday Stress

Feeling overwhelmed? Try these strategies to help you navigate the most wonderful (and stressful) time of the year: Ideally, don’t wait until stress becomes all-consuming… make it a habit to use these relaxation strategies regularly and often, especially before, during and after the holidays:

1. Exercise

Exercise affects a neurotransmitter that has an antidepressant-like effect on your brain while helping to decrease muscle tension.

2. Spend Time in Nature

Even five minutes in nature can help reduce stress, boost your mood and help you relax.

3. Participate in Activities You Enjoy

Be sure to leave time for the holiday activities you love most, whether it’s cooking, caroling, playing board games, or writing holiday cards.

4. Stay Positive

Those who are optimistic have an easier time dealing with stress, and are more inclined to open themselves up for opportunities to have positive, regenerative experiences.

5. Take a Break or Meditate

Taking even 10 minutes to sit quietly and shut out the chaos around you can trigger your relaxation response.

6. Live in the Present

Turn off your racing mind and simply focus on only the task at hand. Avoid worrying about what you need to do later in the day or tomorrow (if you have trouble shutting out such thoughts, jot them down on a piece of paper to help clear your mind).

7. Nurture Yourself

Try massage, a hot bath, mini-relaxations, or a quick walk to ease tension. Be sure you’re eating healthy, sleeping well and laughing often.

8. Be Grateful

Focus on what you’re grateful for. Keep a gratitude journal and write down why you’re grateful each day. Focus on what you do have this holiday season instead of what you don’t.

9. Have Compassion

Have compassion for yourself and others – try not to take things personally; accept people as they are.

10. Reach Out

Every day, teachers must juggle balancing the demands of many deadlines, manage all of your classroom responsibilities and respond to student's testing the rules. Take a breath and reach out if need be!

When stress begins to mount, think about the well-deserved time off you’ll soon get to enjoy: a long winter break to relax, recharge, and be ready to return to your students in the new year.

CSD Schools Celebrate Make A Difference Week, National Character Counts Week and Red Ribbon Week!

DHS celebrated Make A Difference Week. Each day during the week focused on providing information to students about safe driving, nutritional awareness, the importance of proper hand-washing and the negative effects of drugs/alcohol.

K-5 schools celebrated National Character Counts Week. Students and staff recognized the Pillars of Character by wearing colors of the day to promote strong character development. (Respect- gold, Caring- red, Responsibility-green, Fairness-orange and Trustworthiness-blue). Way to go RMS for celebrating Red Ribbon Week!

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