Taking Care of You

September 21, 2020

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Let's Talk About Sleep

So many of us suffer from back to school dreams and sleepless nights prior to the start of school each year. If this is you, I am hopeful that you are past that point and are getting a restful and rejuvinating 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Sounds delightful, doesn't it? I don't know about you, but I do not always achieve this goal. I tend to stay up a little too late, despite my best intentions, and I always want "just a few more minutes" when the alarm goes off in the morning. In this week's issue, read about how sleep impacts the quality of your work and productivity, enjoy meditation that will help you let go of the day, practice a quick yoga routine to foster better sleep, do a little coloring to relax your mind and let Billy Joel sing you a Lullabye! Most importantly, get some good sleep!!!
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Slow your mind and replace any racing thoughts you may have about the day with a soothing, peaceful bedtime story from "Nothing Much Happens" podcasts. Click the link below to find a story to enjoy tonight.


"Sleep is the best meditation." Dalai Lama
Guided Meditation Before Sleep: Let Go of the Day

Get Moving

Yoga For Sleep And Relaxation | Restorative Yoga

Music is Healing

"Goodnight my angel, now it's time to dream, And dream how wonderful your life will be."
Billy Joel - Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel) (Official Video)

Healthy Eating

Are you a gronala lover??? It really is my favorite go-to breakfast item and some mornings I wake up looking forward to this deliciousness. I often find that it is difficult to find store bought, healthy granola that actually tastes good. The really yummy brands are not actually good for you (loaded with sugar, and other not so great incredients). So I have experimented with making my own. I have finally settled on a recipe that I love and honestly, I will never buy granola from the market again! This recipe is loaded with nutrient rich nuts and seeds, gluten free oats and olive oil. The only sweetener involved is real maple syrup. It is SUPER easy and quick to make and will last you way longer than the expensive, itty bitty bag you buy at the market.

A couple of tips:

1. Try to buy organic, non-GMO ingredients whenever possible. It may cost a little more, but in my opinion, it is worth every penny.

2. I started with chopped pecans but recently switched to sliced almonds. The verdict is in...sliced almonds are my preference.

3. Invest in a good sized, air tight glass container to store your granola in.

4. Customize it however you would like. I love to add mini chocolate chips and dried cranberries or fresh, organic strawberries for an extra treat!

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Relax Your Mind

Coloring... my favorite way to reset my brain! My friends know this about me and have gifted me many adult coloring books. I have been known to keep a blank coloring page taped to my desk and colored pencils in my drawer. When I need a five minute brain break, I color in a bit of the page. I have found that this is one way to decompress when I need it most and reset to be more productive. The link below provides a wide variety of pages you can color digitally or print for coloring the old fashioned way. Thecolor.com is also included in the Virtual Calming Room (linked at the end of this newsletter) for your students to enjoy!

Staying Connected

Throughout the year, we hope to be able to offer you non-work related opportunities to stay connected with and support each other. We hope you will take advantage of some of these offerings as a way to unwind, shut your mind off from work, connect with friends and colleagues, and ultimately practice self-care. See below for a list of offerings.

Tai Chi with Dara Pond

Dara Pond, Guidance Counselor from Riverside Middle School, will be offering virtual Tai Chi classes on Monday afternoons from 4:00 pm -5:00 pm beginning September 7. If you are intersted in participating, please contact Dara directly at dpond@epschoolsri.com. Thank you, Dara!

Want to learn more about the benefits of Tai Chi? Click Here.

Book Club for Teachers

The Book Nerd in Barrington will be hosting a Book Club just for teachers beginning October 6 from 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm. The book selection for this first session will be The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. Interested in joining? Email The Book Nerd at thebooknerdonline@gmail.com.

Yoga with Nicole Cram

Nicole Cram will be offering a series of yoga classes that incorporate core pilates. This series will take place on the following dates from 4:00 pm.- 5:00 pm:

Monday, September 14

Monday, October 5

Monday, November 9

Monday, December 14

Interested in participating? Email Nicole Cram at ncram@epschoolsri.com

***New*** Paint Night with Katina Gustafson

Katina Gustafson, art teacher at RMS, will be hosting a virtual adult paint night on Thursday, October 22 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. See the selected painting below. To participate in this event, you will need the following materials:
  • Acrylic paint: red, yellow, orange, brown, black, white and blue. Add a bonus color of your choice for the truck (or you can use the blue)
  • Paint brushes (in a variety of sizes)
  • Cavas
  • Blow Dryer
  • Paint marker for the thin black lines (easier than a paint brush)

Unwind, engage your creative side and connect with colleagues. For additional details and to register, email Katina at kgustafson@epschoolsri.com!

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EPSD Calendar of Events

All Adult SEL events will be added to this calendar throughout the year. You can access the calendar by clicking on the bar.

EPSD Virtual Calming Room

Due to the current restrictions, creating physical calm down corners for our students is not possible this year. The button below will take you to a Virtual Calming Room that will offer a wide variety of videos and activities that your students (or you) can use to decompress when needed throughout the day. Again, this room is a work in progress. I will continue to add to it throughout the year. I hope you will find it helpful. And, please, if you have any awesome tools or resources that would be good additions to this room, send them along and I will be happy to add them! ***Recently added: Learn How to Draw fun and quick tutorials located on the Coloring & Creativity Page.***

East Providence School Department Support Center

The EPSD Support Center is designed to provide you with a wide variety of resources to support your health and wellness and that of your students and their familes as we navigate the re-opening of our school community during this challenging time. Click on the bar below to access the Support Center.

EPSD Support Center Resource Spotlight

The National Institutes of Health Emotional Wellness Toolkit offers 6 strategies for improving your emotional health:

  • Brighten Your Outlook
  • Reduce Stress
  • Get Quality Sleep
  • Cope with Loss
  • Strengthen Connections
  • Be Mindful.

Click the link below to access detailed information about these strategies.

The SEL Bookshelves

The SEL Bookshelves have been created to support SEL instruction in your classroom and the specific social and emotional needs of your students. On these shelves, you will find picture books, chapter books, video recorded read-alouds and accompanying lesson activities (where available) that are aligned to the 5 CASEL SEL Comptencies. The shelves are updated regularly so continue to check back for the latest additions. Click on the bar below to access the bookshelves. ***NOTE*** All picture book video links have been updated to SafeYouTube links in order to remove distractions and links to additional videos that we typically get with regular You Tube videos. :-)

SEL Book of the Week

Right Now I am Fine by Dr. Daniela Owen

Dr. Daniela Owen, Ph.D., an assistant professor of clinical psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, has published her first book specifically to help children deal with the complications of stress and anxiety from the COVID Epidemic.

You can find this book on the Self-Awarenes Picture Bookshelf.

*** New*** SEL Coaching Menu

Our students are back! Hopefully, by now, you have met all your students (in person or virtually) and are beginning to get to know them. As you continue to develop those relationships, you may find yourself wanting some support with ensuring you are meeting the SEL needs of your students. You may not know what their specific needs are yet, but there are pletnty of instructional and management decisions you can make to anticipate and accommodate those needs. I am here to help with that and would love to connect with you. Below, you will find a coaching menu with suggested topics that you may be interested in discussing. Of course, you are welcomed and encouraged to bring your own topics to any discussion. Because of the current restrictions, our meetings will have to be virtual (Google Meet). I have set up an appointment calendar that will allow you to select a time that works for you. When you schedule your meeting, please be sure to add in the topics you would like to discuss in the description box. I can't wait to meet with you!
SEL Coaching Menu

Click here to view a list of items that you may wish to discuss during SEL coaching meetings.

Social Emotional Learning Facilitator

SEL Facilitator Appointment Calendar (for EPSD Faculty and Staff only). If you would like to schedule time to meet with Tabitha to discuss SEL for you or your students. Click on the appointment calendar link and select a time that works for you. Please include a description of topics you would like to addres in the description box.