The Wellness Word
Destress your Holidays
So what really happens to your body when you are stressed?
The human body is designed to respond to short bursts of stress, like when a dog barks at you while you're out for a jog. These threats stimulate your hypothalamus, a part of your brain designed to communicate to the other areas of your body. Your body releases hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones increase your heart rate, raise your blood pressure, and increases the sugar in your blood stream. You're food digestion and all other nonessential functions stop at this point. This is called the fight or flight response.
The good news is that this is a short term response. When the threat is gone, your body stabilizes and returns to its normal state. But, when you are constantly stress, the fight or flight response stays active.
How do you combat stress?
1. A healthy diet and regular exercise
2. Setting a strict sleep schedule to make sure you get your 8 hours
3. Set time to explore and enjoy your hobbies
5. Make a budget and stick to it
6. Say "no" when you feel overwhelmed and don't want to tackle any more tasks
7. Relax with a hot bath, massage, soothing music, yoga, or deep breathing exercises
8. Acknowledge your feelings. Sometimes you just need to vent!
9. Be realistic with yourself and understand that sometimes holiday traditions change as families grow
10. Don't be afraid to seek help from a friend or a mental health professional.
If you don't feel comfortable asking for help, check out www.7cups.com. "This is a free, anonymous, and confidential online chat with trained listeners, therapists, and counselors." You can chat about anything you want, or find a specialized listener for work related stress, exercise motivation, financial stress, grief, and more!
For more information and tips, visit mayoclinic.org.
November's Staff Spotlight is Rachel Gerhardt!
Thanks for sharing, Rachel! Below, you can find one of Rachel's favorite recipes.
Oatmeal Chocolate-chip Pancakes
- 2 C oat flour (ground up oats)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 C plain Greek yogurt
- 1C milk
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 T maple syrup
- 1/3 C mini chocolate chips
- In a large bowl, combine oat flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon
- In a separate bowl, combine Greek yogurt, milk, egg, vanilla extract and 1 T maple syrup
- Combine and stir the wet and dry ingredient mixtures
- Stir in chocolate chips
- If the batter is too thick, add more milk
- Spray or oil a large pan over medium heat
- Add 1/3 C of batter to form pancakes
- Cook until all bubbles have popped (~3 mins) and flip over for an additional minute
- Serve warm with maple syrup, nut butter, or preserves
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Forget Quiet as a Mouse, and Adopt Silent Simon Says
"10 Alternatives to Taking Away Recess"
"We believe that unstructured free play is the most ideal way for kids to spend their recess time. But when discipline is necessary, there are alternative punishments that can still provide opportunities for kids to move and get sensory input rather than standing or sitting to the side during recess.
Here are some ideas:
1 || Walking laps around the track or playground with the teacher.
2 || Cleaning up 10 pieces of litter or wiping down slides on the playground before being allowed to play.
3 || Raking leaves or pulling weeds in the school garden.
4 || Complete 10 designated motor or sensory activities to complete before joining friends on the playground. Check out this visual choice board for brain breaks.
5 || Participate in a job that incorporates movement (e.g. stacking chairs, helping in the library or cafeteria, delivering items around the school, sweeping floor, wiping tables, washing a window) before going out to play.
6 || Losing a specific (favorite) piece of playground equipment or a specific playground activity (e.g. no football today, no jungle gym today).
7 || Losing screen time instead of recess time.
8 || Designate a recess “break space”. Draw a large rectangle on the ground with sidewalk chalk. Inside the rectangle, draw lines/paths/shapes. Instead of standing/sitting, kids can walk/run on the paths or jump/hop from shape to shape.
9 || Earning a recess reward! Instead of taking something away, what about having students work toward earning a special outdoor recess game, toy, or even extra recess for completing work or staying on track with behavior?
10 || Be the leader! Turn that negative behavior into something positive. Have the student come up with 2 games involving movement and have them lead the entire class (a unique game of tag, an obstacle course, etc)."
Remember, taking away recess isn't considered a punishment to some children. Some kids don't mind being held from recess, making the punishment ineffective.
Skate with Santa
Saturday, Dec. 17th, 1-2:30pm
2100 South Henderson Street
This is open for all ages! The cost is $6 per person and $3 per skate rental.Celebrate the holiday on the ice with Santa and his elves. Photo ops are available with cookies and punch. Come dressed in your best ugly sweater for a chance to win prizes!
Bloomington Community Farmers Market
Saturday, Nov. 12th, 9-11am
401 North Morton Street
Find fresh and locally grown farm products every Saturday morning! There are vegetables, annual and perennial plants, products from small dairies, flowers, meats, cheeses, and more! You can use your EBT card to exchange SNAP benefits for Market Bucks. The value of your EBT/SNAP purchase is doubled at the market. You can spend up to $18 with your card, and receive $36 of fresh food per visit. Restrooms and an ATM machine are available in City Hall. This is a smoke and pet free zone. To find more information about vendor profiles, schedule, and product availability, visit bloomington.in.gov/farmersmarket. The market is open Saturdays through November from 9am-1pm.
Action for Healthy Kids Webinar
Wednesday, Dec. 14th, 4pm
This is an online event.
Do students at your school regularly select healthy options offered with school meals? If not, don't fret! We can nudge students to make healthy choices by making our lunchrooms smarter. Join Action for Healthy Kids for our December Wellness Wednesday Webinar to learn about the Smarter Lunchrooms movement and explore strategies to spruce up your school cafeteria to encourage kids to choose the healthiest options available.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016 | 30 minutes
4:00 PM (ET), 3:00 PM (CT), 2:00 PM (MT), 1:00 PM (PT)