HMS Counseling Newsletter
Holiday Kindness BINGO Challenge
In order to verify that acts of kindness have been performed, students may do the following:
1) Have their BINGO card signed by a parent or teacher.
2) Take a picture of themselves performing the act of kindness and Tweet or Instagram it using the hashtags #PowerOfOne #KindnessChallenge.
You can find the BINGO card here:
Mark your calendar for our next Parent Night!
Important dates for 7th grade Duke TIP participants
December 5 -- December SAT Date
December 12 -- December ACT Date
January 15 --Test preparation session for all students testing in round 2
January 23 -- January SAT Date
February 6 -- February ACT Date
For more information, please contact Ms. Stokes
Tips for Beating the Holiday Blues
1) Acknowledge your feelings. If you have recently lost a loved one or can't be close to those nearest and dearest to your heart throughout the holidays, it's normal to feel sadness and grief. You can't force yourself to be happy just because it's Christmas. Make sure to take time out to acknowledge and express your feelings.
2) Reach out. If you feel lonely, reach out to friends, religious communities, or other social groups for fellowship and support. Volunteering your time is a great way to give back to others and to lift your spirits at the same time.
3) Be realistic. The holidays don't have to be perfect. As families change and grow, often so do traditions. Hold on to the most important ones, but be flexible and open to change. For example, if your family can't be together over the holidays, find new ways to celebrate together such as sharing pictures or videos.
4) Set aside differences. Even if they don't live up to all of your expectations, try to accept friends and family members as they are. Temporarily put aside grievances until the holidays have passed. Try to be understanding of others' feelings during this time. Chances are, they are probably experiencing the stress of the holiday season too!
5) Stick to a budget. Before you go food or gift shopping, decide in advance how much money you can afford to spend and stick to your budget. Looking for alternatives? Try these ideas: 1) give homemade gifts, 2) start a family gift exchange, 3) donate to a charity in someone's name.
6) Plan ahead. Set aside specific times for shopping, baking, visiting family, etc. This will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed and scrambling to get everything done at the last minute.
7) Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and family will understand if you can't participate in every activity during the holidays. If it's not possible to say no to your boss when he/she asks you to work overtime, try to remove something else from your agenda to make up for lost time.
8) Don't abandon healthy habits. Overindulgence during the holidays only adds to your stress. Make sure to get plenty of sleep, and incorporate physical activity into your routine. Also, try eating a healthy snack prior to holiday parties to prevent overindulgence in sweets and snacks.
9) Take a breather. No matter how busy your holiday season is, take time for yourself to relax and enjoy yourself. Even 15 minutes makes a big difference! Try going for a walk, reading a book, listening to soothing music, or even treating yourself to a massage! Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, and restoring your inner calm.
10) Seek professional help if needed. If your holiday blues seem to last for a while or if you have persistent trouble sleeping, feeling sad, anxious, or irritable, talk to a mental health professional.
Don't let the holidays become something you dread. Learn to recognize your holiday triggers and take steps to prevent stress and depression. With a little planning and positive thinking, you too can find joy and peace during this holiday season!
(Adapted from the Mayo Clinic article Stress, Depression, and the Holidays: Tips for Coping)
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