Healthy Attitudes

Using Technology to Promote Positive Self-Care Practices

The Final Nine Weeks

As we enter into the final nine weeks of the school year, some of us may need a little extra fuel in our gas tanks to help get us to the finish line. Proper self-care can be instrumental in the successful and peaceful closing of your academic year. Let's look at a few big ideas that may help and apps to support you.

What is Mindfulness? explains that "mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us." Read their full explanation here.

How can mindfulness help us? Practicing mindfulness helps us to become less reactive. When we take a moment (a breath), it allows us to better assess a situation, take stock in what we are feeling, think about what is the root cause of a problem, and maybe even decide how to generate a positive outcome for all around us. When we react without pause - fight, flight, freeze - we are simply in short-term self-preservation mode. Fortunately, we can retrain our brains to take the mindful and less reactive path.

Try it. It's free. All it takes is practice.

Why Mindfulness is a Superpower

Check out this short animation below on a superpower that you can acquire without being bitten by a radioactive spider....


Check out these apps and web tools to help get you started in your practice.

Stop, Think, Breathe - iOS, Play Store, Online (Any device)

Smiling Minds - iOS, Play Store

Clam - iOS, Play Store

Headspace - iOS, Play Store

The Mindfulness App - iOS, Play Store

Need a place to start? Check out Stop, Think, Breathe from your computer. Learn the basics, how it works, how to practice, and select from a quick-pick menu of starter meditations.

"Just Breathe" by Julie Bayer Salzman & Josh Salzman

Watch and share this video (less than 4 minutes) on using your breath to settle your mind. Consider getting your students thinking about overcoming the fight/flight/freeze instinct so that they can learn to thoughtfully respond to situations rather than react.
Class Dojo has videos that explain the mindful practice of breathing and moving in kid-friendly terms. Class Dojo does a great job of explaining how and when these tools could be important.

Bring mindfulness into your K-12 classroom
David Lynch Foundation

Start thinking about ways that mindfulness can help your students.

Did you know that free help is available? RPS pays for the an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to assist employees and their household members in getting help with some of a family's most private issues for free. These problems may include, but are not limited to: issues with family, alcohol, drugs, emotions, stress, work/life balance, legal or financial concerns. EAP benefits are available to all employees even if your health insurance coverage isn't through RPS. Visit the RPS Benefits page for details.
Mind Gut Connection

The Mind-Gut Connection: How the Hidden Conversation Within Our Bodies Impacts Our Mood, Our Choices, and Our Overall Health Hardcover; by Emeran Mayer

Big picture

Something to Think About: The Mind Gut Connection

Check out one of the sites or articles below. I think that research is revealing some very interesting mind body connections. These are just a few things to consider while caring for yourself through the end of the school year.

The Gut Brain Axis, Microbiome, and the Power of Probiotics

Fascinating new research tells us that our gut exerts an influence on the brain, affecting our mood, hormonal balance and obesity levels

Why? WHY???

I am your ITRT, NOT a doctor. These articles are things that I have been reading and that I am sharing with you. This is not medical advice. If you think you are experiencing excessive amounts of stress, difficulty, or a medical condition, contact your doctor or take whatever appropriate action you would as a responsible adult.

Why is your ITRT sharing these things with you? There are a number of apps and websites throughout this newsletter. If you would like coaching on how to integrate any part of these ideas in your teaching practice with your students, please let me know. That is why I am here. Reducing student and teacher anxiety (especially during testing season) can be beneficial. We can use technology to facilitate this. Using apps and web content to implement stress-reducing strategies can help.