Don’t Forget to Laugh – From Our Health & Wellness Team

Wellness Wednesday LogoThe new school year is upon us and having a sense of humor is often key to making it through any challenging times you may encounter. In fact, a good sense of humor can be one of the most useful tools in our tool box. Every chuckle brings with it health benefits.

Some of the health benefits include:

  • Physical benefits of laughter result in a boost to your immunity; laughter lowers stress hormones, decreases pain, relaxes the muscles, and prevents heart disease
  • Mental health benefits include adding joy and zest for life; laughter eases anxiety
  • and tension, relieves stress, improves mood, and strengthens resilience
  • Social benefits include strengthening relationships; laughter attracts us to others, enhances teamwork, helps diffuse conflict, and promotes group bonding.

Of course, we all have different things we find funny and we all have different styles of humor. Maybe you’re not a stand-up comedian, but anyone can learn a couple of jokes to share as a way of connecting or lightening the mood.

Spend time watching or reading something that tickles your funny bone, or share a crazy or embarrassing story with your friends or co-workers (this is a fast track to bonding because we all have a silly story or two).

Just like any skill, we need to be intentional in our practice. So, your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to find the funny. It’s there waiting to make you laugh!

Learn to Avoid Procrastination – Tips from Our Health & Wellness Team

Wellness Wednesday LogoWe all do it. A deadline is creeping up and we start to feel that urge to do ANYTHING but the task at hand. Even tasks without deadlines can be easy to keep putting off and letting the stress pile up. One way to avoid extra and unnecessary stress is to stay on top of your priorities and avoid procrastinating. I know, easier said than done.

A study of 140 medical students in China linked procrastination to increased stress levels. The study also associated procrastination and delayed stress reactions with more negative parenting styles, including punishment and rejection.

If you are like most people and find yourself procrastinating, try working on the things that you feel like avoiding first and proactively schedule chunks of uninterrupted time. It’s important to know that switching between several tasks can add to stress and also reduce your productivity.

Being mindful of your thoughts and feelings when you are trying to complete a task can often help you identify the warning signs of procrastination. Reflection can help to bring up the real reasons for putting off a task and then you are free to tackle the problem head-on.

It’s okay to struggle with tasks that are difficult or that you want to avoid. Try starting with those tasks that you’d rather avoid because it could help reduce the tendency to procrastinate. This small change could help reduce stress and add to your experience of everyday wellness.

Healing Connections

Wellness Wednesday LogoWriter and therapist Lisa Olivera once said, “Just because no one else can heal or do your inner work for you, doesn’t mean you can, should, or need to do it alone.”

Healthy relationships and strong connections are essential to everyone’s health and wellness. As we begin the new school year, each student and parent could benefit from intentional efforts to deepen connections. We don’t know what lies ahead this year, but we know with certainty that none of us can get through life alone.

This is a great time of year to reach out to a friend with whom you have lost touch or to make an effort to form new connections and friendships.

If you are unsure where to turn for connection, healing, and support, the 988 crisis line can be called 24/7. In addition to this resource, Jordan District schools are full of caring professionals who are ready to support you and your student.

We look forward to building healing connections with you throughout the school year!

Back to School Wellness Tips

Wellness Wednesday LogoAs the new school year begins, it can be a stressful time for students and parents. Parents may worry about things like their child’s academic performance, health and relationships with other students and teachers. And while parents can’t always keep an eye on their child at school, they can encourage healthy habits starting at a young age.

Explore this infographic from Johns Hopkins Medicine to learn important ways you can support your child’s health this school year. Let’s make it a safe, successful and healthy one.

What Students Need Most

Wellness Wednesday Logo

During the recent 4th of July weekend, most students likely saw some fireworks. The beautiful thing about this shared experience is just that, it’s a shared experience. People don’t have to agree on much to sit together and watch fireworks.

Being with others who are also enjoying the moment doesn’t just enhance the moment, it creates it. Each person has a deep need to feel a part of a community, a sense of belonging, and connection with others. This need can be especially difficult to meet as a young person in today’s world.

So, while students were watching fireworks there were a few moments of freedom from some of the biggest barriers to more connection.

  • Freedom from competition, because nobody wins at watching a firework show.
  • Freedom from criticism, because you aren’t getting a grade for doing it “right.”
  • Freedom from feeling different, because the others around are also enjoying the moment.

Every child needs more moments like this weekend’s fireworks. Moments where we stop competing, criticizing, or focusing on differences. Each of us, especially students, needs to spend time with people every day, enjoying simple moments and connecting on common ground.

While there may not be fireworks every day, taking a few minutes to be present with someone else is not just a nice moment, it’s a necessity for everyone’s health and wellness. We hope you have a great week!