Try Subtraction for Enhanced Wellness

Wellness Wednesday LogoToday’s wellness tip is a review of some simple math.

While there is no exact formula for improving our sense of wellness, sometimes it’s helpful to try a new method to solve life’s problems, just like a math problem that you might get stuck on.

The list of things to add to improve your wellness can be fairly easy to come up with: a little bit of exercise, more nutritious foods, time in the sun, practicing gratitude, meditation… you get the idea.

However, sometimes our wellness is a problem of subtraction, rather than addition. More stillness and contentment can often be achieved by removing something rather than adding. Removing social media or screen time that creates stress and distracts from important relationships, removing expenses or activities that are too much to manage, removing a meeting or appointment from your schedule that drains your energy; there are lots of examples of things that can be removed in modern life.

If you feel overwhelmed or stressed, it might be time to try subtraction and see if that can improve your overall wellness.

Trading Screen Time for Sun Time

Wellness Wednesday LogoOur mind and body need time outside, every day. Many of our students love their screen time, and without school to take up their day, they may be tempted to spend most of that free time in front of some kind of device.

Though games, screens, and devices aren’t necessarily bad for students, time spent in front of screens isn’t really beneficial for mental and physical health. Too much screen time might mean not enough time exercising, interacting with peers, or developing new skills and hobbies.

Rather than condemn or eliminate screen time, families could consider trading screen time with other positive healthy behaviors. It’s good to start small with these kinds of trades, trading 30 minutes of screen time for 30 minutes of sun time is an easy start to creating a balanced lifestyle.

Time in the sun produces essential vitamins and chemical reactions in the brain and body that support students’ mental and physical health (use the sunscreen though if you will be out for extended periods of time!). Sun time can be combined with other healthy actions, like calling or chatting with a friend or family member, active exercise or walking, developing a skill, or trying a hobby like a puzzle or an art project. Combining our sun time with other positive actions like these can make it even more beneficial!

This week’s challenge is to trade a small amount of screen time for sun time. Even 30 minutes per day of this trade can enhance mental health for our students! Let’s get outside as often as possible this summer and feel the benefits to our mental and physical health.

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The Power of Sleep

Wellness Wednesday LogoGetting enough sleep is likely the most important thing any person can do to improve their overall health and wellness. Unfortunately, sleep has been under appreciated in our modern culture as people who “sleep less and do more” are often rewarded for this unhealthy behavior. Some people even wear their lack of sleep like a badge of honor, because they are so busy doing “more important” things.

When it comes to health and overall wellness, sleep is not only important, but absolutely essential. Adequate sleep boosts your immune system and memory, increases your energy and metabolism, balances your mood and emotions, and truly affects ALL aspects of your everyday life.

Sleep is an aspect of wellness worth an intentional, daily effort, and this daily effort to maintain good sleep can be referred to as “sleep hygiene.” Just like regular hygiene, sleep hygiene is dependent on every day actions. Here are some ideas of daily acts that you can try to improve the sleep hygiene of your family, including kids.

  • Eliminate caffeine after 3pm
  • Silence alerts on a cell phone (including any flashes of light)
  • Stop screen time an hour before bedtime
  • Spend time in the sun or outside each day
  • Spend time being active every day, even 20 minutes of exercise per day can enhance sleep.
  • Set a consistent, daily wake-up time and let your body adjust with a consistent bedtime (shoot for at least 8 hours!)
  • Try a meditation from an app or audio clip

Listen to your body! You may have your own ideas for improving your sleep hygiene. Try them out and keep track of their impact. Every intentional effort to prioritize better sleep, will give back in enhanced wellness. It’s worth the effort!

Summer Challenge: Small Acts of Wellness

Wellness WednesdayIt’s the little things that make the biggest difference when it comes to your wellness and the wellness of students.

Now that students aren’t spending much or any of the day in school, there is a mistaken belief that families need to do “big” things with their extra time together. However, wellness is determined by small, intentional, positive daily acts. This means that wellness is within each person’s reach.

A daily walk in the sunlight, an extra few minutes talking in-person or on the phone with friends or family, or a five-minute daily meditation can have a big impact on a person’s overall wellness.

We want to offer you a summer wellness challenge. Make this summer, a summer of small things. Take 5-30 minutes per day to attempt an intentional, positive wellness practice.

We will continue to share tips and ideas each week for these small, essential actions that can enhance wellness for families. We hope you have a great week!

Free Social and Emotional Wellness Screening for Students Ages 10-18

Free Mental Health Screenings on Jan. 26. Thirty minute appointments are open from 3:30 to 7 pm. Virtual appointments via zoom or google meet. Licensed professionals will discuss results of screener, discuss possible mental and behavioral health needs, and connect students and families to available community resources. Space is limited. Hablamos espanol. Scan QR code to register. Do you have concerns about your child’s social and emotional wellness? On January 26, 2022, the Jordan Health and Wellness Team will be providing virtual mental health consultation interview appointments every 30 minutes between 3:30 and 7 p.m.

  • At each event, licensed professionals will:
    • Discuss possible mental and behavioral health needs for your child.
    • Connect students and families to available community resources.
  • These screenings are by appointment only. Space is limited.
    • Appointments take approximately 30 minutes and the screening tool takes 15 minutes to complete, prior to your appointment.
    • Interpreters will be available upon request.
  • Visit to schedule an appointment.