Generation Wellness Blog

Equipping students + staff with the tools to thrive in school + in life. We are the generation of wellness.

[EXPERIMENT] Stillness

Stillness is the absence of movement or sound.

Can you remember a time when you stayed still for a moment, tuning into the present moment, aside from trying to go to sleep? How did it feel? Was your mind and body relaxed? Or was your mind buzzing with to dos, planning details, or ruminating over what happened throughout the day?

The idea of surrendering to stillness is counter-cultural to our fast paced, always on the go society. Multi-tasking is often the norm and we may feel that every second of the day is scheduled with an activity that needs to get done. In the midst of such busyness, many of us secretly long for a simpler life. One that reflects a slower pace, where we are able to relax and enjoy some peace of mind. We may fantasize about getting away from it all or leaving our responsibilities behind. But rather than retreating to a cabin in the woods or catching the next plane to a beachside villa, the real solution is to learn how to maintain a sense of inner peace while...

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[EXPERIMENT] Empathy in Action

This month’s experiment is about connecting with 1-3 people and sharpening our empathy super powers. What better time to do this than right now during so much uncertainty, stress, and grief with the pandemic? Everyone is facing some type of battle and connection is the key.

“Empathy is a way to connect to the emotion another person is experiencing; it doesn’t require that we have experienced the same situation they are going through.” -Brene Brown

Empathy is not trying to fix the problem or share your story, rather it’s about listening for understanding, validating emotions, and expressing words, body language, and tone that create a sense of “feeling felt”.

[EXPERIMENT] The invitation is to reach out to 1-3 people and connect with them. Maybe ask about their “rose” and “thorn” or “high” and “low” during this pandemic. Practice empathizing vs. sympathizing to increase feeling seen, heard,...

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[EXPERIMENT] Play

Play means to engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.

How does play relate to wellness, you might ask? Well, play is vital to human development, lowering stress levels, and increasing creativity. 

  • Researcher Stuart Brown, MD believes that play is at the core of creativity and innovation. When we’re in a relaxed and playful mood, It’s easier to learn a new task, complete a task, or solve a problem. He points out that play can mean snorkeling, scrap booking or solving crossword puzzles; it’s anything that makes us lose track of time and self-consciousness, creating the clearing where ideas are born. 

Also, when we play, we are more likely to engage in laughter because we’re having fun. Laughter enlivens us. Both literally and figuratively. 

  • Research has shown laughter reduces levels of stress hormones, increases infection-fighting antibodies, and also improves blood flow to the heart, all...
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[EXPERIMENT] Close Out the School Year with this Reflection Practice

This school year was different than most. Never have we ended in-person learning in March due to a pandemic. More than likely, you’ve experienced a combination of frustration, joy, sadness, early mornings, late nights, confusion, resiliency, uncertainty, ups and downs...

There were lessons, there were pivotal moments and there was simply just never enough time. This school year will never happen again - your students are different now and so are you. Take some time to capture the lessons, so that you can create an even better school year to come.

REFLECTION EXPERIMENT:
Take a moment to reflect on your school year. Answer some or all of these questions over summer break:

  • What created the most joy this school year?
  • What was my greatest challenge?
  • What was my biggest lesson this year?
  • How did I show up effectively for my students?
  • How did I show up ineffectively for my students?
  • What is one thing I’m proud of?
  • What will I do more of next school year?
  • What will I do...
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[EXPERIMENT] Summer Self-Care Practice

Teaching is the third most stressful career in America. One out of every two educators will leave the profession within the first five years. These stats illustrate just how much stress is dramatically impacting educators. We are losing great teachers each year.

It seems that we can no longer turn away from creating a culture where staff well-being is the foundation. After all, it's vital to take care of ourselves, so that we can serve from our highest potential. Our stress effects how we show up for students, staff, and families.

Self-care is not limited to staying hydrating and getting eight hours of sleep. While those activities are very important, there are many ways to fill your cup and nourish all pieces of your being. Take a look at some simple practices: 

Personal: Honor your true self and do one thing you enjoy once/week.

Physical: Exercise for 20 minutes/day.

Financial: Splurge or save (depending on the day).

Social: Reach out for support and connect with...

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[EXPERIMENT] Feedback

Feedback is the return of information that is provided following an activity, process, or event.

You may have heard the quote, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” Research proves that many of us desire feedback because we want to know what’s expected and strive for improvement, yet the feedback that we want may not be clear or consistent: 

  • Research has found roughly 87 percent of employees want to “be developed” and receive feedback, but only a third report actually receiving the feedback they need to engage and improve.
  • Subjects in a study felt equally anxious offering feedback and receiving it, which might explain why so much workplace feedback — particularly in the United States — amounts to a series of polite statements, with few suggestions for improvement.

So, let’s dive into three strategies that promote effective feedback. Keep in mind, you can use these strategies in the workplace and in your personal life.

...

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[EXPERIMENT] How to Cultivate More Joy

 

Gratitude isn’t just for the month of November or Thanksgiving time.  It’s nice to focus on the good during these times, however being grateful all year can improve your quality of life. Who wouldn’t be grateful for that?

Really though, developing gratitude is one of the simplest ways to improve satisfaction with your life. It doesn’t cost money, and it doesn’t take a lot of time.

BENEFITS OF GRATITUDE:  

  • Developing an “attitude of gratitude” is one of the simplest ways to improve your satisfaction with life.
  • It’s a scientific fact that practicing gratitude improves your health.
  • Gratitude increases longevity. People who practice gratitude have better physical health = less aches and pains.
  • Gratitude helps foster new relationships - when you appreciate others, the potential for forming meaningful relationships is  increased.
  • Gratitude enhances empathy and the ability to be sensitive to other people... even when...
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[EXPERIMENT] Communication

Communication is the transfer of information from one person or group to another. One research study showed that communication is 7% words, 38% tone, and 55% non-verbal.

Communication helps us understand others. The inability to communicate effectively can lead to a lot of problems both personally and professionally. While effective communication has been proven to build trust, prevent and resolve problems, and enhances relationships.

I like to use the framework:

Story (state the story in my head is _________)

Thought/Feeling

Desire (what you would like to move forward)

Here is an example of why this is so effective:

Person A: Do you have a minute to talk? 

Person B: Yes. What’s up?

Person A: The story in my head is that you aren’t going to have everything completed for the project deadline tomorrow.

Person B: Oh the story in my head is that my section of the project is complete and we’ve delegated the other two remaining parts to Katy and Jamal. Did you not...

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