Generation Wellness Blog

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

[RESOURCE] Empathy vs. Sympathy with Brene Brown


A great video to share with staff as we start a new school year filled with change, challenges, and the potential for transformation. Staff and students are stressed. Connection and empathy are going to be our super powers this school year.

[0:15] Empathy fuels connection.

[0:17] Sympathy drives disconnection

[0:30] 4 qualities of empathy

[1:00-2:30] Examples that show how empathy and sympathy are different.

Soul Pancake researched the effects of sympathy vs. empathy and on average people who received sympathy were less happy than people (happiness dropped by -6.71%) who received empathy (happiness increased by +6.92%). What is the different between sympathy and empathy? Empathy fuels connection while sympathy drives disconnection.

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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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[SPOTLIGHT] Tumwater School District: Staying Well During A Pandemic

 

While all of us are familiar with the recommendations to stay physically healthy - wash your hands, cover your cough, practice social distancing, sanitize high-touch areas - Tumwater School District quickly realized that we also need to tend to the social/emotional health needs of our staff, students and their families. Being hurled into completely unknown territory - some dealing with the stresses of a lost job, sick loved ones, anxiety, and more - Tumwater School District quickly partnered with Lyndsay Morris, Founder of Generation Wellness and BHHS alumni, to address these important aspects.

TSD has committed to staff, student and community wellness by utilizing a phase-in system to provide ongoing resources, utilizing grant funds, as they endure the challenges of the pandemic:

Phase 1: Staff Wellness 

Learn more about the Workplace Wellness Academy here.

Phase 2: Family Wellness

Learn more about the Family Wellness Toolkit here.

Phase 3: School...

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District-Wide Wellness Plan for Fall 2020

Wellness is the foundation for learning and thriving. During Covid-19, many students, staff, and families have experienced stress, grief, and trauma. What is your school doing to intentionally address wellness and social/emotional learning? School districts need a strategy and online resources for staff, student, and community wellness. Generation Wellness has partnered with government agencies and school districts around the country to provide support in three phrases: 

  • Phase 1: Staff Wellness: All district staff will have access to Workplace Wellness Academy (online course).
  • Phase 2: Family Wellness: All families with students enrolled in the district will have access to the Family Wellness Toolkit which includes morning messages, social/emotional mini-videos, audio relaxations, daily routines, and more.
  • Phase 3: Start the school year with safety, connection, reflection, and tools: Every staff member will experience a live virtual PD at the beginning of the school year...
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The School to Prison Pipeline + How We Can Create Change this 2019-2020 School Year

The beginning of the school year is often an exciting time filled with decorating classrooms, collaborating with staff, meeting families, and more. Many schools and districts are also planning for daily practices that combat stress and innovative interventions that actually teach skills. Why? Take a look at these sobering statistics:

  • Stress is the number one cause of disease in America. 3 out of every 4 doctor visits are because of stress. At the core, stress is America’s #1 Health Problem.
  • More than two thirds of children in the U.S. report experiencing a traumatic event by age 16.
  • Stress and trauma impact school performance. Research shows that students who experience chronic stress and trauma have a lower GPA, higher rate of absenteeism, increased dropouts, increased suspension/expulsion, and decreased reading ability.
  • Suspensions drastically increase the chance of students dropping out, which increases their chance of going to prison. In fact, our...
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[INTERVIEW] How to Create a Mindfulness + SEL Elective for Elementary Students

Wellness Warrior Spotlight
Name: Anne Malver
Occupation: Elementary School Counselor

How were you able to create a Wednesday Elective Period at the Elementary level?  

This was started in one of our elementary schools in the districts and our principal decided to adopt it as well. Our teaching staff LOVE it.  Teachers are able to bring their passions to students each week for 40 minutes during this elective period. We have two 40-minute elective periods every Wednesday - one for K-2, the other for 3-5. Some teachers and students grow plants in our greenhouse while others teach drawing and painting.  We have one staff member teaching coding and another taking students outside, and teaching wilderness survival skills. Our music instructor teaches students bucket drumming while another staff member teaches drama. The list goes on... Anything goes during this elective time!

What activities/curriculum are your students working through during this elective?   

I...

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[Article] Social-Emotional Learning Has Long-Lasting Positive Effects on Students

[Source: Education Week]

Programs that teach students how to recognize their emotions, solve problems, and form healthy relationships may continue to show positive benefits for students months, or even years, after they complete them, a new meta-analysis finds. 

Students who completed social-emotional learning interventions fared better than their peers who didn't participate on a variety of indicators—including academic performance, social skills, and avoiding negative behaviors like drug use, finds the analysis, which examined follow-up data from dozens of published studies on specific interventions.

The meta-analysis builds on previous research that found social-emotional learning participants outperformed their peers academically. That research is frequently cited by policymakers and educational leaders who are seeking to promote social-emotional learning programs, through which schools teach students about emotions, relationships, and...

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