Thriving Minds After School Program Staying Connected & Holiday SelfCare

Staying Connected

Since the summer, SEL Specialists have supported the Thriving Minds program in maintaining meaningful connection with OST students and their families in the form of Creative Kits. These boxes are full of fun and thought-provoking activities ranging from STEAM projects to SEL challenges and lessons about practical life skills. Because the holidays can be a difficult time, especially this year, we wanted to focus on staying connected with who and what you love. Here is a sneak-peak at the upcoming box:
Cocoa and a Holiday Sing-a-Long
Studies have proven that music can change our moods, overcome depression, increase brain blood flow. Host a family night of holiday music and enjoy hot cocoa as you sing along. If you are tired of being in the house; change into your pajamas, jump in the car and enjoy holiday karaoke on the road.
Cookies and Comedy
We are all struggling with quarantine fatigue, especially during the holiday season – but there is nothing better for it than laughter. Comedy connects people together in ways that trigger healthy physical and emotional changes in the body. Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, decreases pain, and shields you from the damaging effects of stress. Nothing helps to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Organize a family cultural cookie exchange; where you bake cookies from other cultures and share with each other. Enjoy the cookies while watching a comedy show.

Tis the Season of Self-Care

As the year kicked off, SEL Specialists curated and delivered self-care boxes to new and returning team members. These boxes included healthy snacks, a water bottle to keep up hydration, and luxurious shower steamers. But they also came with the reminder that self-care isn’t selfish – and particularly as educators and people who serve a community, self-care needs to be a priority. After all, you can’t water a garden from an empty pot. Here are 3 affordable ways we are encouraging our teams to practice self-care this holiday season.
Make a Gratitude List at the Dallas Arboretum – Educators enjoy free admission to the Dallas Arboretum. Take time to write a Gratitude list at the Dallas Arboretum and enjoy the holiday decorations.  And while you are at it eat CAKE at one of the many dining options available tucked away in the gardens.
They also created the game Kitchen Safety Bingo that can be used with children during a Cookies & Comedy Night; Healthy Habits Charades, which can be used to teach children how to take care of their bodies during a Cocoa & Pajama Party; and a Self-Care Menu.