For a quick introduction to the Sanford Harmony Online Learning Portal, click below.



For a quick introduction to the Sanford Harmony Online Learning Portal, click below.

Friday, April 02, 2021

Harmony & Inspire Share Our Favorite Stress Busters

Find out how our team is finding focus for Stress Awareness Month.

Did you know April is Stress Awareness Month? Whether you are transitioning back to in-person school instruction or facing your own unique challenges, we want to help. In addition to some exciting updates to Harmony SEL and Inspire Teaching & Learning, our team members are sharing their go-to stress busters for self-care and your classroom community. Get ready to refresh your mood!

Shake Some Glitter!
Our Director of Teaching & Learning, Richie Ressel, calms stress with this sparkly strategy from his years as a classroom teacher. Remove the label from a clean water bottle, fill it with water and your favorite glitter. Make sure you put the lid on tight and start shaking, then watch the glitter settle peacefully. “Still stressed?” Richie says, “Shake it again!”

Splash Away Stress
Barbara Browning, Harmony’s East Region Manager, says just add water. Floating on a quiet lake, reading at the beach, and swimming give Barbara a unique sense of focus and connection. “Scuba diving is another of my past life adventures that helped make me feel ‘one with nature,’ and it was so ‘mind-filling’ with the wonders of our world, leaving no time for stress!”

Make a Self-Care List
Virtual Implementation Specialist Amy Griswold has had an especially busy year supporting educators with our online professional development webinars and training. So, how does she relieve stress? Amy has a list of self-care practices that make it easy for her to find a fresh perspective. Amy’s list includes prayer, cuddling with pets, calling her mom, watching Hallmark movies, sitting in the sunshine, shopping, and writing down something she is grateful for.

Dance It Out
Ambassador Don Ortman incorporates movement into his presentations. “One self-care tip that I share gives everyone a good laugh but also makes a strong point: ‘Shake Your Booty, Change Your Moody.’ Get out there and move: Walk, run, dance, roll, etc.”

Shoot Some Hoops
Playing a sport or practicing a skill helps Sr. Product Manager Nick Devine develop focus. Nick says, “A stress buster for me is definitely shooting some hoops. Nothing centers the mind like seeing a few swish through the net. Very meditative.” He led the development of our mobile-friendly focus-building games for all ages and the launch of the Harmony Game Room app for Android and iOS. Check it out!

Have an Adventure
What is Sr. Partnerships Manager Veronica Calvo’s solution for stress? Going on an adventure! Veronica loves exploring and having new experiences. These days, taking a run through her own neighborhood and stopping at a new bakery for coffee or treats helps her focus and destress. She also loves to journal and write out her thoughts, which is a great idea for students to manage stress and express their feelings while developing their language arts skills.

Prioritize a Calming Routine
For our West Region Manager, Shannon Smith, calm mornings set the tone for low-stress days. “I’d say that setting up a morning routine where I have space and time to prepare for the day, journal, meditate, or go on a walk to ground myself, has helped alleviate stress for me.” We love how Shannon shows up for herself every day. You can’t pour from an empty vessel.

On-Demand Resources from Harmony and Inspire

Invest in Yourself
This Stress Awareness Month comes at a time when educators and families have given so much to continue teaching and supporting students through a pandemic. In our March webinar, Dr. Tish Jennings shared research about educator self-care and the importance of investing time in yourself. National University Teacher Award winners Tom Whisinnand and Alejandro Diasgranados discussed ways they manage their own self-care and how they support other educators as well. Access “Shining a Bright Light on Educator SEL” on demand on our webinars page.

Practice Mindfulness
Last spring, Dr. Chris Reina led an engaging webinar to help educators cultivate mindfulness and well-being for themselves and their students. View “Mindfulness for Educators” on demand and at no cost and support your journey with managing stress.

We hope you found some helpful stress-busting ideas to implement in your life. Our team is looking forward to supporting you throughout the remainder of the school year and as you plan for the year ahead. You’ve got this!

Learn more at harmonysel.org and start implementing SEL with the Harmony Online Learning Portal.

Learn more at inspireteaching.org and access SEL-informed professional development with the Inspire Online Learning Portal.