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    Five ways to stay connected

    Today’s Mental Health Minute is from Encompass School-Based Therapist Molly Woods. Molly reminds us of the importance of connecting with our family, friends and community. Social connection makes us healthier in many ways. It can lower anxiety and depression, help us regulate our emotions, lead to higher self-esteem and empathy, and actually improve our immune systems.

    Here’s what Molly had to say:

    “Are you starting to feel a bit stir-crazy? Feeling disconnected from people you care about? If your answer was the same as mine (‘Of course!’) — that means you have already connected with, well, everyone! We are all in these unprecedented times together. There are some amazing ways to connect through our devices, like using video chat, playing video games remotely, or even on social media sites. However, if getting out of your house will help you beat the cabin fever, let’s work together to spread joy, connect (from a SAFE distance) and ensure everyone feels the love.”

    Molly suggests 5 activities to get you moving and connecting at the same time.\

    1. Help a neighbor with an outdoor chore like raking or weeding. Be sure to wear your own work gloves and yard equipment or disinfect them when you are finished.

    2. Go for a walk and participate in your community’s scavenger hunt. Count the hearts or teddy bears or other special items on display.

    3. Share flowers or plant flowers for springtime cheer.

    4. Decorate a grandparents’ sidewalks while chatting through a window! These could be biological grandparents or adopted ones in your neighborhood. Try this puffy chalk recipe: mix 1-cup water, 1-cup flour, 1-tablespoon dish soap and 10-drops food coloring. Put in empty condiment bottles. Use same day.

    5. Write a letter to a hero with a special note of encouragement. This could be a teacher, nurse or other essential employee. Then a take walk or ride your bike to a mailbox.


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