Maximizing Mindfulness

Maximizing Mindfulness: How School Staff Can Make the Most of Summer Break

As the school year comes to a close and summer break begins, educators and school staff find themselves with a precious opportunity for rejuvenation and self-care. While it’s tempting to fill this time with various activities and obligations, it’s equally important to prioritize mindfulness and well-being. Here are some suggested effective strategies for school staff to maximize mindfulness during the summer break, ensuring they return to the classroom refreshed and ready to inspire.

  1. Embrace the moment: Summer break offers a chance to step back from the hectic pace of the school year and fully immerse oneself in the present moment. Whether it’s enjoying a leisurely walk, savoring a delicious meal, or simply sitting quietly and observing nature, practicing mindfulness involves being fully engaged with the here and now. Set aside time each day to engage in activities that promote mindfulness, such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises.
  2. Cultivate Gratitude: Gratitude is a powerful tool for promoting mindfulness and overall well-being. Take time each day to reflect on the things you’re grateful for, whether it’s the beauty of nature, the support of friends and family, or the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of students. Keeping a gratitude journal can be a helpful practice, allowing you to capture the moments of joy and appreciation that arise during the summer break.
  3. Disconnect to Reconnect:  In today’s hyper-connected world, it’s all too easy to become consumed by technology and constant connectivity. Use the summer break as an opportunity to disconnect from screens and reconnect with yourself and those around you. Set boundaries around technology use, whether it’s designating specific times of day for checking emails and social media or scheduling regular “tech-free” days. Instead, focus on activities that nourish your mind, body, and spirit, such as spending time outdoors, engaging in creative pursuits, or connecting with loved ones face-to-face.
  4. Engage in Self-Care: Self-care is essential for maintaining overall well-being and preventing burnout, especially for educators and school staff who devote so much of themselves to their work. Use the summer break to prioritize self-care activities that recharge your batteries and replenish your energy reserves. This could include anything from getting plenty of rest and relaxation to indulging in hobbies and interests that bring you joy. Remember that self-care looks different for everyone, so choose activities that resonate with you and make you feel nourished and rejuvenated.
  5. Set Intentions for the Future:
  6. Summer break offers a valuable opportunity for reflection and goal setting, both personally and professionally. Take time to reflect on the past school year—what went well, what challenges you faced, and what lessons you learned. Use this reflection as a springboard for setting intentions and goals for the upcoming year. Whether it’s refining your teaching practice, prioritizing work-life balance, or fostering stronger connections with colleagues and students, setting clear intentions can help you stay focused and aligned with your values and priorities.

Summer break is a time for educators and school staff to recharge, reflect, and reconnect with themselves and their loved ones. By prioritizing mindfulness and self-care during this time, school staff can ensure they return to the classroom feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to make a positive impact on the lives of their students. By embracing the present moment, cultivating gratitude, disconnecting to reconnect, engaging in self-care, and setting intentions for the future, educators can make the most of their summer break and set themselves up for success in the year ahead.


Hygiene Practices for Fair Season

Enjoy Ohio’s 94 County and Independent Fairs Safely! 🌟

Ohio is home to 94 county and independent fairs, making it a fantastic place to enjoy a variety of attractions, from petting zoos and thrilling rides to exciting exhibits and delicious fair food. While these events offer plenty of fun and entertainment, it’s crucial to keep health and safety in mind to ensure everyone has a great experience.

Why Safety Matters

Fairs are bustling with people and animals, which means they can also be a hotspot for germs. Petting animals, visiting exhibits, and riding fun rides can spread bacteria and viruses if proper precautions aren’t taken. The Ohio Department of Health encourages all visitors to stay safe and healthy by following some simple yet effective guidelines.

Five Steps to Stay Healthy at the Fair:

  1. Don’t Enter the Barn if You Feel Sick If you’re feeling under the weather, it’s best to skip the barn visit. This helps prevent the spread of illness to other visitors and animals.
  2. Leave Food, Drinks, Strollers, and Pacifiers Out of Animal Areas To avoid contamination, keep all food, drinks, strollers, and pacifiers away from animal areas. This reduces the risk of transferring germs from animals to these items.
  3. Don’t Kiss or Snuggle Animals As tempting as it may be to cuddle with cute animals, avoid close contact to prevent the spread of germs. Admire them from a safe distance instead.
  4. Avoid Touching Your Face While in the Barns Keep your hands away from your face when you’re around animals to reduce the chance of transferring germs from your hands to your mouth, nose, or eyes.
  5. Wash Your Hands with Soap and Water After Visiting Animals After any interaction with animals, thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water. This is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs.

Additional Tips for a Safe and Fun Fair Experience

  • Stay Hydrated: Carry a reusable water bottle and drink plenty of water throughout the day. This is especially important during hot summer days.
  • Use Hand Sanitizer: When soap and water aren’t available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to clean your hands.
  • Wear Sunscreen: Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by applying sunscreen regularly.
  • Monitor Your Kids: Keep an eye on children, ensuring they follow health and safety guidelines, especially around animals and crowded areas.

By following these simple steps, you can enjoy all the excitement and fun that Ohio’s fairs have to offer while keeping yourself and your family healthy. So, head out to the nearest fair, enjoy the rides, see the animals, and make some fantastic memories—all while staying safe and sound! 🎡🧼

Download the Ohio Department of Health Five Steps to Keep You and Animals Healthy at the Fair


Reducing Screen Time in Children Over Summer Break

6 Tips for Reducing Screen Time in Children Over Summer Break

  1. Set a Schedule Create a daily schedule that includes specific times for screen use, balanced with outdoor activities, reading, and family time. Clear structure helps children understand and adhere to screen time limits.
  2. Encourage Outdoor Activities Plan and encourage outdoor activities like biking, hiking, swimming, or playing sports. These activities provide fun alternatives to screen time and help children stay active.
  3. Promote Creative Play Provide opportunities for creative play with toys, arts and crafts, or building projects. Engaging in hands-on activities stimulates imagination and reduces reliance on screens for entertainment.
  4. Organize Family Activities Plan regular family activities such as board games, cooking together, or visiting local parks and museums. These activities not only reduce screen time but also strengthen family bonds.
  5. Implement Device-Free Zones Designate certain areas of the house, like the dining room or bedrooms, as device-free zones. This encourages children to engage in other activities and reduces the temptation to use screens.
  6. Model Good Behavior Set an example by limiting your own screen time and engaging in offline activities. Children are more likely to follow suit when they see adults practicing healthy screen habits.

By incorporating these tips, you can help your children enjoy a balanced and active summer break with less screen time.


#ChooseWater First for Thirst!

What you offer your child to drink in their first 5 years can shape their taste preferences for a lifetime. #ChooseWater first for thirst!

#DYK drinking water is also important for kids’ oral health? Find out how below 👇

When we think about oral health, we often picture toothbrushes, floss, and regular dentist visits. But did you know that drinking water plays a crucial role in maintaining your kids’ oral health? Here’s how:

1. Natural Cleaning Agent

Water acts as a natural cleanser for your child’s mouth. Every sip helps wash away food particles, reducing the risk of plaque buildup and cavities. Unlike sugary drinks, water doesn’t leave harmful residues that can erode tooth enamel.

2. Fluoride Benefits

In many communities, tap water is fluoridated, which means it contains small amounts of fluoride that help strengthen tooth enamel and prevent decay. Regular consumption of fluoridated water provides a simple and effective way to protect your child’s teeth.

3. Hydration and Saliva Production

Adequate hydration is essential for saliva production. Saliva is your child’s natural defense against tooth decay, as it neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth and helps repair early tooth damage. Drinking water ensures that their salivary glands function properly, keeping their mouth moist and healthy.

4. Avoids Sugary Alternatives

Encouraging kids to drink water instead of sugary beverages like soda or juice can significantly reduce their sugar intake. High sugar consumption is a leading cause of cavities and other dental problems. Water is a safe, tooth-friendly alternative that keeps their teeth safe from harmful sugars and acids.

5. Healthy Development

Water supports overall health, which is closely linked to oral health. Proper hydration is essential for the growth and development of children, affecting everything from their ability to concentrate in school to the health of their gums and teeth.

Parents: Keep an eye out for these signs of dehydration in your infant.

  • Fewer wet diapers.
  • Overly sleepy.
  • Sunken soft spot on baby’s head.
  • No tears when crying.

Also watch for these signs of dehydration in your toddlers and older children 👉 dry lips or sticky mouth, flushed skin, sleepy and irritable, and less urination or dark-colored urine.

Remember, while brushing and flossing are non-negotiables in maintaining oral hygiene, the simple act of drinking water can make a big difference. So, keep your kids hydrated and their smiles bright by encouraging them to drink plenty of water every day! 💧🦷