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Friday, April 13, 2018

Stress Reduction Launch Grant

The launch grant this year supported me to think creatively about how I share stress-reduction, mindfulness-based interventions with kids at the MS. I thought about how I could incorporate elements of arts & crafts, science, technology, - using the Maker Space, the MS campus location, etc.

I piloted this by designing a monthly drop-in "Wellness Wednesday" for kids to test-run, create, explore different dimensions of stress-reduction, mindfulness, etc. We launched with the idea of random acts of kindness and how they create big blips of pleasant feelings even indirectly. Kids designed and decorated 'kindness stones' that they then placed around the campus for people to view, move and even take with them. 

Another month we expanded on positive feelings by viewing a video experiment on the connection between gratitude and happiness and then, in a slightly devious way, having them do the experiment themselves and see the impact on their own ratings of happiness. We also looked at physiological aspects of stress that sparked curiosity and some creations. For example, we tried experiments that tracked body temperature and the connection with feeling stress and tracked it. 

We explored the connection between tiredness and desire for more sleep which resulted in creating weighted, scented eye pillows. Other explorations continue to look at tech/science ways to track physiological markers of potential stress and crafts to ameliorate it, - for example, by universal demand, we will create the highly scientific, evidence-based stress reducer called, in layman terms, slime.

Stefanie Haug, MS Counselor

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