Making the Best of Stress: Building Your Resilience Toolbox

Posted by Neha Sunkara, '21 on Feb 23, 2021 9:50:01 AM

How many times have you used the word stress this week? If it is more than once, you are not alone. In a study of 43,000 students from high-performing schools, 75% of high school students and 50%  of middle schoolers reported feeling "often or always" stressed by schoolwork.

Though there is no way to eradicate all stress from our lives, we can still find small ways to strengthen our resilience. As Dr. Susan David, the author of Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life, writes, "Discomfort is the price we pay for a meaningful life." In her fifth and final Habits of Mind workshop --  "Making the Best of Stress: Building Your Resilience Toolbox" --  LifeCompass Institute Associate Director Deborah Farmer Kris shared five tools for managing stress.

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The Brain-Boosting Power of Sleep and Exercise

Posted by Neha Sunkara, '21 on Feb 2, 2021 10:31:08 AM

When was the last time you had a full eight hours of sleep? I hope that you would say last night, but the world we live in now treats sleep as something that can be easily sacrificed. Sometimes, as I walk down the halls, I hear people comparing how much sleep they got and almost praising the person with the least amount of sleep. I have heard stories of people who pulled all-nighters to finish a project. How is this our normal? Instead of sacrificing sleep, we should be prioritizing it.

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Strategies for Working Smarter, Not Harder (& Finding Time for Joy)

Posted by Neha Sunkara, '21 on Jan 28, 2021 10:46:34 AM

For five Wednesdays in January and February, Deborah Farmer Kris will be offering a workshop series to upper school students on Building Habits of Mind. Neha Sunkara, class of 2021, shares this summary of workshop #3

It is free yet priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you lose it, you can never have it back. What is it? It is time.

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Focus Power!: Tips for Getting Started and Staying Motivated (Even During a Pandemic)

Posted by Neha Sunkara, '21 on Jan 21, 2021 11:28:20 AM

For five Wednesdays in January and February, Deborah Farmer Kris will be offering a workshop series to upper school students on Building Habits of Mind. Neha Sunkara, class of 2021, shares this summary of workshop #2.

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Neuroplasticity: A Crash Course on How We Learn, Build New Habits, and Replace Old Ones

Posted by Neha Sunkara, '21 on Jan 14, 2021 7:56:24 PM

For five Wednesdays in January and February, Deborah Farmer Kris will be offering a workshop series to upper school students on Building Habits of Mind. Neha Sunkara, class of 2021, shares this summary of workshop #1.

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Parenting During the Holidays, 2020-Style

Posted by Deborah Farmer Kris on Nov 30, 2020 11:19:07 AM

For most of us, pandemic parenting has tapped us and sapped us, drawing out our creativity and testing our strength and resilience. As we head into December and the winter ahead, here are a few articles that you might find helpful or, at the very least, hopeful.

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Strength for the Journey: Why Kids Need Our Stories (and Theirs)

Posted by Deborah Farmer Kris on Nov 9, 2020 12:25:00 PM

This summer, my young daughter stood at the edge of a pool. She had mastered swimming at a local lake, where she could wade in gently and touch the bottom for assurance. Now, she wanted to conquer an old fear: jumping. 

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Courageous Conversations Are Vital for Civic Health. Here's How to Have Them.

Posted by Barbara Whitlock, Montrose School Humanities Coordinator on Oct 26, 2020 3:15:10 PM

Can we talk? In this election year, can we pause and reflect on how we are preparing our own children and students for civic life? When our children and students look back on this time, what will they remember about our words and actions? What is the pattern of comments, the nature of dialogue in our homes and classrooms?

What civic legacy are we leaving?

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8 Tips for Promoting Dialogue in a Climate of Division

Posted by Dr. Karen Bohlin on Oct 15, 2020 5:22:47 PM

We are all breathing in the tension right now.  A presidential election around the corner.  Disagreement about a new Supreme Court Justice nominee. Heightened anxieties about the global pandemic. Political pundits are pounding their positions. And as the partisanship chasm deepens, day-to-day conversations have become a bit of a minefield.    

As a Head of School, I have a front row seat to observe how teenagers are trying to navigate this terrain. When my student government team sat down to talk to me recently, here’s what I heard. 

It’s really hard. It’s the elephant in the room, Dr. Bohlin. We want to start a campaign, so everyone knows their voice is valued, heard and respected. It’s not just about debating issues.  It’s about our daily interactions— the way we listen, ask questions and really understand each other that matters. 

They have valid concerns. And they have framed up their responses with a practical wisdom we sometimes lack as adults. 

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10 Tips for Navigating the College Process

Posted by Gabrielle Landry, Montrose '18 & Harvard '22 on Sep 22, 2020 10:14:49 AM

Three years ago, my peers from the Class of 2018 and I made the Senior Commons our own. We added dozens of photos to the hallway wall, with the word “Cher18h” (“cherish”) dancing in big red letters through the center. The wall captured our spirit and memories from throughout the year.

By the photo wall stood another symbol of our support and unity: our massive college poster, where printed logos of our accepted schools displayed our victories and helped us celebrate each other’s success.

Despite the challenges of senior year, these small gestures helped me feel supported and appreciated by my classmates.

This year, many seniors don’t have communal gathering places — at least physical ones — to offer rest and support as they enter the college admissions season. And even those who do may find themselves wrestling with the demands of applying coupled with the stresses and limitations of “pandemic schooling.”

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