Stress has become one of the hot topics in the district this year, and, as kids going through the school system, we know how it can affect us. We’ve faced beliefs like “competition is the only way to achieve” and “conformity over originality.”

However, this is far from the truth. As part of a team of students at Community Middle School, we looked for positive coping strategies to deal with stress. We took a particular interest in the coping strategy of mindfulness. After feeling the positive effects of this simple strategy we want to raise awareness about it to our peers and the community.

We know from our childhood that we should look to our community helpers, and we are lucky to be able to work with Trish Baker from Attitudes in Reverse and Trish Miele, a consultant from called To Be Mindful. We’ve also had the support from the Hawn Foundation and their resources, the MindUP Curriculum for teachers.

Over the summer our team read a book called The Mindful Teen by Dr. Dzung Vo and have utilized important concepts from this book to teach our peers. However, the best evidence we have for the positive effects of mindfulness is personal experience.

We found that if we took a few minutes to calm down and organize our thoughts, our productivity increased and we felt less stressed out overall. It’s the solution everyone in the district has been searching for: a simple way to de-stress. The best part is that everyone can learn to practice it if they develop the correct mindset for it.

We invite everyone in our community to join us at our Second Annual Wellness Fair on Friday, Jan. 20 from 6-8 pm at Community Middle School. By joining us, you can learn about mindfulness and the benefits of incorporating them in our daily lives. To learn more about our project and the Wellness Fair, please visit nuyuchallenge.weebly.com.

— Maya Mau, Katherine Benjamin, Shreya Joshi and Phanisree Akshinthala

Mau, Benjamin, Joshi and Akshinthala are members of the NüYü 2.0 – Community Middle Problem Solving team