We thank our Urbandale Middle School students for sharing their Encouraging Words and artwork this month. #webelieveinU

"I like the PE Departments' phrase, 'Dude, be nice' because it reminds me to be nice to others and to take a chance." Maid I, UMS student

"Keep Company Only With People Who Uplift You"- Abigail J, 6th Grade (artwork below)

"When Life Gives You Lemons You Make Lemonade" Cooper S, 6th Grade (artwork below)

"It's Nice To Be Important But It's More Important To Be Nice" Lauren S, 6th Grade (artwork below)

"May Your Coffee Be Strong And Your Mondays Be Short" Grace C, 7th Grade (artwork below)

"Leave Your Worries Under The Palm Trees" Megan Y, 8th Grade (artwork below)
Many of us are feeling the effects of what seems like a long winter with multiple rounds of snow, ice, and below zero temps. As we enter into March, I’d like for us to turn our thoughts away from what ails us in order to shift our focus toward rejuvenation. Rejuvenation means to restore to a former state; make fresh or new again. When I think of how I feel when I am rejuvenated I think of a breath of fresh air, a clear head, and an abundance of energy. I wholeheartedly believe I am the best version of myself when I am rejuvenated.

Here are some tactical strategies I’ve found useful in making the shift from what ails me to a feeling of rejuvenation. I’m hopeful you’ll find one or two of these ideas useful in sparking your own sense of rejuvenation:

  1. Create a ritual for self-care in the morning and evening. Rituals can include: exercising, meditating, reading, journaling, saying affirmations, etc. 
  2. Make time for meal breaks in your day instead of working through them. Release the habit of multi-tasking and focus on enjoying your food in the moment.
  3. Schedule coffee/lunch/dinner once a week or every-other-week with a friend, mentor, or family member. Building strong connections is just as much a part of our health and well-being as nutritious foods, exercise, and getting enough sleep.
  4. Give yourself permission to say “no” to things you don’t wish to do, and release the habit of feeling guilty when you decline an invitation. 
  5. Drink plenty of water; here’s information on how much water might be right for you.
  6. Set a time to turn off technology every night and disconnect. This will help you get more sleep and better quality of sleep.
  7. As much as possible, surround yourself with positive people and distance yourself from the negative people in your life. When I make a concerted effort to focus on the positive, I’ve found that my perspective shifts in such a way that I actually begin to experience more positive things in my life. What we see is often what we intend to see. 
  8. Try out different forms of exercise and when you find one or two that you enjoy, incorporate them into your schedule as often as you can: yoga, walking, basketball, weights, dancing, taking your dog on a walk, etc. Also realize that our bodies benefit from movement in other ways that we don’t typically ‘count’ as exercise such as cleaning our home, playing with our children, shoveling snow, or any number of ways we can be active. (Please consult with your doctor before starting an exercise program.)
  9. Change your routine. Sometimes the best way to find rejuvenation is to add one new thing into your daily routine. It could be taking a different route to work, changing the day you typically get groceries, or having tea instead of coffee. Anything that introduces a new, positive element into your day.
  10. Lastly, I offer one final suggestion which is to share appreciation and gratitude with one person on a daily basis. The act of expressing appreciation and gratitude can not only be rejuvenating but can be life-changing. 
Brittany Cooley
Urbandale CSD Facilitator of Family Outreach 
We’d like to bring awareness to a topic that is receiving greater coverage: the Momo Challenge—which some are referring to as a social media/online/gaming hoax—that attempts to encourage children to harm themselves by contacting children through social media apps, texts, and online games. While the reports are not fully substantiated, we believe it’s important to pass along this information in order for families to be aware of the topic.

Please continue having discussions with your children about safe digital practices when using social media and online gaming. You’re welcome to review these resources for more information and be in touch with your School Counselor(s) if your child has concerns with anything she/he may be experiencing online. Our aim is to ensure all students stay safe online and we thank you for your partnership at home. 

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Educational Equity Statement
It is the policy of the Urbandale Community School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, religion, marital status (for program), ethnic background, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, age (for employment), or socio-economic background (for program) in its educational programs and its employment practices. There is a grievance procedure for processing complaints of discrimination. If you have questions or a grievance related to this policy, please contact the District office at 11152 Aurora Avenue, Urbandale, IA or call 515-457-5000. The District’s Equity Coordinators are Dr. Keri Schlueter, Coordinator of Student Services (schlueterk@urbandaleschools.com), Mark Lane, Director of Human Resources (lanem@urbandaleschools.com), and Dr. Crista Carlile, Director of Teaching and Learning (carlilec@urbandaleschools.com).