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An Equitable Education for All

Sandy Radic-Oshiro
School Psychologist

Dear Students and Families,
Happy New Year! I love the new year and use this time of year to reset myself and remember what is important, including setting goals. Our theme of the week is setting goals and finding joy and happiness in life.
During the winter break, I spent some time thinking about what is important to me and my family. I bought a journal and have started writing down my thoughts, feelings, fears, and what I am grateful for as much as I can. It is so fun to look back over the year and review what I was thinking. When I wrote down my goals for the year I tried to focus on being happy and finding joy in the world. We are all experiencing such tough times and I am trying my best to not let it take me down and try to find the goodness in life. That means controlling my reactions and feelings when things do not go the way I want them to.

One of the ways that I am trying to do is find joy by smiling and laughing as much as I can. Smiles are powerful. Not only do they help to start a positive conversation between two people, but the more someone smiles, the healthier his/her brain can be… Seriously! Smiling more often, regardless of your mood, can improve your health and even help you live longer. Smiling releases endorphins, which helps a person feel happier and more positive. A Scientific American study found that facial expressions, such as smiling, can improve one’s mood and increase positive thoughts. So, the next time you’re feeling a little blue, try smiling – it might make you feel better! Smiling can also activate and relieve your stress response. Studies where individuals had to face stressful situations while smiling were found to have lower heart rates compared to those who weren’t smiling.

As you can see, smiling and laughter are very beneficial for your mind, body and overall well-being! Regardless of your mood, it’s okay to crack a smile or spit out a laugh. In fact, it’s healthy for you!

Have you heard Kate Perry’s song Smile? I encourage you to watch it and smile:

In addition to smiling, I have been watching funny kitty videos when I am feeling down. You all know I love funny kitty videos. I encourage you to try this when you are feeling down and try not to laugh. You probably can not help but laugh. Going out to nature is also a great way to help me destress. During distance learning, I try to take a break and go outside and breathe fresh air. It really helps, even when it is so cold outside.
I encourage you all to take one minute and think about your goals for the year. Some of the goals that students have shared with me include:
● Getting better grades
● Getting better at reading
● Trying to be kind
● Staying out of drama
● Focusing on the positive and good
● Focusing on health including sleeping enough, eating healthy, and talking walks

I would love you to share your goals with me. Send me an email, text, or google hangout message. I write my goals
on a sticky note and put them on my mirror to remind myself.
Sending you all ghost hugs and hoping you can focus on some positive goals for yourself,

Ms. Sandy
(707) 834-2861