Next week begins one of the more stressful weeks of our school year – Midterm and Regents Exam Week.
I thought about what the library could do to alleviate some of the stress. It’s hard enough being a teen and getting through high school. How can I, a school librarian, help students de-stress? We have so many great supplies already in our school makerspace, so I looked around to see what we could use.
First, we put out a puzzle because sometimes you need to take a break from studying to clear your brain before you begin again.
“Studies show that just looking at a puzzle and pondering possible solutions actually helps the mind stay calm. The brain enters a state of meditation. Benefits include greater peace and perspective to aid in stress management. Meditation is also known to boost self-confidence. Of course, solving a puzzle helps boost confidence all on its own.” Source
Next, coloring sheets and colored pencils again to provide mindful relaxation.
According to neuropsychologist, Dr. Stan Rodski, “coloring elicits a relaxing mindset, similar to what you would achieve through meditation. Like mediation, coloring allows us to switch off our brains from other thoughts and focus on the moment.” Source
Speaking of relaxation, we left out our iPads and headphones. No, not to access study guides on the online CastleLearning site, but to access our relaxation apps. We have two, Take A Break! Guided Meditations for Stress Relief and also Simply Being – Guided Meditation for Relaxation and Presence both by Meditation Oasis.
I have these apps on my phone because let’s face it, sometimes you just need to chill. If you’re interested, there are other apps available as well.
And finally, we printed out positive affirmations. Each strip of paper has a feel good phrase and is given to every student in the library. There are 75 different sayings, so there shouldn’t be a repeat affirmation for any individual.
The week will end with a visit from a therapy dogs.
Sometimes it takes multiple strategies to reach every student. I am hopeful that all who visit the library this week will find peace and relaxation in addition to the energy, strength and self-confidence to get through testing week.