The Suite Life
May Perspective: Blue Skies Ahead
The past year has been quite a challenge for many of us. Summer break is around the corner and we are all looking forward to 'shutting down the engines and recharging our batteries.' Take time to slow down and do what makes your soul happy this summer. To return to school with an optimistic attitude in the fall, we must take the time this summer to care for ourselves by nurturing our spirits and ridding ourselves of fear and anxiety. We hope that after the much-needed rest this summer, you will enter the next school year feeling refreshed and excited to resume an albeit new, yet familiar, school experience.
The FCPS Healthy Minds Blog recently talked about "How to Be Optimistic in Challenging Times" which can be read here. Here are a few tips mentioned:
- Help others: volunteer, send a kind note, make a donation or open a door for a stranger.
- Engage in problem-solving that focuses on positive next steps
- Create a daily practice of listing at least three things you are either thankful for or good things that happened that day. Say them out loud at dinner time or before bed.
Our student services team has put together a list of reflections about the past year as well as what we look forward to this summer and this fall.
- A simple life is not so bad, online shopping is even better, cooking is fun and therapeutic, and even little things should not be taken for granted.
- Relationships are everything. Make time for others.
- Posture is important.
- Curbside pickup is wonderful. Online conferences allow for more efficiency. We are more resilient than we ever knew. Human interaction is necessary.
- TRY not to take things for granted. Family, our health, our daily routines. Simply going to the store to buy toilet paper and paper towels. Things can change in a blink.
- The pandemic brought to the forefront many underlying concerns. It reminded us of the power of connections and taught us the beauty of not mindlessly grinding or running from activity to activity. I will be kinder to myself and extend more grace to others.
- One big lesson for me this year was the extraordinary resilience of teenagers (and four-year-olds!). When times got tough, we all found coping strategies and creative outlets and new ways to still connect with friends and family. For me, I realized how much I need to be outdoors when my soul needs soothing.
- For introverts and extraverts – we all need to maintain social interactions, even if modified, to support all aspects of health.
- With all the negativity we see in the news and social media, it’s easy to focus on that and allow it to affect our mindsets; so especially during difficult times, it’s important to practice gratitude, and we all have things for which we can be grateful.
- Going outside, walking, and looking at greenery while the sun is still up – even for a short time each day – has a positive impact on mood.
Sweet Summer Things
- The ocean.
- Digitizing family photos and visiting friends and family that I have not seen since the “blip”.
- Taking a real vacation and having time to relax and rest.
- Lots of pool time with my kids.
- This summer, I am looking forward to exploring, growing, and most importantly staying connected.
- I’m looking forward to toes in the sand, surfing waves, and relaxing with a good book (as soon as the cicadas depart!).
- Catching up on reading - books, magazines, etc. and not having to set my alarm clock.
Sweet Anticipation of Fall
- I am looking forward to a new beginning. I am going to try to be open-minded about the new normal.
- Seeing and hearing a fully enrolled school is something I can’t wait for!
- Finishing all the online music classes that I purchased and started working on during the quarantine. Writing first drafts of recommendation letters for my seniors during the summer.
- Everyone being back in person and being truly grateful for the time we spend together.
- Looking forward to seeing all of my students in person! Yay!
- Next year, I hope to find ways to carry-over the balance I found this year.
- I can’t wait for all the “normal” TJ things next year: Homecoming, iNite, JDay, even the Robot Competition!
- Returning to some semblance of normalcy.
We look forward to the successful closing weeks of this school year. The entire Student Services team wishes you and your families a safe, healthy, and fun summer break.
These resources are available to support wellness, for ourselves, a friend, or family member. If you or a friend are experiencing a mental health or other health emergency, please contact one of the following for immediate support:
CrisisLink Regional Hotline: 703-527-4077
- CrisisLink is a hotline for individuals in crisis or family/friends seeking guidance for how to help a loved one.
CrisisText: Text NEEDHELP to 85511
Mobile Crisis Unit: 703-573-5679
- The Mobile Crisis Unit (MCU) is an emergency mental health program of the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board that provides on-scene evaluation, treatment and crisis intervention in the community. MCU operates from 8 a.m. to midnight.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-SUICIDE
Merrifield Center Emergency Services: 703-573-5679
- The Merrifield Center, of the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board, offers a range of clinical programming. Emergency Services, staffed 24 hours per day, seven days per week, works with people in psychiatric crisis who need immediate attention.
Dominion Hospital Emergency Room: 703-538-2872
Inova Emergency Services: 703-289-7560
Call 911 in case of a life threatening emergency; TTY dial 711
More resources: FCPS Student Safety and Wellness
How to reach your counselor and the Student Services team? Click here for all contacts: Student Services
There is a counselor available on site at TJHSST every weekday and you can reach the Student Services suite by calling 703-750-8340 during office hours.
This document contains links to one or more web pages that are outside the FCPS network. Neither FCPS nor TJHSST controls the content or relevancy of these outside pages.
**External opportunities may utilize an online technology, or video and web conferencing tool that has not been assessed or approved for use in FCPS by the FCPS Department of Information Technology. Students should gain permission from their parent/guardian before engaging in any non-FCPS enrichment opportunity. Families should review and agree to the Terms of Service and User Agreements for any technology platform used to facilitate these opportunities.