Dear Hunnewell,

I know when we learned of the events at Margory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, our hearts broke and our worries about the safety of our own children and ourselves increased, yet again. It is sometimes just all too much. We need to support one another through these challenging times, and I remind myself how grateful and how lucky I am to be a part of the Hunnewell community. 

Earlier this week, prior to any of the events in Florida, Joan Dabrowski, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, introduced the academic leadership team to work by Shawn Achor, an American happiness researcher from Harvard University. After the meeting on Monday, I began practicing some of his recommendations for living a happier life, and I am finding a lightness in my step and heart when I focus and recognize the positive. This is something I think we could all use.

As I am personally and professionally committed to the social/emotional development of our children and ourselves, I want to share some of his recommendations with all of you. I plan to think about Achor’s work with the staff over the course of the spring, but as we all have some down time over the vacation, I want to invite you to the “21 Day Challenge” that Joan offered us. Pick one of the following and give it a try for 21 days! It is fun and easy!

  • Exercise (even a 10 minute walk by yourself or with a friend)
  • Be grateful (record three DIFFERENT things you are grateful for every day)
  • Meditate (even 2 minutes of silent reflection on your day)
  • Practice random acts of kindness:
    • Journal (write a brief summary of a positive meeting or connection with a colleague, friend)
    • Send a positive email
    • Sing out loud
    • Say, “Hello”….wave
    • Begin and end your day with a positive interaction

Shawn Achor has a TEDTalk: (Copy and paste into your browser)

We all deserve happiness!

Enjoy your vacation!



Enjoy Your Break

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