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Washington Wellness Center News – January 2023

Announcements 

Students can be seen at the Wellness Center by Ms. Gorecki, our Nurse Practitioner, and Ms. Seltzer or Mrs. LaPonte, our Mental Health Counselors.  To schedule an appointment, call (206) 326-3037. 

Upcoming Groups 

Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) meets on Thursday twice a month.  Students can sign up at the front desk in the Wellness Center, with Ms. Marcelene at medorianrich@seattleschools.org or with school counselors Ms. McKinney and Ms. Pan or Ms. Weber.   Next meeting dates:  January 12th and January 26th.  Groups led by Ms. Weber.  

Happy New Year!  A Time to renew! 

The year 2022 is now officially behind us however its impact will linger for a very long time. Most of us are totally drained from the hardships and challenges of last year. Unfortunately, 2023 didn’t come with a ‘magic switch’. Many people are  still facing challenges and hardships as we begin a new calendar year.  It’s OK if you are welcoming this year with uncertainty. The good news is you can make the decision to move forward with renewed energy and motivation.  You have the power to change your mindset to change the way you feel! Let’s explore a few simple habits you can change to help you reenergize and motivate your mindset for 2023.  

Start small  

Make resolutions that you think you can keep. If, for example, your aim is to exercise more frequently, schedule three or four days a week to exercise instead of seven. You don’t have to train for a marathon to be healthy.  Go outside even if it’s just for a few moments.  Exercise is one of the best ways to boost your mood.  If you would like to eat healthier, try replacing dessert with something else you enjoy, like fruit or yogurt, instead of seeing your nutrition plan as a form of punishment. 

Change one behavior at a time  

Unhealthy behaviors develop over the course of time. Thus, replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones requires time. Don’t get overwhelmed and think that you have to reassess everything in your life. Instead, work toward changing one thing at a time. 

Talk about it  

Share your experiences with family and friends. Consider having a support group with family and friends to help reach your goals.  Having someone to share your struggles and successes with makes your journey to a healthier lifestyle that much easier and less intimidating. 

Don’t beat yourself up  

Perfection is unattainable. Remember that minor missteps when reaching your goals are completely normal and OK. Don’t give up completely because you ate a brownie and broke your nutrition plan or skipped the gym for a week because you were busy. Everyone has ups and downs; resolve to recover from your mistakes and get back on track. 

Ask for support  

Accepting help from those who care about you and will listen strengthens your resilience and ability to manage stress caused by your resolution. If you feel overwhelmed or unable to meet your goals on your own, consider seeking professional help. Mental health counselors are uniquely trained to understand the connection between the mind and body. They can offer strategies as to how to adjust your goals so that they are attainable, as well as help you change unhealthy behaviors and address emotional issues. 

The new year is just beginning, and you have the opportunity to make the most of it!  Make a resolution to improve the way you feel.  

Don’t beat yourself up  

Perfection is unattainable. Remember that minor missteps when reaching your goals are completely normal and OK. Don’t give up completely because you ate a brownie and broke your nutrition plan or skipped the gym for a week because you were busy. Everyone has ups and downs; resolve to recover from your mistakes and get back on track. 

Ask for support  

Accepting help from those who care about you and will listen strengthens your resilience and ability to manage stress caused by your resolution. If you feel overwhelmed or unable to meet your goals on your own, consider seeking professional help. Mental health counselors are uniquely trained to understand the connection between the mind and body. They can offer strategies as to how to adjust your goals so that they are attainable, as well as help you change unhealthy behaviors and address emotional issues. 

The new year is just beginning, and you have the opportunity to make the most of it!  Make a resolution to improve the way you feel.  

Should I get an updated Covid-19 Booster? 

There’s an updated Covid-19 booster that targets Omicron variants.  Anyone 5 and older can get one if they’ve completed their first vaccination series.  Click on the link to read an article that is a featured post on the Public Health Insider blog to learn from an expert about the benefits of getting an updated Covid-19 booster.  Should I get an updated booster? We asked an expert. – PUBLIC HEALTH INSIDER 

Click on the link to locate a COVID vaccine clinic:  https://kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/vaccine/distribution.aspx 

Click on the link to locate a flu vaccine clinichttps://kingcounty.gov/depts/health/communicable-diseases/immunization/clinics.aspx 

New School Based Counselor at the Washington Wellness Center 

Hello Washington Huskies! My name is Sierra LaPonte. I am a new addition to the Washington Wellness Center. I have my Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from Antioch University, Seattle and I am excited to join the Washington Middle School family as a counselor in the Washington Wellness Center.  

Working with students has been both a personal and professional honor and privilege. It’s my goal to create an environment where students feel safe, understood, and welcomed. Additionally, I am passionate about helping students develop the skills they need to thrive academically and socio-emotionally. Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, practicing yoga, and eating good food.  Please feel free to contact me if you would like support for your student. I am excited for a wonderful school year! 

Wellness Center Staff 

  • Jean Gorecki – Nurse Practitioner
  • Stephanie Nash – School Nurse  
  • Julie Seltzer – Mental Health Counselor
  • Sierra LaPonte – School Based Counselor
  • Marcelene Dorian-Richardson – Health Educator  

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2023!!