Students, teachers, staff and administrators in every Sayville School District building this week took part in the district’s inaugural stress-reducing “Mindful Moment” event.

As part of the SEL (Social Emotional Learning) initiatives, a team of IMPLEMENT* Leaders in Training in the district are furthering the district’s plan to address anxiety and mental-health issues in the school community. 

During “Mindful Moment” on Monday, each members of the school —whether they were in class, the library, the gym, the office or the cafeteria — stopped what they were doing to view a 2-minute, 27-second video prepared by IMPLEMENT* Leader Elizabeth Bolger, a Sayville physical education teacher. The video featured calming, on-screen directions designed to relieve stress.

Click here to view the “Mindful Moment” video.

“The objective of this activity,” Director of Student Services Jillian Makris said, “is for both students and staff to take a short brain break or to simply take a breather — a moment to collect our thoughts.”

Research has shown, Makris said, that mindfulness and meditation was wide-ranging benefits, including the following:
• Reduces anxiety, stress and depression.
• Reduces problem behaviors like suspensions, bullying and hostility.
• Improves resilience and coping skills.
• Increases physical well-being.
• Cultivates positive school climates.
• Enhances focus and attention.

The district plans to conduct “Mindful Moment” annually on the first Monday in February.

“We look forward to doing more of these moments throughout the school year on a more consistent basis,” Markis said. “It is important for all, staff and students alike, to take breaks throughout the day. Simply, standing up from their desks or stepping away from their computers can provide a much needed respite for everyone — a time to reset and refocus.”