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Madison Metropolitan School District

Being Well Resources for the MMSD Community

Being Well Header - A peaceful stack of rocks

Educators, students, and parents need to be on a path to wellness together for schools to be sites of healing.
- Bettina Love,
We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom

In this time of uncertainty that gives rise to a range of emotional responses and the potential for physical illness, caring for ourselves and our families has become a priority. The intention of this “Being Well” site is to offer MMSD families and staff resources that support resilience in the face of our current and ever-shifting challenges.

The call for “social distancing” is really a call for physical distancing. Under these conditions, how do we continue to practice self-care and self-compassion, and also social connection and care for those in our families and households? How do we stay informed and present with “what is” in order to take it day by day, as best we can? These resources, and those you choose to share back, are provided to support our dwelling in these questions over the next many weeks or months.

The commitment to our MMSD Wellness Policy vision that all students and staff are and feel healthy, safe, supported and engaged continues, as does the commitment to equity: MMSD seeks to disrupt health inequities and eliminate disparities based on race and socioeconomic status so that our entire learning community, including all staff and all students have the chance to attain their full health and learning potential. Resources provided here and in the future aim to honor our common humanity, the wisdom within all of us to know what we need, and to respect that there are culturally diverse ways of defining and cultivating wellbeing. 

We invite you to share practices and resources that you find of benefit #MMSDbeingwell

The Skills of Wellbeing: The Big Picture

Shifting our perspective from seeing wellbeing as a state of health to a view that wellbeing is a skill or a set of skills that can be developed by individuals and communities can be useful. A few key tools to support you:

Virtual Calming Zone


Routines and Sleep:

Recognizing the challenges, even small steps towards structure and routine can be helpful. As possible, maintain consistent daily routines and regular sleep schedules as you would during the school week.  No judgement - we are all doing the best we can, and each day is a new day.

  • Watch/limit screen time when possible, especially at bedtime

  • As many of us are increasing our screen time, noticing if the content is feeling supportive to your/your children’s well-being. Sometimes limiting news or social media content is needed.

  • Healthy Sleep Habits - Recommended hours of sleep for children and teens

  • Sleep Journal, Snooze-To-Dos: from the Alliance for Healthier Generation

Thoughtful Eating:

Choosing healthy options to fuel your body through foods and beverages during this time can impact your health and wellbeing. Try adding more fresh veggies, fruit, and water to your daily intake.

Social/Emotional Wellness at Home:

During times of high stress and uncertainty, it is important to not only tend to your child’s emotional well being but your own. Your child’s wellbeing will be affected by yours, so it is essential that you take time for themselves in this respect

Physical Activity & Movement:

As daily routines have shifted, start to look for opportunities throughout the day to add in physical activity. Whether exploring options to take part indoors or taking time to get outside, there are many ways one can be physically active. Physical activity not only benefits your physical health, but also mental, emotional, and social. 


The Pause is an aspect of the practice of mindfulness meditation that can lead you to the experience of body-based mindfulness. What is mindfulness? It is simply paying attention, on purpose, with an attitude of friendly, open, non-judgemental curiosity, and a willingness to accept (at least for now!) what arises. ~~Rhonda V. Magee, from The Inner Work of Racial Justice: Healing Ourselves and Transforming our Communities Through Mindfulness.

Being Outdoors in the Natural World:

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside… I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles. ~~Anne Frank

  • Revisit the guidance for social distancing: includes advice to avoid playground structures, as coronavirus can live on plastic and metal for two to three days, and these structures aren’t getting regularly cleaned.

  • Going for a walk outside, maintaining 6 feet distance from others. Taking a walk with your family around your neighborhood and counting how many people you see that you know, looking for animals, etc. 

  • The Healing Power of Nature:  comprehensive resources from the University of Minnesota, including bringing the outdoors inside

  • Eco Watch: Beat the Blues with these Wildlife and Nature Webcams: webcams from around the globe to lift our spirits!

  • Wild Birds Unlimited Owl Cam: get close to nature from the inside looking out.

Family Activities:

Spending time with family can be fun!


Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is you’re having a relationship with your mind.
- Natalie Goldberg

#MMSDbeingwell Communications:

  • Stay tuned for more timely updates