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Executive Director's Corner

Dear Families and Community Members,
We’re so excited to begin a new year with you!  Many of us look on the new year as an opportunity for a new start.  In Advocacy, we’re starting with learning how to care for ourselves as we maintain our empathy for others.  It’s a skill that requires practice!
We’re teaching students that their ability to understand and share the feelings of another person is a crucial aspect of healthy relationships, because it allows them to connect with others on a deeper level and support them through difficult times.  However, it should not come at the expense of their own well-being. 
Taking care of themselves is essential for maintaining their emotional and physical health, and it allows them to be more present and supportive for others.
One way to practice self-care is learning to identify things that trigger negative emotions. These are the things that cause us to feel overwhelmed, anxious, or upset. It might be a specific person, situation, or even a memory. By learning to identify triggers, they can take steps to acknowledge their feelings and manage them (emotional regulation), rather than allowing them to control reactions.
Another key aspect of self-care is developing their strengths and using them to cope with challenges such as stress, anger, sadness, or confusion. Whether it's their ability to problem-solve, be creative, or connect with others, their strengths can help them navigate difficult situations and find meaning in their lives.
Recognizing that emotional regulation is the ability to manage our emotions in a healthy way is an important lesson. By learning to regulate their emotions, students will be better able to handle stress and conflicts, and build resilience in the face of challenges.
As students learn to be attuned to their own needs and emotions, they can be more present and supportive for others, while also maintaining their own well-being for this new year and for the rest their lives.
In Service, 
Sharon Collins 
Executive Director, Westgate Community School 
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