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Wellness Center News – November


Students can be seen at the Wellness Center by Ms. Shoshana, our Nurse Practitioner, or Ms. Vero, our Mental Health Counselor.  To schedule an appointment, call (206) 326-2141.

Upcoming Groups

Kindness Alliance Social Justice Group starts up on Wednesdays from 2:30-3:55.  To sign-up, please visit “After School Programs” on the Aki Kurose website.

Is it Covid-19 or Flu?

It’s that time of year when we experience more respiratory illnesses like colds, flu and now Covid-19.  It’s important to get a flu shot and the new Moderna and Pfizer Covid-19 Bivalent Boosters.  Flu shots and Covid-19 Bivalent Boosters  are free for students at the Wellness Center.  Please call the Wellness Center to schedule an appointment.

Covid-19 and the flu have similar symptoms such as fever, cough, fatigue, sore throat, muscle pain or body aches.  However, loss of taste or smell is unique to Covid-19.

Updated boosters are available at Public Health’s Auburn Mall and Bellevue-Eastgate vaccine clinics and other health care providers, clinics, and pharmacies.  For more information, go to:

Wellness Tip:  A 5-Minute Gratitude Practice

November is National Gratitude Month, a time to celebrate and give thanks.  This quick 5-minute mindfulness practice cultivates gratitude for life’s small delights as you move through the senses.

  1. Use the breath to anchor yourself in the present moment. Our minds are always so easily pulled to busyness. Bring particular attention to feeling the breath, or something in the body, as you bring your shoulders down and orient your attention toward gratitude.
  1. Next, bring to mind a sight you are grateful for. Move through your senses and find one thing to start with that you appreciate that comes to you from the world of sight, if you have this available. It could be a color…a shadow…a shape…a movement. Remember, it will never be like this again. What do you see right now, and can you feel grateful that you get to see this, whatever it is?
  2. Now, shift to a scent you appreciate. As you continue to work with your senses, now take time to tune in with appreciation to an aroma. What do you notice? What about that glorious or interesting or subtle smell is making you smile? It could be gratitude for something familiar: a scent that brings comfort, upliftment; or maybe it’s something you’ve never smelled before, and it just piques your curiosity, ignites you, enlivens you.
  3. Moving on, tune into any sounds around you. Allowing the world of smell to gently recede into the background, on an in-breath, shift your attention to your ears and the world of sound. Maybe notice what it feels like to really listen. How many sounds can you notice, and can you feel grateful that you’re able to experience sound, if you are? What can you notice about these sounds—far away? close? Perhaps you could play a piece of music that brings you joy, and have gratitude that it’s so available? Or maybe it’s the sound of children laughing, the sound of loved ones breathing, the sound of the beating of your own heart.
  4. The world of touch and texture beckons us next. We find so much to be grateful for in touch! If there’s someone near who you can hug or who can hug you, notice how this makes you feel filled with gratitude for the joy of human contact. Or perhaps you have a beautiful pet that you can stroke and cuddle, or some lovely material with a texture that feels warm to the touch, soft, evocative. Let your senses ignite your gratitude! There’s so much to be appreciative of.
  5. Shift to noticing and appreciating objects around you. Now take a moment to look around: Look down, look up, and from side to side. Appreciate how much effort must have gone into anything at all you own or use. Someone conceived of the need and many people worked on the details of the design. Much care even went into the packaging to deliver your item to you safely. What do you feel when you let yourself be grateful that all that talent went into making your life a little easier?
  6. As you end this practice, carry this attitude of gratitude with you. One last little grateful tip: Why not offer your thanks to each person who does anything at all for you today? Even if it is their job to help you? When you’re grateful, when you let your heart open up and be filled with appreciation, notice how being grateful makes you feel.
  7. Close with gratitude. We are so grateful that you tuned in to this gratitude practice, and we appreciate your time, your effort, and your energy to be present, awake, and alive to your precious life. Have a beautiful day!

Wellness App:  Grateful

Below are two apps that can support a gratitude practice.  They both prompt you to log something every day that makes you feel grateful:

Gratitude Journal

Gratitude Journal The Life-changing App on the App Store (

Gratitude 365

Wellness Center Staff

  • Shoshana Mirel – Nurse Practitioner · Vero Sage van Leuven– Mental Health Counselor  · Lisa McDonald – Program Coordinator  · Marcelene Dorian-Richardson – Health Educator