Return to Headlines

Great Resources to De-Stress, Increase Focus and Re-Energize

Ritenour School District continues to share resources to help students, staff and families better understand trauma and respond with trauma-informed instruction and wellness practices.

Mindfulness practices are ways children and adults can help regulate their own social and emotional responses and make better decisions to care for their own mental, physical and emotional needs.

Mindfulness is the practice of being focused on the present and can improve well-being with more relationship satisfaction, increased focus, greater cognitive flexibility and improved ability to process information and promote calm. As a result, mindfulness reduces stress, anxiety, negative thinking, emotional reactivity and depression for most people.

Below are online websites and apps that have been used and recommended by Ritenour and SSD educators, counselors and therapists. Many are free and appropriate for both children and adults:

Submitted by Lindsay Schmidt, fourth-grade teacher, Iveland Elementary           

Submitted by Leah Jones, Hoech Middle School counselor

I have been partnering with the health teachers to do lessons on Stress Management and Mindfulness.  During the lessons, students get to practice three different techniques:  1) deep breathing exercises, 2) progressive relaxation and visualization of their safe space, and 3) self-monitoring for factors that influence their energy and mood.  Some of the resources from the lesson are from the Student Success Skills curriculum.

The nice thing about all of the techniques that we practice is that they can be done at any time without anyone else knowing that we're using them.  They are all tools of the mind to help calm the body and be more aware of the connection between body and mind.

Jessica Little, SSD occupational therapist (Marion and Iveland)

There are two apps that I use with my students for mindfulness and self-regulation that we are enjoying very much. Both of these apps have mindfulness content that is organized by intention (reducing stress, increasing focus, etc.), as well as having sections specifically dedicated to kids' content and organized by age group so that you can easily find content that works well for younger or older students. I enjoy putting on some of the music or meditations during my lunch break for a mid-day destressing session for myself, too!

  • Smiling Mind (available on both Apple and Android systems) - This app is FREE and all of its content is free. This app has guided mindfulness meditations, and there are also mindfulness lesson plans organized by week for teachers who want some extra support introducing mindfulness and the tools to their students.
  • Calm (available on both Apple and Android systems) - This app is FREE, and some of the content is free. However, if you are an educator, you can get all of the paid subscription content for FREE through filling out this short form ( This app has music as well as guided mindfulness meditations of varying lengths.