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The Healthy Mind Platter


In 2011, in response to the Food Pyramid’s transition to the healthy plate and more awareness around the connection between nutrition and wellness, Dr. Dan Siegel and David Rock crafted the Healthy Mind Platter to support the equally important mental diet. The Mind Platter includes 7 daily mental activities that are considered essential for a well-balanced mind and optimal neurocognitive functioning. Siegel and Rock argue that, what happens when we don’t optimize our nutrition and take from all areas of the healthy plate is similar to when we fail to utilize all areas of the Healthy Mind Platter. We can still function, but it will not be at our very best and could in fact cause us to function at an ill level. Siegel and Rock go on to remind us that while we are often reminded of the negative consequences of living without our basic physical needs being met (food, housing, water), society rarely discusses the negative effects of the mental needs that are not being met—they use examples of entire generations not knowing how to play because of forced child labor, and a large number of individuals who require a sleep aide to help them go to sleep. Significant, right?


Fortunately, they don’t simply pontificate on the problems without a solution. The Mind Platter provides a great framework tool to help us address our deficits and recognize the value of these personal standards. I find that this can be especially helpful during long, hot, summer days where we can sometimes feel at a loss for what to do with our time or, the opposite, how we can make time in our day to care well for ourselves. Enter: The Mind Platter. Each component is equally important and there is not a required ‘order’ to complete these items in. Further, there is much research to be done on exact quantities, but I think that the optimum quantity is person dependent. Think of this as a helpful checklist to utilize when you notice that you are struggling. These activities grow our fulfillment, our sense of connection with others and the world around us, and help us to have a more solid sense of well-being. Ultimately, they help us to balance our lives. And we all know we can so easily become unbalanced.


#1 Downtime. One of the great things about the Mind Platter is that it allows for those mindless activities, and when utilized in moderation, they are healthy for us to use. According to the Mind Platter idea, one of the essential activities is Downtime—our brain needs an opportunity to relax and wander. Some Downtime activities might include journaling, painting, or reading a book. This downtime can also include those mindless activities that we all over-indulge in at times—Netflix bingeing, scrolling through our phones etc. It is important to allow for the productivity in our brains to shut off, we need to recharge. Just remember, it is one of 7 things, not the ONLY thing to do to keep our mind healthy.


#2 Time In. This is time spent doing reflection inward, connecting with your body, being aware of your own feelings (including anger, irritation, frustration, and disappointment), thoughts, and sensations. Participating in this piece of the Mind Platter allows us the space to process what we often ignore, let fester, or shove down deep inside. Time In helps our brain fibers integrate, helps our balance (both physical and mental), and gives us more insight so that we can be more understanding of others. Activities to help foster Time In could include being intentional with gratitude (through a journal, a prayer diary, writing thank you notes etc.), going to therapy, participating in mindfulness activities, or intentional deep breathing. This is one of the Mind Platter Practices that we may have to model to our kiddos and acknowledge that, for kids this practice will take patience, they will grow into it.


#3 Focus. Working on one single activity and seeking mastery of that activity will help us to make significant and deep connections in our brain. This is not multitasking; this is paying close attention. Focus can include a focus on something we love—a hobby, an interest, a subject matter, Bible study, or on something that deserves full attention. Focus is often easier filled in the school year because of assignments, deadlines etc., but finding ways to encourage problem solving, study, and engaging fully with a topic will continue to strengthen mental health.


#4 Play Time. Play Time is imperative. I know you all know this one is my favorite, but there is a reason. Play fosters creativity, builds confidence, and builds new brain connections. Play most literally keeps our brains young and active as it is often spontaneous. Play generally includes humor and helps us grow in our felt safety. Play comes more naturally to (most) kids while adults and adolescents will likely need to be more intentional in their daily pursuit of play.


#5 Connection. (This is probably #2 for me on the list if I were ranking them.) Connection is SO important. I think it is safe to assume that we all became intimately acquainted with this importance of connection for our mental health in the last year. Making time to (hopefully in person) connect with other people and nature activates our brain’s relational/social circuitry. When we do this, we see major gains in our sense of gratitude and the importance of giving back. Practically this can look like intentionally checking in with a kiddo or spouse each day, calling a loved one, volunteering locally (great to do on your own or with your kids—opening their world early will develop their empathy and grow their worldview). We need people—don’t try to do life alone.


#6 Physical Time. Physical movement is not just good for our physical health, but it strengthens our brains as well. Physical movement (preferably aerobic) increases our energy, boosts our mood and can help relieve stress. Physical time can include the most formal of time (workouts, runs etc.), but it can also include hiking, dance party breaks, yoga, or bike rides. And yes, for all of the little people who come to my office begrudgingly after leaving the pool, swimming too!


#7 Sleep. Our brain must get some solid rest so that it can process our learning from the day. While we sleep our brain processes the day in conjunction with our past experiences and utilizes that information to help your body be more prepared for the future. Setting yourself up for successful sleep includes a bedtime routine (yes adults, you too). This does not need to be rigid or 100% in conjunction with the clock but, it should include patterns to help communicate to your body that it is time to get ready for bed. The predictability gives us reassurance and confidence that we know what is coming next. Try things that help you wind down—taking a shower, reading a book, stretching as a part of your nightly routine to help prepare for solid sleep. In conjunction with your sleep, you could do other Mind Platter components—Connection, Time in, etc.


Why do we want to have a healthy mind? Siegel and Rock share that “Following a healthy mind diet can provide us with the physical and mental well-being necessary to establish and maintain relationship with family friends and colleagues, and efficiently realize the tasks and responsibilities at school, work and in our communities.” Not only is this ultimately more productive, but it helps to provide balance and holistic wellness. Most often, I think this information is incredibly helpful when I feel out of sorts, overwhelmed, or stressed. Reviewing where there are deficits or blind spots (or I am just ignoring my mental needs) helps me adjust and build my awareness so that I can be more holistic in my health. If you start to notice any of these things in your own life, do a quick inventory, see if you have neglected any of these activities and work to reintegrate them into your daily routines.


Sources


Dosen, M. (2020, March 23). Using a Brain-Based Approach to Maintaining Balance While Social Distancing. The Center for Connection. https://www.thecenterforconnection.org/blogarchive/2020/3/23/using-a-brain-based-approach-to-maintaining-balance-while-social-distancing.


Goff, S. (2019). Raising worry-free girls: helping your daughter feel braver, stronger, and smarter in an anxious world (Ilustrated Edition). Bethany House Publishers.


Siegel, D., Rock, D., Payne, J., & Poelmans, S. A. Y. (2012). The Mind Platter. Neuroleadership Journal, 4, 1–23.


Summervill, V. (Host). (2019, May 2) The Healthy Mind Platter (Episode 30). Retrieved from https://familyhealingpathways.com/category/podcasts/teen-connectivity.


In-School Counseling Program Update 2020/2021 School Year


Did you know that in addition to in-office counseling, we partner with local schools to provide counseling services to at-risk kiddos in-schools? Our in-school program gives at-risk students an opportunity to improve their mental health and education, allowing them to grow and flourish in their personal relationships and schooling. Our counselors give students the tools needed to help navigate through their emotional, environmental, and educational struggles. During the 2020/2021 school year we partnered with 4 local elementary schools in the Blue Springs and Independence School Districts. Our counselors provided 639 in-school sessions during the school year completely FREE.


2021 Data Evaluation of 2020-2021:

Attendance, Discipline Referrals & Grades:

45% of measured students increased attendance. 67% of measured students decreased major discipline referrals. 72% of measured students maintained or increased their grades. PSC* Conclusion: Of the students who completed the in-school program in Spring 2021 and successfully completed the PSC, 72% had lower PSC scores at the conclusion of our in-school program. *PSC = Pediatric Symptom Checklist is a brief questionnaire that helps identify and assess changes in emotional and behavioral problems in children.



We want to thank each of you for the part you play in allowing us to provide high-quality, affordable counseling services for at-risk children and families. We couldn’t do it without you and the life change you help provide through your giving is making a generational impact!

  • Thank you, Lee & Debbie Miller, for your generous donation above your normal monthly giving and your monthly giving increase.

  • Tamara Stroud we are so grateful to you for increasing your monthly giving amount.

  • A special thanks to Cyndi Eskina and Pam Rauscher & Mike Rauscher for memorial gifts given In Memory of Bruce Parker.

  • Thank you, Medicare Planning, Keller & Owens and Oades Brothers Tire & Auto for your golf tournament premium hole sponsorships.

  • Big shout out to Wise Wealth and MizKan America for being Silver Sponsors for our upcoming golf tournament.

  • Thank you to EPR Properties & Pinnacle Family Advisors for their Gold Sponsorships towards our golf tournament.

  • Thank you to Epic Plumbing, Graceway, EPR Properties, Mark Arreguin, Dorsey Embrey, Boyles, US Foods, Tony Pizzutelli, Spencer Watkins, William Testerman and Wes Bird for your golf team registrations.

  • Midwest Accident Reconstruction Services and Stan & Deb Oglesby, your quarterly donations are making a huge impact in our community.

A special Thank You to our faithful monthly supporters: Brandon & Vanessa Blanchard, Cory Young, Jenny Glasgow, Craig & Samantha Compton, Roger & Jennifer Madsen, John & Vicki Hefner, Tamara Stroud, Church at Coffee Creek, Stone AMP SEO, John & Keshia Otradovec, Zane & Melissa Morerod, Matt & Kristy Newton, Jondy & Heather Britton, Rick & Jan Britton, Diane Smith, Rick & Kathy Daulton, Scott & Lydia Hurley, Kevin Quinn, Dan & Gigi Rippee, Mark & Cathy McGaughey, Mike & Tracy Pruitt, Lee & Debbie Miller, Linda Hartman, Lone Jack Baptist Church, Brent & Amanda Miller, Clayton & Pam Wooldridge, Demi Raveill, Stan & Deb Oglesby, Jeff & Lacey Cherry, Andre & Rose Fantasma, Jon & Naomi Thompson, Jon Brody, Dave & Rosie Bourland, and Greg & Jennifer Spears.


We appreciate you!



If you would like to become a partner, please visit our Donate page or contact Athena Brattin at athena@peacecounseling.org or call 816.272.0653.



SEVEN TEAM SPOTS LEFT!!!


REGISTER BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE for our 5th Annual Golf Classic on Thursday, September 23, 2021 at Adams Pointe Golf Club in Blue Springs. SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES still available.


Registration:

  • Team Registration – 4 Player ($700): 4-person scramble team fee

  • Individual Team Registration ($175): Playing on a team, but paying fees individually

  • Individual Player Registration ($200): Individual players will be placed on teams prior to event

Sponsorship Levels:

  • Platinum Sponsor ($10,000): Logo on all event materials & signage; Exclusive logoed golfer gift item; 2 foursomes included

  • Gold Sponsor ($5,000): Exclusive logoed golfer gift item; prominent signage at event & logo on website; 1 foursome included

  • Silver Sponsor ($3,000): Logo on gift bag, sponsor banner, & website; 1 foursome included

  • Cart Sponsor ($1,000): Logo included on all beverage carts (3), cart corral area, and on sponsor banner

  • Premium Hole Sponsor ($250): Sign with logo at designated hole; table to handout giveaways at hole; ability to include promotional item in gift bag


REGISTER NOW


VOLUNTEER



2021 Golf Tournament Silent Auction Packages Needed!


Peace Partnership would like to invite you, your friends, family, or small group to create a package for our 2021 Silent Auction. Your package will help us raise funds so we can continue to help those in need, by providing quality mental health care at affordable rates to an underserved community. We are also accepting other new donated items for our silent auction.


How Do I Make A Silent Auction Package?

  1. Pick a “theme” for your package.

  2. Ask each participant to bring an item that fits the theme.

  3. Items can be merchandise, gift cards, entertainment, services, etc.

  4. The package should be valued at $50 or more.


Here Are Some Ideas To Get You Started!

  • Restaurant/Coffee Shop Gift Card

  • Amazon Gift Card

  • Apple Products

  • Country Club Plaza Gift Card

  • Lawn Package

  • Grill-Out Package

  • Home Decor

  • Date Night Package

  • Spa Day

  • Sports Memorabilia

  • Outdoors Package

  • Yeti Products

  • Car Guru Package

  • Fitness Package


For questions or package drop off, please contact Athena Brattin at athena@peacecounseling.org or call 816-272-0653.



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