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  • Writer's pictureChristine

Happy Holidays from COTIP!

This truly is a special time for many of us.

It's a time of year when we take stock of what we've done, and what we would like to accomplish in the upcoming year. We celebrate with friends and work to make the holidays special for our loved ones. We're tying things up at work, feeling grateful, and looking forward to...a break.

{Record screech!!!}

Let me take a moment to be real, and acknowledge that this is also a very busy, stressful, and sometimes overwhelming time. Society puts a lot of pressure on us to create the perfect holiday experience, whatever that is. We often feel pressured to have the most beautiful decorations, delicious meals, perfect gifts, and lavish parties--all within a two-week window and while looking like we just stepped out of the pages of a fashion magazine. Social media exasperates this. We see images of perfect families who look genuinely happy, enjoying one another in perfect surroundings, and we wonder why we can't replicate those images in our own lives, and why we feel as though we are falling short.

I invite you to join me in creating

a new kind of holiday tradition.

One in which we recognize stressors, and head them off at the pass. When we invite our friends and family members to practice self-care and take extra time to focus on those things that help us regulate our systems, be it exercise, getting out into nature, focusing more intentionally on our breathing, eating well, or whatever works for you.

One in which we reject toxic positivity, and recognize that our troubles don't just go away because we've reached the middle of December. When we reach out to friends who may be struggling, due to loss, need, poor health, personal setbacks, trauma, or other reasons. When we recognize that we are complex human beings, and go through life experiencing a patchwork of emotions at any given time--even in December. When we allow ourselves and others to feel and express these complicated and unseasonal emotions, and help one another to process and/or mitigate them.

One in which we celebrate individual personalities, and all that comes with them. When we remember that children are children, and will display all their usual behaviors, ranging from cuddliness and excitement to sassiness and harshness. When we remember adults often have their own views, quirks, and routines from which they prefer not to stray. When we extend additional grace to ourselves and others, just because we are all living together in this bustling world.

One in which we ask for help when we need it, rather than struggle on our own. When we no longer see ourselves and our requests for assistance as a burden on others. When we truly understand that we are all strengthened in community, and that we, ourselves, are just as worthy of that support as anyone else. When we can reach out and trust that our community will help us regain our solid footing. And, if we do not have those connections, that we know we can always reach out to one of the following for support:

However you celebrate or choose to spend the next few weeks, I'd like to wish you and your loved ones

a restorative break from the

everyday business and struggles of life.

May you have a wonderful holiday season!


In Case You Missed It

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Foundation has awarded us a $30,000 grant to create a tool schools can use to evaluate their physical space and identify design changes that can lower the stress levels of students and staff! We are honored and thankful to the ASID Foundation for providing us this opportunity to link schools and designers in the development process of the tool, with a goal of mitigating stress!

Watch your inboxes for more information on how

schools can partner with us in this process!


New Resources

New resources have been added to our website!

Now you can watch the Importance of Trauma-Informed Care in Domestic Violence Services, hosted by Nashville-based You Have the Power. In this brief webinar, Tracy DeTomasi from Good People Solutions and I talk about the importance of meeting people where they are, whether you are directly providing services or an employer seeking to better support staff.

Our poster "Trauma's Impact on the Brain and Implications for Design," which debuted at the 2021 Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture, is now publicly available! The poser was designed in collaboration with Dr. J. Davis Harte, Janet Roche, and Yasmine Badawi, all of the Boston Architectural College, and highlights the importance of understanding trauma and environmental stressors when designing spaces for the human condition.

Another new resource that can be found on the website is last year's 32 Degrees article, "Help Students Triggered by Past Trauma: First and Foremost Feel Safe." This article is a great entry point for sports instructors trying to understand how trauma can impact athletes, and how to best support them through a lesson. If you ever encountered a client whose anxiety got in the way of being able to perform, this article's for you!


Upcoming Classes

Our classes for teachers will continue in February, and will kick off with Supporting Marginalized Students, which takes a detailed look into the experiences of children from several marginalized communities, and offer techniques designed to help students feel safe, empowered, and able to focus on their educational opportunities.

In March, Trauma-Informed Education, will return. This entry-level course examines trauma and its possible effects on students and teachers, and provides participants with ways to intervene against harmful effects. New York City Department of Education teachers will be able to earn the CTLE and salary differential credits for participation and successful completion of this course.

More information on all our ongoing classes and other services can be found on our website's services page.

Looking forward to seeing you in the new year!

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