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One of a Kind

Be Kind and Unwind members aim to spread positivity.

Rachel Reiter

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   You yawn, stretching your limbs one by one until your whole body has woken up. You’re a bit disoriented, as everyone is after a nap, but you feel pleasantly refreshed at the same time. You’re still in school, but you feel much more relaxed and calmer than usual, as if all your stress has melted away.

   That sounds like an afternoon at the spa, but it’s one of the activities of Be Kind and Unwind (BKU), a club dedicated to spreading kindness and relieving stress. Of course, not every meeting is solely committed to napping, but the members of the club believe the “unwind” part of the club is important.

   “When we have the unwind days, it’s a really nice stress reliever,” sophomore Kaley Hamilton said. “Sometimes we’ll have a yoga session, or another time we might have a napping session. It’s a really nice and relaxing end to the week.”

   According to a study done by New York University, 49 percent of high school students report they feel “a great deal of stress” on a daily basis. Teenage stress is becoming a bigger issue, which is why BKU puts an emphasis on de-stressing activities.

   Other than yoga and napping, members of the club also do things to improve LHS. They have a goal to make school a kinder place through different projects, but the effect of the club reaches further than the walls of LHS.

   BKU has visited students at EPIC elementary school to teach them about being kind.

   “I’ve learned how to be kind, and not just in the generic, ‘You look pretty today,’ kind of way,” sophomore McKenna Stephens said. “I’ve also learned how to spread that kindness by teaching others how to do it too.”

   The club has also supported community members with cancer by making posters and sending messages of encouragement. Students can see the encouraging messages on the walls of LHS crafted by club members.

   The purpose of the club reflects a larger movement related to resilience. Just before winter break, the sponsor of BKU, Charity Stephens received a call from a woman in California named Holly Deyoung. Deyoung found the club’s website and was interested in partnering. She works for Project Happiness, inspired by a documentary of the same name, about teen anxiety and depression and ways to increase happiness in teens and young adults.

   “Project Happiness picked 10 schools to partner with last year, but this year they picked 30,” Stephens said. “We are one of the thirty schools that was picked.”

   The members of Be Kind and Unwind will do an activity for Project Happiness, but they are also hoping to streamline some kind of lesson through advisory.

   “I hope the effect is good,” Stephens said. “I hope we get people to become more caring and kind towards each other.”

   The club meets on Fridays during Liberty Hour in room 404. To become a club member, you must complete a few simple Random Acts of Kindness determined by the club sponsor, but as long as you are passionate about kindness and the well-being of the community, you will likely be a perfect fit.

   “If everyone at LHS made an active effort to be kind, we can all work together to make the world a little bit brighter,” sophomore Kayden Alderman said.

“Kindness is being caring for others but also caring for yourself. I have a strong belief that before you can be kind to others, you have to make sure that you are personally okay. Treat Yo Self!” Sophomore Jackson Hermann said. Photo by Charlene Nguyen.

“Kindness is just smiling at someone across the hall or helping them when they are struggling. Kindness is making someone else’s day easier and/or better in any way possible,” sophomore Kayden Alderman said. Photo by Charlene Nguyen.

“Kindness to me is whenever someone does something selfless for someone,” sophomore McKenna Stephens said. Photo by Charlene Nguyen.

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One of a Kind