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Elks Club honours students’ Healthy Choices

Bill Kidnew Picton Elks

Bill Kidnew with one of the soccer balls the Picton Elks donated to County elementary schools in promotion of Healthy Choices.

The Picton Elks promoted Healthy Choices at six County public schools and today presented cash prizes to winners of the video, poster and literary contests.
Picton Elks Youth Education Chairman Bill Kidnew was pleased to receive 155 entries from four elementary schools – Athol, Queen Elizabeth, St. Gregory’s and Sophiasburgh. The students’ work was judged in three grade categories – primary (Grades 1-3); Junior (Grades 4-6) and Intermediate (Grades 7-8).
First place received $25; second $15 and third $10. As well, each student received a loonie for participating. The Picton Elks #326 also presented each school with four soccer balls featuring the Elks and Healthy Choices logos.
Honoured at their schools today were:
Intermediate video: Abbie Henderson
Junior video: 1st Vanessa Willis and Lydia Snider; 2nd Lynsey Corbin, Emily Williams and Celina Fox; 3rd Kalie McGee.
Literary Jr: 1st Melanie Jasmins Nelson; 2nd Olivia Crouse; 3rd Summere Steenburgh.
Intermediate Poster: 1st Keora Kimball; 2nd Kaylee Lloyd; 3rd Jasmine Matier.
Junior poster: 1st Emily Williams; 2nd Esther Prinzen; 3rd Hailee Doornbos, Jaiden MacDonald and S. Neilsen.
Primary poster winners: 1st Connor Verhoog; 2nd Josh Pearson, Ethan Ashley and 3rd Madalyn Snider.
1st Kassidy Brown; 2nd Myla DeBoef, 3rd Skylar Gray.
1st Bryan Murphy; 2nd Kayla Hepburn and 3rd Emily Stasiq, Lillian Giroux and Heidi Gratton.
1st Moira Gaddes, 2nd Cale Carter and 3rd Madison Piper.

Healthy Choices – About Stress
Literary Junior Winner
By Melanie, Grade 6
A lot of people will probably tell you about all the bad stuff like drugs, drinking, smoking, etc., or good stuff like exercising year round, eating right, or getting enough rest through the day. But I’m going to talk to you about stress and how to make healthy choices to handle it.

Stress can affect yourself or a loved one each and every day. It might be because of a spouse’s death, divorce, retirement, marriage reconciliation, or being fired from a job. Stress is when you feel changes in your body and mind, your heart beats faster, your blood pressure goes up, and your face may feel flushed. Also your muscles may tighten up, or you might feel anxious, nauseous or irritable.

Life is very fast-paced these days and can be very stressful for people with homework and projects at school, pressure from friends to do risky things, difficult people in your life, or upsetting news or media messages that lower your self-esteem. But stress can also help you focus on a situation or solve a problem, tire you out or make you nervous. If you are experiencing a lot of stress day after day, your body may start sending you warning signs that something is really wrong. This kind of chronic stress can take a physical and mental toll on your body and mind.

You can lower your stress by exercising, yoga, tai chi, taking a break, meditation, praying, journaling, having a good cry, or just getting some sleep. A lot of people say you should never go to sleep angry, but over time, they learned that instead of having an argument you should go to bed and get it all figured out in the morning. Sometimes, if stress is very severe; like depression, for example, a doctor will prescribe psychotropic drugs and psychotherapy to help lower stress.

Learning proper time management is a very important way to handle stress in your life. This means setting a schedule for yourself that allows you enough time each day to complete the tasks you need to do. Putting off jobs to the last minute is not a healthy choice for dealing with large tasks. A healthy way to handle the stress of a big project, such as an essay, would be to set aside some time every day and work at it step by step until it is complete.

Your body can have a different stress response each time. For example, if you perceive a threat, your nervous systems responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, which includes adrenalin and cortisol. These hormones rouse the body for emergency action. When you sense danger, whether it’s real or not, the body’s defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight or flight” reaction, or stress response. Or, when you have to meet a challenge, like giving a presentation, a little stress can be what motivates you to do your best.

In conclusion, everyone will experience stress at some point in our lives. Therefore, the real question is not whether we will have stress, but how we will choose to handle it. We can make unhealthy choices to deal with our stress; such as smoking, over-eating, alcohol, hoarding, over-spending and using drugs. However, there are much healthier ways we can deal with our stres lie: having a good cry, tai chi, exercising, getting some sleep, praying, meditation and journaling. So, when we choose healthy ways, it will help our lives to be more peaceful, joyful and productive.

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