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January 2019

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Dear YMCA community,

Here we are, almost a year into 2019. Many of us put lots of hopes and energy into the fresh start of a new year. I know I do. I believe there is power in these goals and intentions. 

I also know that despite our best laid plans, January can come with much stress. It can be in the news, in our workplace, our home, our hearts, or some of each.

A well-executed timeout can quickly and simply put the chill on your toddler’s meltdown. But there’s a trick to getting the most out of an effective timeout, and it starts with shedding an outdated notion. Timeouts work best when delivered not as a punishment, but as a chance for your toddler to calm down and practice self-control. 

With the New Year well underway, parents are returning to work and kids are returning to daycare and school. However, the transition from holiday fun back to the daily grind isn’t always easy. The reality of the looming winter ahead without having the holidays to look forward to may leave your kids dealing with the post-holiday blues.

There’s a simple pleasure in turning away from distractions, going outdoors, and devoting your full attention to all the sensations of the present moment. On Saturday, December 1, families gathered at YMCA Camp Moody to experience this immersion, known as shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, together.

Get outside more. Go for a walk. Advice that’s been handed down from mothers to their children since time immemorial, and perennial resolutions for many a new year. Our instincts tell us it’s right and our hearts compel us again and again toward the outdoors.

Last year, little painted rocks began to show up all over the city of Bastrop. Some were big, some were small, but all of them were painted and placed for one purpose, to make people smile.

Every year the Bastrop Education Foundation chooses a select few students from a pool of candidates to be that years “Rising Stars,” a group of students who the teachers feel are truly exceptional in and out of the classroom.

The Austin Humane Society is Austin’s oldest and longest-running animal shelter, and it is committed to preserving and improving the life of every pet that comes through its doors. The YMCA of Austin’s Communications Impact Team toured the facility to meet some of the lucky dogs and cats there and to learn more about its tremendous benefit to the Austin community.