Counselor explains PeaceBox to come on Tuesday

On Oct. 2, the PeaceBox will visit the campus to help students and teachers take a moment for themselves and breathe.

“The owner of PeaceBox is Stacy Thrash, who is going to be with the peace box all day long,” student support counselor Kristi Waidhofer said. “She offers either in-the-moment guided breathing exercises or guided imagery, or she’s got these really beautiful sound bowls where you sort of follow the sound. [Thrash] will either do that live, or she has 20 MP3 players with pre-recorded sessions that last different amounts of time. Some of them are short to try and keep you in the moment.”

The PeaceBox will be located outside the Ninth Grade Cafeteria from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. so students, teachers and parents can go and unwind before or after school.

“It’s a mobile mindfulness unit, so it’s really just a place to have a moment to take a timeout and kind of get yourself back into the moment because often times we don’t, especially at school,” Waidhofer said. “If you’re able to be in the moment, you’re able to put a pause on your stress because you’re not actively thinking about it. When we just stay in the moment, we’re usually doing OK. If we’re bringing ourselves into the moment more, we’re not running our wheels, which keeps our body and brain healthier so we can take on the next stress coming.”

Classes can sign up to go to the PeaceBox for next Tuesday and enjoy the sessions and exercises so students can begin integrating these practices into their daily lives.

“WHS and Eanes ISD have been trying to take on this initiative to bring mindfulness into the classroom more and more often,” Waidhofer said. “It’s a slow process because we want it to feel organic and not forced on anybody.”

According to Waidhofer, Hyatt Regency Austin and SXSW are donating their days with the PeaceBox to Westlake for the community to enjoy.