in light of recent suicides here are some important resources : Canada now has one toll free hotline Canada’s toll free suicide prevention hotline: 1-833-456-4566 – chat & text 45645 / Quebec 1 866 APPELLE… More
How do we instill an insatiable desire to learn and live life to the fullest while teaching students to self regulate when it comes to cell phone use?
Self – regulation is the process that the brain goes through that gives us the ability to control our behaviors and emotions in response to a particular situation. It’s having the skill to calm ourselves down when upset or in distress.
In this day and age all of us need to monitor how and why we use our cell phones. According to Dr. Stuart Shanker self -regulation is as much about regulating positive emotions as it is about down regulating negative emotions . Only when we are regulated can we self – regulate.
As adults we need to model self – regulation. There are several ways we attempt to soothe ourselves. some good , some not so good. The coping skills we use can help us or hurt us. If we want to help others then we need to model positive cell phone use and be able to share with others what we do and how we do it.
Self–evaluation is pivotal. Evaluate your thoughts , feelings and actions when it comes to your cell phone use
• Be open … ask yourself is my cell phone use helping or hurting me or others?
Ask yourself …
- Does my cell phone use lift me up or tear me down?
- Is there ways to change my use of my cell phone so that I can feel better about myself?
- Am I on my phone too much ? Do others notice and think I should change?
- Is using my cell phone too much stressing me out? If so how can I restore my energy? What do I need to do differently?
- Am I getting enough sleep , exercise , and nutrition ? Acknowledge what you need to do to change.
- Do I have a positive self –esteem? Am I using my phone because I know it will help me or hurt me?
- Are my relationships in tact? Do I find many opportunities to connect F2F?
- Am I more anxious , happy or sad because of my cell phone use?
- Do I really need to use your phone right now or can it wait till later?
- Am I on track with what I need to do or is my cell phone just a distraction for me right now?
- Am I being mindful of what I really need to do ? Am I prioritizing what is truly important in my life or am I using my cell phone as an escape?
How to self – regulate when it comes to phone use:
• Try asking your friends and family for tips. What works for them?
Try some of these tips.
• Keep phone on vibrate instead of listening to the constant ping of the phone. I have my phone on vibrate 99% of the time.
• Turn phone face down when not using it so you don’t look at it all the time.
• Put your phone somewhere not easily available when eating meals or at times that you know you need a break.
• Set times that you will use your phone and times you won’t ( I make it my rule that I never take my phone out while eating a meal or talking with someone) .
• Get involved … have a number of interests. It’s hard to use your cell phone while playing hockey or dancing or singing or a zillion of the other great things you can get involved in.
• Put your phone away at night and use an alarm clock instead so you can get a good nights sleep away from your phone.
Use Self- talk
• I do not need to be on my cell phone right now, it is not helpful.
• I can wait till later to use my cell phone because I need to be present to what is happening right now in this moment.
• I am proud of myself and the positive ways I use my cell phone
• If cell phone use has become a concern … journal what is happening for you.
• Journal all the positive ways you use your cell phone.
• Do you pause between being triggered and responding by being on your phone? Ask yourself is connecting leading to you feeling happy, sad, validated or invalidated, included or excluded?
• Ask yourself : How can I feel connected and close to others ? Is online the best way to do this at this time?
Positive Coping Strategies
• Make a list of yours and share it with your family and friends.
Stages of Change
• Ask yourself and be honest What stage of change am I in ? Ask yourself what is holding me back or moving me forward when it comes to my cell phone use ?
• Ask yourself … do I need help to get to where I want to go? If so your School Counsellor, Psychologist or a therapist can help you.
• To friends, teachers, your family, a School Counsellor . We all need a little support in order to self – regulate when it comes to our cell phone use. It is a strength to ask for help.
Maybe you need a little digital detox . It is more than ok to take a break from your phone. You decide what works best for you now that you have taken an honest look at yourself.
Once you have learned ways to help yourself , you maybe able to assist others with their technology use as well. Recognize that you are not perfect and will need to self evaluate often … I know I do.
So grow, learn and live the best possible life you can recognizing that technology has the power to help you or hurt you. What you do is up to you. I love my phone and I’m sure you do too. So let’s see if we can self-regulate to make ourselves and the world a better place. Maybe someday we’ll meet face to face and talk about how we did.
I could not be prouder to volunteer with the Youth Champion Initiative . What the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre , Youth Smarts Calgary and Canadian Mental Health do to support our youth is inspiring and so extremely important. I love that I am able to help in a tiny way . Kim Campbell and Ashley Lamantia lead the way to help youth day in and day out. Thanks for all you do all year-long.
The real reason I volunteer for this initiative is that if I can help in some small way to promote the work that Sheldon Kennedy has already done and is doing to make a difference for youth, especially when it comes to child abuse and sexual abuse, then I too can feel like I have contributed . I can be very proud to stand up and say I have done my very small part to open the door to this discussion and be a part of the incredible work already being done. I can celebrate students and staff who also want to make a difference when it comes to child advocacy.
According to the SKCAC in 2008 there were 14,403 substantiated cases of child abuse in Alberta. 7091 infants , youth and children were seen at the centre and 124 new cases are assessed each month.
Mental health and trauma affect way too many of our students , so collaborating with people who are continuing to have an impact makes me feel I have contributed to a society that cares about the mental health and the wellbeing of our youth and that is something for me that is so worthy of doing!
Anxiety is a topic we all want our students to have ideas and resources for. I made an infographic for you to use and if you click on the link 10 Tips for reducing anxiety by Susan Spellman Cann . You can open it and download for your use.
Just in case you want an easier download for the link Put A Positive Spin On Your Day Click here.
Have any infographics or tips related to School Counselling please share!
Handling a crisis can impact the school and the School Counsellor in ways that are unforseen. The School Counsellor often takes the lead along with administration in our schools, but may be missed in recognizing the support they need because of their uniques role in offering social emotional supports to so many.
This podcast below will help all School Counsellors in a preventative way . Thanks to Trish Hatch @hatchingresults for the excellent podcast on Putting Out The Fire: A School Counsellors Role in Times of Crisis.
Your comment, “what’s unique about the School Counsellor is that they are involved in the crisis as well, what often happens is the School Counsellor puts their own needs aside as they take care of others.” This concept is so important for all to recognize. We are helpers and how we model handling a crisis is vital. If we remain calm, then students and staff will see that . As a School Counsellor I know I often handled crisis with calm , but on the inside I knew I would need support after the crisis was over. That’s why debriefing and supports are essential.
If we are the leaders in our Student Services teams, we need to monitor how our team is doing and if they have been triggered by the crisis for whatever reason. We need to step in and step up to support them. Even if that means letting them know it is ok to step back and let others handle the crisis. The School Counsellor may have worked with the student or students related to the crisis , so they may need time for themselves to process and take care of their own needs. We too as the leader may be impacted so we need to be self-aware and know when we ourselves need to step back. This is one of the many great reasons to have districts who have a district crisis team that can come into the school and assist.
We are most certainly in the uniques role of helping others , so having a supportive admin. team is essential. Fortunately for me I have had wonderful leaders who know, support and understand the role of School Counsellors.
I hope you will use this podcast as a reflective tool and a great segue to important discussions with your counselling teams.
For easy access to this podcast, click here and listen to the end. It is perfect PD all online for School Counsellors.
At 20:00 check out Vanessa Gomez Lee where she discusses ( a crate, a file box) I’ll call it a CR Kit for SC that every School Counsellor should have .
All districts have an emergency response plan and lock down kits each unique to their district. The CR School Counsellor Kit will be different . What should be in the kit that is different from your lock down kits?
Crisis Response Materials
- Brochures or other materials on natural responses to grief. So many other great resources here .
- Crisis Plan
- Important Phone numbers
- Community Resources
- Markers and Paper for Students to write or draw their feelings
What else do you think should be in this kit?
- Stress balls ????????
I would love to hear your ideas. Again thanks to all the great School Counsellors who not only take the lead in their schools , but are always willing to share and help others . Thanks #scchat!
I love creative tools and I especially love Haiku Deck . I know that is no big secret yet I am still finding creative ways to use it. Combining Haiku deck with a cool little tool like wheel decide allows School Counsellors and educators to start their day in a positive way and have fun with kids. Click on this haiku deck to get started. Thanks to Adam Tratt @adamtratt for the inspiration to make this deck and there will most certainly be more to come. You too can make your own Wheel Decide by clicking here.
Want to take a spin?
Click on Wheel Decide | Kindness
There are so many creative things educators and School Counsellors could do with these tools. Let students create their own. You can make them too! Have a blast and please share yours with me. I plan on putting a positive spin on my day every day with Haiku Deck.
Life is a process of healing and I love to create more than ever before. Using art with students is a wonderful way to connect with them and let them express themselves. We often use art as a way to talk and share. They inspire me and I have found another way to help them. I am not an art therapist , but that does not mean I or you cannot use art in your counselling sessions to help students. Referring students as always when needed to a certified Art Therapist is ethical.
Here are some ideas to get you to start on your own creative journey. Let go of the fear and create art anyway. You may become a better teacher or counsellor. I know I have. A new chapter … a new journey. An ever ending journey of learning for me and I hope for you.
Often times to fully understand what someone else might feel we have to go through the similar experience. Sometimes it just takes for us to go through an experience that is tough to have compassion for others who have experienced a painful situation. Sometimes we just don’t get it , but we can still have empathy and be kind and helpful to others.
Over the past three months I have been recovering from surgery on my eyes. I had crosslinking and limited PRK. I have keratoconus.
I think I took my eyesight for granted even though I had keratoconus. After surgery I had limited eye vision. I could not drive for almost three months even though I was legally able to . I knew I was a danger on the road.
I had a blind day which really scared me. I had many days where my vision was not good. I needed adaptations to assist me to see. A big screen , huge font and even then some days where I could not see well even with adaptations.
Today , I feel extremely happy and emotional. Sometimes when I am happy I cry. Today I feel like doing a lot of that. I read and enjoyed reading my first book yesterday in a long, long time. I love books. I love reading them. I love feeling them in my hands as I savour the words. Books have healed me and today I feel like I am healing again!
I don’t think I ‘ll be the same. I could see , then I couldn’t and now I see again. I am changed, on a new journey in a new chapter of my life. I know you don’t really know how I feel. I don’t expect you to. I wish I had the words to explain.
Today, I can see clearly and I think there are a few things I need to see more clearly so I am going to open my eyes bigger than they have ever been before and see , yes see really others and myself more clearly. I will be open to many new wonders that maybe I took for granted before.
I am overwhelmed with emotion today and that is OK . I often don’t let people in on my deepest emotions, but just for today I am because if you can relate to this it may help you too. Thanks to all the people who have helped me through this . You know who you are. We all need a little help now and then.
I can see clearly now and I hope it makes me more open to new experiences , more open to the recovery of others, more open to life itself.