The Little Things Are The Big Things For Me

Two years ago I started on a journey , I made a goal of walking every day for at least one half hour. I knew if I focused on the little things I could achieve, I would reach my goal. I knew if I walked 15 mins. in the morning and 15 minutes at night that was a goal I could achieve. I walked every single day, sometimes for more than a half hour and am very proud to say that I achieved my goal despite many obstacles.

On July 1st of last year I set a new goal. My dad had passed away on June 30th, his 4th heart attack and my mom was left on her own with health and mobility concerns, so I knew I needed to be as strong and as healthy as possible so that I could enter my senior years focused on being well physically, emotionally and spiritually.

I want to leave my children a legacy that their mom did everything she could to take care of herself. I set a new goal to record what I ate every day and to eat as healthy as possible. Again I am so happy to say that I achieved my goal. This year I walked longer and more but I missed days because of unavoidable circumstances. I am happy to say it has become a part of what I do and who I have become.

For July 1st 2020 – July 1st 2021, I plan on writing in my blog daily, even if it is only a very short post. It’s an opportunity to share some of my thoughts so I can reflect in the hopes that someday my children may read if they choose to.

My July – July goals work for me. Going into the summer is a great time to focus on what I want to do in the upcoming year. I take each day as it comes and am happy to focus on the little things. For me the little things are the big things. With Covid 19 coming into all of our lives this year, focusing on my well being was more important than ever. Later today I will go on a second physically distanced walk with another friend of mine. Walking and talking , noticing the little things brings such joy. On my earlier walk I saw the beautiful rainbow above. If I never walked outside I would not get to enjoy this little thing, which is a big thing for me.

Re -Entry from a School Counsellor Lens

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us” Joseph Campbell

In 2013 I wrote about what I thought my ideal school would look like. Never did I or anyone else who was considering what the future of education would look like imagine what would happen in 2020. As I look forward I continue to believe we must educate the mind and the heart while having an extra dose of empathy this year as for some this has been a year of traumatic experiences.

Re -entry will not be a simple process. This year unlike any other year there is so much to consider. The Alberta Government has some ideas here for their school re entry plan.  Emotional wellbeing must be at the forefront if we want to ensure our students and staff’s needs are met. Physical and psychological safety are essential for learning. So how are we going to make that happen for our youth as they re enter school? Individual students and staff may experience stressors that the rest of the school and staff are unaware of, so empathy will be essential in any re-entry plan. How do schools ensure supports are available to both staff and students as they make plans to re engage in learning at school however that may look? 

I know there are many who have excellent ideas, my ideas are from the lens of School Counsellor and are not meant to be comprehensive, but some things to consider. Strategies will be needed to identify and assist students who may have been more impacted by covid than other students . For some the impacts could be long lasting, for others the impact may be that they are more resilient than ever.

How can schools and especially School Counsellors support all students, making sure to address the social and emotional needs of those who are particularly vulnerable? We need to look at risk factors as well as protective factors in identifying those in most need of supports.

Identify those students who:

  • Have a history of trauma and chronic stress or other pre existing medical problems.
  • Have experienced stigma and racism that may occur as a result of COVID-19.Have experienced a loss/death during this time.
  • Have been exposed to abuse/neglect.
  • Have parents who have lost jobs and still may be out of work. ( Food insecurity/financial insecurity can vary significantly. Those who were once secure may no longer be.)
  • Are ELL learners / students with disabilities physical or intellectual.
  • Develop attendance concerns: Attendance may drop due to higher rates of school refusal or  attendance may become optional due to students being medically fragile. A system should be in place for school counsellors to check in with students and families during the time frame COVID-19 may still be a threat.
  • Have had a more difficult time because of parental substance use and abuse.
  • Have been exposed to domestic violence. 
  • Became sick or tested positive for COVID-19 , those who have a family member who became sick or tested positive for COVID-19, those with allergies or respiratory illnesses that may result in coughing or sneezing.
  • Have equity and access concerns.
  • Had a difficult time over shut down.

Acknowledge the need to connect on a regular basis with both students and staff, Find creative ways to engage students in the process of returning to school whatever it may look like . Coming back to school will be easy for some and challenging for others. Ask for their input throughout. Acknowledge and validate student and staff concerns.

Identify the protective factors that students may have:

  • Ask students what it would take for them to feel psychologically and emotionally safe during this time.
  • Connections : Has the student maintained positive connections, Have them identify who they are.
  • Coping Skills: Identify what worked for them during covid 19 and ask them what they believe will assist them in coping as they return to school.
  • Engagement: Have students identify how they will engage in their school community either virtually or in person with all health factors considered. 
  • Supports: Have students identify their supports and community resources.


  • For some significant academic, emotional and social regression.
  • For some significant fatigue and sleepiness, particularly among adolescents who have been sleeping in since March and may have irregular sleep patterns.
  • Challenges and opportunities.
  • Missteps.
  • Successes and the ability to learn from things that don’t work.
  • The unexpected.


  • Using language like anxiety when you mean upset, worried, fearful. This pandemic affected us all ,but it does not mean youth have an anxiety disorder or are depressed because of the pandemic. Let’s not pathologize , but have a wait and see attitude as to the long term impacts of covid19. Frequency, duration and intensity matter when it comes to mental health. School Counsellors will know how to access and when referrals are necessary. Ask yourself Is this normal?
  • Punitive approaches when managing physical distancing requirements when possible. 
  • Entering into conflict with anyone who is not on the same page as you. Everyone has a story.
  • Being overly concerned with attendance and more concerned with finding ways to connect with the student.
  • Getting run down yourself because you are trying to do it all.
  • Avoid people who bring you down or have unrealistic expectations. . Find people who lift you up and support you. Surround yourself ( at a physical distance of course ) with those people.

Collaborate with colleagues. Using email/ google meet to connect and provide resources that can assist students. Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate. It can never be understated.


  • Embedding social and emotional learning into all core subjects.
  • Reading How to Be Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi over the summer.
  • Using Race and Equity resources
  • Connecting students with a virtual calm space . You can find one here and here.
  • Providing students with opportunities to discuss any concerns or challenges they are experiencing or needs they may have given Covid19’s impact.
  • Focusing on social and emotional skill building, mental and behavioral health, personal safety and self-regulatory capacity, which likely regressed with a lack of social interactions.
  • Finding opportunities for students to work cooperatively, feel empowered and able to help others.
  • Finding ways to build on some of the unique experiences students have had at home.


  • To find ways to connect and empower students.
  • To involve and support families (we are in this together).
  • To use trauma informed resources and trauma informed practices
  • Informal virtual check ins. Use a google forms such as this
  • To support students in finding ways to engage in their learning. 
  • To develop ways to build upon relationships.
  • Understand how grief has impacted us and our students. 
  • To use developmental assets as a guide.
  • To connect with other School Counsellors who have found ways to connect virtually. Check out #scchat on Twitter.

Think about your own well being and how to address compassion fatigue and self care . Find ways to live each and every day to the best of your ability. Life will undoubtedly be very unpredictable in the fall using and sharing just for todays can be helpful.

Here are some excellent Just for Today’s from some of the youth I have worked with this year.

Just for Today I will be as happy as I can.

Just for Today I will find some fun.

Just for Today I will try and stay out of my head.

Just for Today I will make sure I get some rest!.

Just for Today I will try not to should.

Just for Today I will give myself a ‘Just for Today’ every day when I get up.

Just for Today I am living in the moment rather than thinking about what I have to do tomorrow. 

Just for Today I will prioritize doing things that make me smile.

Just for Today I will trust the process and live in the momen.

Just for Today I’ m going to take some time for self care, go for a walk with my dog and breathe in the sunshine 🙂

Just for Today I am going to express my gratitude for those I love while I have the chance.

Just for Today  I’ll take the happy with the hard and let them just happen… 🙂

Just for Today I will not overthink the future and just enjoy the present moment.

Just for Today I will let go of my worries and what this pandemic might bring to all of us, and just focus on the great things it has brought to all of us.

If you want to use some Just For Today’s with your students check out 101 ways to kickstart your day .

What will school reentry be like ? I can imagine that all educators including  School Counsellors will have skills that they did not have before and each will work together to provide the best education possible for their students. My wish for all is to stay connected,  stay healthy and safe physically , emotionally and spiritually and have an abundance of love, joy and hope . 

Just for today I have a lot of hope for the future of education if we all work together to make our places and spaces a learning opportunity by helping each other along the way. School Counsellors are an essential piece of doing that in every school.

A special thanks to Bryan Sanders @nayrbgo  for encouraging me to put some thoughts to paper and for all who I have connected with as we all are #learning2pivot in 2020. What do you think re-entry should look like from your lens?

Reference: School Reentry Considerations National Association of School Psychologists and the American School Counselor Association

We Are The World Nova Scotia: Connecting Through A Love of Music, People and A Place We All Love

Although I have been away for forty years, I go home to Nova Scotia every summer to be with friends and family enjoying the great summers on the Mira River. Yes, I still call it home

This time of dealing with covid19 has been difficult for many including me and to add to that a tragedy that was unimaginable which will have a lifelong impact for many seemed as if the world was falling apart a piece at a time. Getting together in a typical Nova Scotian kitchen style party (online) was a great way to connect with others. Just a bunch of regular people, Maritmers or those connected to the maritimes getting together. Everyone was welcome to join in.

On a day before the tragedies, I happened upon a Facebook post where I saw the invitation to do a virtual choir. A little apprehensive, I thought why not do something scary and fun. Music can help in this time I thought , so I decided to jump in. I did not know a soul or really what I was about to do. I just clicked the button to join and voila they let me in. Somewhat like when I made the quick decision to move to Alberta from Dartmouth , Nova Scotia forty years ago with five boxes, five hundred dollars and did not know a single person or what to expect. I just did it without regret. Life can be like that sometimes if we take positive risks. For me and I am sure for many music can bring life into an otherwise ordinary day and for me that day it absolutely did.

Nova Scotians always seem to find a way to come together in tough times such as this beautiful tribute Nova Scotia Remembers . Music and gatherings define so many in the region.

We too came together because of covid19 and music thanks to the passion project of James Desmond aka Jaye Dee and his team Chris Whalen, Shawn Downey and Jeremy Sikkema. We Are The World Nova Scotia connected us all , adding some positivity into each of our days. Soon there will come a time where we won’t walk the beaches alone and be together.

Hopefully, your days will be just a little brighter just like it was for Pam Donahee Archibald who is a proud Nova Scotian and part of this project. Pam has a passion for music, children, and the beautiful nature her province has to offer. This project has given her an opportunity to be a part of something joyful, a way to lift others up and bring hope in a time when many of us are feeling helpless. Her hope for our world is to remember this time as a time of connecting on a meaningful level. Reminding us to take time for one another and not to take others for granted always giving each other grace. Never stop singing says Pam! Music is a powerful source to share love and peace as well as helping us stay strong together.

Thanks to all who contributed. Consider contributing to the

There are so many great people involved in this project and you can learn a little more about a few of them below:

Thank you my new found friends and collaborators. Someday soon we may all get together for a true maritime kitchen party and sing We Are The World Nova Scotian Style.

Pam Archibald

Julie Atkinson

Katie Atkinson

Jason Biddiscome

Pat Brogan

George Cameron

Marcie Clowry

Geordy Craig

Yvonne Dawe

Katey Day-Rick

Stephanie Deaton

James Desmond

Jennifer Desmond

Brianna Desmond

Shawn Downey

Lorraine Gallant

Danielle Nicole Gofton

Hannah and Zack  Graham

Theresa Hunter

Bill Jeffery

Denise Jones Kendall

Joey Laviolette

Marc Little

Margaret Macdonald

Marie Ann MacEachern

Elizabeth Mason Squires

Kristina McCulley

Brian Morrison

Myra Moulton

Renee O Brien

Alice Patterson

Amy Peaker

Tina Robicheau

Jeremy Sikkema.

Susan Spellman Cann

Tracy Webb

Chris Whalen

Sawyer Whalen

Julie and Katie Atkinson live in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia . Julie has been singing in concerts since she was about nine years old. her mom says,” I’m pretty sure she was born singing”. She is a 2020 graduate, who is praying that she will have some sort of a graduation and prom. This covid 19 situation has been hard on her as she is a social butterfly and used to being surrounded by her friends. When the opportunity to be part of the this song came along, she jumped at it.

Katie, she is a grade 8 student, who is actually loving the fact that there is no school, she plays hockey, soccer, volley ball and softball and is missing her sports quite a bit. This was a first for her. She sings a lot at home, but never in front of anyone. She dreams of being able to get on the stage like her sister, but just doesn’t have the courage. Her mom Tiffany is proud of her for wanting to be part of this project and having the courage to do so.” I couldn’t be prouder of both of my girls for being part of something that spreads a little positivity, hope and strength in this crazy world!”

Jason Biddiscombe Started playing guitar at 15. I learned how to play and write music on my own. Always looked up to Coldplay. Lived in the dark side my whole life. Dartmouth lol.

Yvonne Dawe I’m from London Ontario. My husband William Dawe is from Sydney Mines, Cape Breton. I love to sing. I’ve posted a few videos to the ultimate Nova Scotia online kitchen party. When I heard of this project I was excited to be involved. I’m in the tenor choir. I’ve grown up in a generation where if your sad sing , if your happy sing. When you hear a good song sing. I sing to my grand babies. I have 3. i still sing and dance with them. It helps keep the music in their hearts. I sent in vocals and I’m honored to be involved in this project. We can reunite to send a message we are the world. We will stay strong together no matter how far apart we live. God bless Nova Scotia and to all in the world ! We come home every year. I’ve fallen in love with Cape Breton.

Jennifer Fidgen Desmond I was born and raised in Nova Scotia, currently living on the Eastern Shore, Musquodoboit Harbour. I am Jamie’s mom ❤️ and loved his idea to do this project. He has always tried to use his music to touch someone or show what he was feeling. So yes I am a proud mom lol. I am not a great singer , but was blessed to be part of this project and be able to see all of the amazing talent and support that was shown throughout this whole journey. So thank you to all! I will also speak about Brianna Desmond, Jamie’s little sister (12) she is a singer, actress, pianist, hockey player and so much more. Her and Jamie frequently work together on little projects. She also was excited to be part or this. We all wanted to spread hope and the togetherness that we all need right now.

Lorraine Gallant I am a proud maritimer living in New Brunswick. I am a mother, grandmother, crafter, artist, and lover of music, who’s been singing publicly for 20+ years. As much as the original ‘We Are The World’ collaboration made such an impact on the world, I joined this project thinking that we could replicate a bit of hope and feelings of togetherness in our small corner of the planet to show that we can get through this together. With the situation with covid-19 and the tragedy in Nova Scotia, that is more important now than ever before.

Danielle Nicole Gofton I was born and raised here in Nova Scotia. I currently live in Eastern Passage and have loved singing since the day I could talk. Being a part of this amazing collaboration of “We Are the World” was an honour. Even if this touches just one person we have brought hope to that person. With everything happening right now with COVID-19 and the senseless tragedy here in NS, it is more important than ever that we spread a little bit of hope and love to everyone. My hope for the world is that we come away from this time not taking each other for granted. Don’t take for granted the time we have together, or who truly matters in our lives. Be humble and show your love for others in any way you know how.

Theresa Hunter I was born and raised in southern Ontario until the age of 16 where I moved with my family to beautiful New Brunswick. It is where I have settled and now raising my two beautiful daughters and step daughter with the love of my life. I am an essential worker, a Postmaster for Canada Post in Florenceville NB. I have many passions from art, fitness and outdoor adventures to music. I love playing guitar and I’m always singing my heart out, trying to overcome my fear of singing for others.  

This project sparked my interest soon after I learned to play this song on guitar which I recorded as a tribute to the devastation happening all around us. I feel it is perfectly fitting for what is happening in our world right now and to think that so many can come together from far and wide to contribute to this … it really is a beautiful and meaningful way to bring people together while having to keep a distance.

I am so proud and honoured to have been a part of this collaboration of “We Are The World” from the very beginning and I hope it brings hope and light in a way to touch the hearts of so many in such tragic times. #WeAretheWorld #WeAretheChildren ❤🌎

Bill Jeffery This was a project that while we are in Newfoundland, gave me an opportunity to show support for Nova Scotia and bring people together. Having lived in Lower Sackville for five years, our family considers Nova Scotia our second home. With great support The Lonely Man Project has received from men and women in Nova Scotia, this was a great way to give back and I was so honored to be included.

Denise Jones Kendall I was born and raised on the beautiful Island of Cape Breton. 23 yrs ago, my husband, myself and our son, moved out west to Grande Prairie, Alberta. We’re so excited to say we’re working on moving back home. ☺️ Singing, animals and helping heal the hearts of others, have always been my biggest passions. I’ve kept my love of singing a secret for most of my life out of fear. When I had this beautiful opportunity to try out for this wonderful tribute, I gave it no thought and followed my heart. I wanted to be a part of something beautiful, inspiring and so full of love, and that could also help make a difference in people’s lives. I wanted my 4 beautiful pups to be in the video with me. They give me so much love. They’re a huge part of my life and I know so many others can relate to them. Coming together in tough times sends a beautiful healing ripple all around the world. It can help heal the loneliest and most broken of hearts. Life is so precious. We all need the reminder that we’re never truly alone. Someone is always there with an ear to listen and a heart full of lots of love. I’m so grateful to have been a part of so much love and with such wonderful souls. Home of my heart, Cape Breton, Sydney, Nova Scotia. 💚

Joey Laviolette I am from Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia. I am a Plumber, Professional boxer, a Musician and a family man that’s pretty much me in a nutshell. I started playing piano at around 14, then the guitar when I was 16 .I learned mostly from my dad who is a great guitar player. My first introduction to writing music was with rap when I was around 14. I also am a boxer who competed with the Canadian Olympic team for 3 years. I have 4 Canadian titles as an amateur and am currently the jr lightweight champion of Canada I have a great wife Lisa and an amazing 6 year old name Breah

Margaret Macdonald I was born and raised on Prince Edward Island. I have been a resident Care Worker for 35 years love taking care of seniors. I love music and animals. My hope for the world is that we don’t return to our old ways never having time for anyone or anything we know now what is important, family and friends not material things.

Marie Ann MacEachern I was born in beautiful Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and now live in Cole Harbour. I have a great passion for music. I have loved to sing since I was a little girl. This project has meant so much to me and being a part of this project has brought such joy and hope to many people and families in a time when it is needed the most. Nova Scotia Strong! We Are The World and We Are All In This Together.

Kristina McCulley I’m a 20 year old yodeller, born and raised in the Annapolis valley. I’ve always been very passionate for music, participating in fundraisers, variety shows, jam sessions and contests across the maritimes. I’m so grateful to be a part of this project that has brought people across the world together. Hopefully this will strengthen us as a province and create love through all the tragic events happening. #NovaScotiaStrong

Tina Robicheau I’ve lived in NS since I was 10 yrs old. My parents were both born here and decided to move back home in April of 1978. I remembering thinking how beautiful it was and was surprised that first winter, how warm it was compared to where I was born, which was Winnipeg, MB. From as early as I can remember, my mother has been my biggest musical influence and inspiration. She would drag me around with her to different benefits all over the place. I would sing with her and the band and think … wow, this is kinda cool. I joined my high school choir along with two church choirs in my teens. Music has been a part of my life for a long time. When this opportunity came up … I did not hesitate. And with the recent tragedy involving two VON Colleges from the Colchester Branch, I felt even more of a passion to participate.

Amy Peaker I live in Victoria, B.C and have been singing since I was little. I have a passion for all kinds of music and was so proud to be part of a remake for “We Are The World”. I believe it will bring hope and strength to everyone who has lost someone. We are all in this together 💜

Tracy Webb  While born in Ontario, I have lived in the Valley for most of my life, coming from generations of proud Nova Scotians (Cape Breton, Westchester, and the South Shore) and recently retired after 35 years of teaching High school sciences. Music has always been a huge part of my life, from a child to now, as I play different instruments in several groups. While not really a vocalist, I do love singing and I am so grateful to be part of this project. The idea of the original “We Are The World” still holds as much power now, if not more so, as it did in 1985. To come together and share the message of hope, of being there for each other, and supporting our communities beyond borders is so important and precious. In light of the Covid 19 paradigm affecting so many globally, and in particular, the recent horrible tragedy of 23 lost lives here at home, this song and collaboration among “strangers” sharing gifts of music from the heart is profound and poignant. My wish is that every child can grow up knowing love, that people live in gratitude for who they have in their lives, and they can live life fully each day. Do random acts of kindness, and exist in simple joy … care and empathy for others goes a long way in living peacefully. We Are The World … together ❤️

Geordy Craig I was born and raised in Ontario. but have many, many relatives in NB mostly in the Miramichi. I’ve been playing music and singing for about 15 years and love it. I was very happy to be a part of this project and being the first person to sing on this video was really amazing too. Music brings people together as you can clearly see in these times. Although I live in Ontario, I feel very connected to the East Coast and was deeply saddened by the events that happened in Nova Scotia. Knowing that people will listen to this and donate money to help people recover from losing loved ones is a great feeling too! Great job everyone on this project!

Maybe we can pick the pieces up , one piece at a time and music is a great place to start. Thank you James Desmond for caring enough to want to do make a difference and inviting us all to be a part of this virtual kitchen party..

James Desmond, also known as Jaye Dee, was born in Halifax Nova Scotia, raised in Musquodoboit Harbour. James has been writing music ever since he was 12 years old . He use to do hip hop for a long time, and then switched over to country/folk. His favourite singer is Elvis Presley. James always wanted to change the world with his music . This collaborative video came from his heart. 

The Municipality of Colchester started a web page called “Heart Colchester” that shares more than a dozen links to GoFundMe pages for victims. The link in this video is for the Stronger Together Nova Scotia Fund and we hope you too will consider contributing in some way.

Maybe we will see you all in the next virtual kitchen party. Until then stay safe , sing to your hearts content, cuddle up or send messages to the ones you love and keep Nova Scotia and the people in your heart. We look forward to you visiting our beautiful province and the people who make it special soon.

Are You Really Living?

In 1999 I thought I had breast cancer. I got the dreaded call that I had a mass in my breast and I would need to have a biopsy to find out if indeed I did. Being a very optimistic person, I thought well if I do I do. I can’t change what has happened , but I can decide how I will respond to it. From the moment I got the call to my surgery date which was over a one month period , I did think about the possibility of having cancer every day. I wasn’t under the delusion that it couldn’t happen to me. For the most part I was living as best as I could making the most out of my life. When the surgery was over and the results came in a week later, it was discovered I only had a fibroadenoma which was non cancerous and they removed it. I remember crying with relief vowing to even live life more fully than before.

I have experienced several deaths in my life including my first love, my roommate, my family doctor, my mechanic, my accountant, several friends, students, mentors and family members so I knew from a very young age to live life fully. I knew full well life could be cut short at a moment’s notice and I know many live with the truly sad reality that they could die at any time. Do I always live life fully? No, but I do my best to make the most out of each day. Living one day at a time is the best advice I have ever been given and often pass onto others. It sounds so easy , but is not always as easy as it sounds to do. I still work at this daily.

We can’t live in fear of dying. It will happen to us all someday. We can’t live in fear of coronavirus either. We can do all the things that we are supposed to as recommended by the health professionals and we should. We have a moral obligation, a responsibility to society and our family to do so. So go ahead and live life fully whatever that means for you. No, at the present time we can’t be around many of those we love and care about, but we can make the best of the situation we are in. Am I perfect at this?  NO. Have I had moments of sadness , fear and a multitude of other feelings?  YES, but just for today I am going to really LIVE. What about you?

25 Ways Of Making The Best Of Each Day : Just For Today For Educators During Covid19

Choose ONE of the following tips. You may want to post it on your mirror at home or pin it to your desktop and remind yourself of what you need during this time.

  1. Just for Today I will acknowledge that we are all grieving the world as we once knew it. I will be compassionate with myself and my students.
  1. Just for Today I will take the necessary actions so that I don’t burn out during Covid 19. I will take breaks and put things on pause when I need to.
  1. Just for Today I will be grateful I am an educator who loves and cares for youth.
  1. Just for Today I will remember that relationships are a key factor for academics to occur especially as I move online. 
  1. Just for Today I will trust the process . If I don’t get exactly how to use the tech at this time that is more than OK.
  1. Just for Today I will acknowledge that I need time and space for myself and my family,  I will take time to care for my own well being and theirs.
  1. Just for Today I will share a just for today , a positive quote or thought with my students.
  1. Just for Today I will not speak negatively about myself, treating myself empathically focusing on what I do know, not on what I don’t. 
  1. Just for Today I will focus on doing my best and let go of the rest, acknowledging that I care about all of my students.
  1. Just for Today I will make sure that I take time to have a proper lunch and take breaks.
  1. Just for Today I will find ways to decrease my workload.
  1. Just for Today I will connect with a colleague and  collaborate knowing this will lighten some of my load. 
  1. Just for Today I will focus on my strengths and not fall into the trap of comparing myself to others .

14. Just for Today I will not put 20 things on my to do list. I will tackle one concern at a time.

  1. Just for Today I will centre myself while helping students find ways to centre themselves.
  1. Just for Today I choose the path of being there for a child.
  1. Just for Today I will acknowledge that I cannot be everything to everyone.
  1. Just for Today I will accept support from others.
  1. Just for Today I will find a way to celebrate student success.
  1. Just for Today I will film a short message to check in with my students.
  1. Just for today I will avoid overthinking by attempting to stay in the moment.
  1. Just for Today I will remember that it’s okay not to feel okay.
  1. Just for Today I will collaborate with my team to share resources.
  1. Just for Today I will send a message of thanks to a member of my school community.
  1. Just for Today I will turn my computer off at the end of office hours. 

Want to check out previous posts for students. You can find them here.

What is your Just for Today Tip? Please share in the comments. Erin and I would love to hear your ideas.

10 Ways To Kick Start Your Day Just for Today #2

  1. Just for Today I will make my moments marvellous.
  2. Just for Today I will write messages and jokes in chalk. Carol Stevenson
  3. Just for Today when I take a shower , I will sing my favourite song at the top of my lungs. Neil O’Flaherty
  4. Just for Today I will share my favorite song that reminds me of them with someone I care about. 
  5. Just for Today I will sit quietly and listen to the world around me. Susan Viveiros
  6.  Just for Today I will think before I act. 
  7.  Just for Today I will give up complaining .
  8.  Just for Today I will stop overthinking.
  9.  Just for Today I will enjoy the little things in my day.
  10.   Just for Today I will share my favorite memory of someone with them. Andrea Hecker Cumatz

If you’d like to check out our old posts here they are: 101 Ways To Kickstart Your Day In A Positive Way and 10 Ways to Kickstart Your Day Just for Today .

I shared my music that reminds me of my friend and she shared hers today you can check them out on Twitter @sspellmancann

Erin Luong and I would love to hear how you are using these or please add your Just For Today in the comments …

10 Ways To Kick Start Your Day Just for Today

  1. Just for Today I will think about what makes me happy and snowball ( use paper snowball or a real one if there is any snow) any negative thoughts away.  Barb Brown
  2. Just for Today I will visit my old neighbourhood and call an old friend. Graham Kennedy
  3. Just for Today I will acknowledge that I am worthy and loved . Louise Hamilton
  4. Just for Today I will  learn a new skill and tomorrow a new life skill.  Kim Souillet
  5. Just for Today when I brush my  teeth I will pretend that I am a zookeeper brushing a hippos teeth.  Carol Stevenson
  6. Just for Today I will read my favourite book.  Kate Kucharski
  7. Just for Today I will smile and wave at every person who passes by my house.  Susan Viveiros
  8. Just for Today I will tell my teacher about the things I do well and help them understand what makes me feel happy and safe. Verena Roberts
  9. Just for Today I will reflect on where I  have been, where I have gone, and the road I have built upon, I will take a step forward into the unknown world with familiar faces … holding hands would be nice too Kristen Copes
  10. Just for Today I will call, text or video chat a peer who needs encouragement.  Cynthia Nunnally Morton

Yesterday we published 101 Ways to Kickstart Your Day In A Positive Way : A Guide for Educators Parents and Students. Erin and I love the response we are getting. Thanks George Couros for inspiring the post and for sharing our thoughts. We were hoping that educators would use them and they are already doing just that. Here is one from a school in Missouri …

We would love it if you would continue sharing and using. If you have a Just for Today thought please share it with us.

Just for Today we hope your day is filled with wonderful people who bring you love and joy.

101 Ways To Kick Start Your Day In A Positive Way: A Guide For Educators Parents and Students

This is a collaborative blogpost by Erin Luong and I along with a few ideas from friends.  As mental health educators we believe that a focus on our mental health and well being is foundational to all education. It is impossible to focus on academics if students are not feeling secure. We believe it’s important to intentionally embed a focus on well being into every lesson with young people. All of us need to use positive self talk and coping strategies to feel better . We can all do one thing a day that will help us cope during this unprecedented time.

Hoping some of these tips help you start the day as an educator. You can post a tip for the day using Canva or just text your student the tip to start their day. As an educator I am sure you can find many creative ways to use this as you move online. 

  1. Just for today I will start and end my day in a positive way.
  2. Just for today I will remember that I am ok and all will be well with the world.
  3. Just for today I will be proud that I stayed home and did my part to help.
  4. Just for today I will be grateful for all the front line workers that are helping us.
  5. Just for today I will celebrate our shared humanity.
  6. Just for today I will head outside and let the sun hit my face. I will take some fresh air breaths and listen, it may sound quieter and more peaceful than usual. I will think about what I hear, how the sun feels on my face and how those deep breaths make my body feel. Susan Fueller
  7. Just for today I will send some positive intentions out into the universe. 
  8. Just for today I will think of ways to make the world a better place.
  9. Just for today I will learn to say I love you in as many languages as I can think of. 
  10.  Just for today I will post a positive message in my window and or use sidewalk chalk to write a message for others in my neighbourhood to see.
  11.  Just for today I will connect with two people that lift my spirits.
  12.  Just for today I will write or talk about one thing I am grateful for no matter how small. Helen MacKinnon
  13.  Just for today I will remain hopeful.
  14.  Just for today I will look back at old photo albums and tell stories from the past which made me who I am today. 
  15.  Just for today I will look in the mirror and recognize that I have a purpose for being here.
  16.  Just for today I will make sure I am moving my body for at least 30 minutes.
  17.  Just for today I will be kind to my mind.
  18.  Just for today I will have an eye staring contest. Juliana Miller – MacPherson
  19.  Just for today I will tell the people that I care about that they matter to me.
  20.  Just for today I will not worry about what is in it for me, I will think only about what I can do to help out in every situation. Gail White
  21.  Just for today I will dress in my favourite colour and eat my favourite food. Laurel Hunt
  22.  Just for today I will listen to one of my favourite songs and sing along. Leena Booth
  23.  Just for today I will say I am courageous, strong and can make a difference.
  24.  Just for today every time I wash my hands I will tell two silly jokes and laugh. Karen Hudson
  25.  Just for today I will talk about helpful and unhelpful worries with an adult.
  26.  Just for today I know that I am safe and I can control my thoughts.
  27.  Just for today I will wish upon a star.
  28.  Just for today I will remember that challenges can be opportunities.
  29.  Just for today I will go for a walk and notice all the beauty around me.
  30.  Just for today I will remember that all my feelings are ok. It’s ok to be scared etc.
  31.  Just for today I will remind myself that just because I made a mistake doesn’t mean I am one.
  32.  Just for today I will stay strong and well.
  33.  Just for today I will share my favorite song/poem and we can sing or say them together or to each other.  Sheri Edwards
  34.  Just for today I will not give up.
  35.  Just for today I will ask God to get me through today.
  36.  Just for today I will look at one way I can see the opportunities because of the challenges of today. 
  37.  Just for today I will reevaluate my priorities and tell someone what I think.
  38.  Just for today I will let go of any thoughts that don’t help my peace of mind.
  39.  Just for today I will remember not everyone reacts to events in the same way. I will be positive today.
  40.  Just for today I will remember that I am loveable and capable.
  41.  Just for today I will take a break from watching or listening to any alarming news.
  42.  Just for today wear my clothes inside out and walk backwards. ( Laura Cormier) 
  43.  Just for today I will take care of my mind by listening to some soothing music.
  44.  Just for today I will do one activity that I love and enjoy.
  45.   Just for today I will check in with my parents and/ or grandparents to bring a smile to their day.
  46.  Just for today I will find a calm space just for me. 
  47.  Just for today I will write about my feelings in a journal.
  48.  Just for today I know that I can deal with life’s difficulties.
  49.  Just for today I will smile often.
  50.  Just for today I will say to myself I can cope with this uncertainty.
  51.  Just for today I will draw out my worries.
  52.  Just for today I will talk to an adult about what is concerning me.
  53.  Just for today I will visualize my safe place ( a beach, being with my favourite friend , playing and singing in the rain).
  54.  Just for today I will do more of what makes me happy.
  55.  Just for today I will find two ways to distract myself if I start to catastrophize.
  56.  Just for today I will let go of anything that upsets me.
  57.  Just for today I will reassure myself that all will be well with the world.
  58.  Just for today I will calm my wandering mind by doing something that is fun.
  59.  Just for today I will unwind by taking time out of my day to draw, paint, sing, dance or play a game I love.
  60.  Just for today I will read a book for 15 minutes for pleasure.
  61.  Just for today I will be easy on myself.
  62.  Just for today I will look for solutions.
  63.  Just for today I will talk kindly and gently to myself just like I would my best friend.
  64.  Just for today I will watch a funny movie or talk to a funny friend. I know laughter will help.
  65.  Just for today I will remind myself that I matter.
  66.  Just for today I can  journal for 10 minutes.
  67.  Just for today I will open my heart to new ways of thinking and doing.
  68.  Just for today I will spend some extra time with people I love.
  69.  Just for today I will use my imagination to imagine the best that can happen.
  70.  Just for today I will remind myself of one good thing I can do for the world.
  71.  Just for today I will  love with all my heart.
  72.  Just for today I will tell myself that life can be tough sometimes , but so am I. 
  73.  Just for today I will say I am strong, I am kind and I can do anything I make up my mind to do.
  74.  Just for today I will recognize that I cannot change the circumstances, but I can change my reaction to it. 
  75.  Just for today I will practice breathing deeply.
  76.  Just for today I will write 3 things I am grateful for.
  77.  Just for today I will look at some old pictures and think of the positive memories of that time.
  78.  Just for today I will make something new.
  79.  Just for today I will create a song, a piece of art , a new recipe, or something I have always wanted to create.
  80.  Just for today I will take a picture of something that brings me joy.
  81.  Just for today I will lift someone else’s spirits.
  82.  Just for today I will spread some kindness and love in the world.
  83.  Just for today I will make hot chocolate and eat my favourite cookie.
  84.  Just for today I will write a love letter.
  85.  Just for today whenever I find myself thinking negative I will challenge those thoughts.
  86.  Just for today I will reach out to someone who needs it.
  87.  Just for today I will jump for joy.
  88.  Just for today I will start a blog, a vlog or share something that makes the world a better place.
  89.  Just for today I will share at least 2 jokes with others.
  90.  Just for today I will connect with someone from a different generation than I am, to learn more about how they see the world.
  91.  Just for today I will try a new recipe from a different culture.
  92.  Just for today I will learn to make a friendship bracelet.
  93.  Just for today I will collaborate with a friend on a project to make the world a better place.
  94.  Just for today I will make a playlist of songs which inspire me.
  95.  Just for today I will play a board game with my family.
  96.  Just for today I will make a short video. 
  97.  Just for today I will try a zoom chat with friends.
  98.  Just for today I will focus on what I need.
  99.  Just for today I will share something I am passionate about.
  100.  Just for today I will tell my colleagues and friends how much I appreciate all they do. 
  101. Just for today I will reach out to see if I can help someone else in the world.

What is your Just for Today ? Please share with us so we can share with educators from around the world.

Moving School Counselling Online #scchat

I don’t often get very nervous, but last night as I co-moderated #scchat , I was very nervous because I wasn’t sure I could keep up with the pace of the chat. My role was posting the questions in a timely manner. I knew there was a team around me and leading the way and I felt happy about that. They were outstanding! Thanks to Erin Mason, Laura Ross, Alicia Oglesby, Cynthia Morton , Caroline Lopez- Perry, Shay Reynolds, Vernice Jones, Chloe Benjamin , Joanne Norris, Kelly Wright and as always Erin Luong helped to help people feel connected.

My dear friend Erin Mason @ecmmason led the way knowing that this chat could connect us and validate our collective concerns and I believe that happened. There is much for us all to learn going forward , but yesterday in #scchat for about an hour and a half I lost myself . It was as if I didn’t have a care in the world I left all my worries behind . I had to focus and that I did. Well if you call watching 1138 tweets fly by focusing I guess I did.

Loved seeing all the newcomers and the willingness to help each other.

Today I am grateful for all of the online connections and most of all friendships that I have made. School Counsellors are passionate people who really care about the next generation of youth. Their willingness to share gives me great HOPE.

Want to checkout the chat click here .

The resources from the chat can be found here.