Celebrate the Moments

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Today is my mom’s 81st birthday and I surprised her with a visit.Last year we got to celebrate her 80th with a big splash. It’s important to celebrate life everyday, but especially important to acknowledge all the special days. Today I got to spend time with my family. I live 4,836 km away and have for the past forty years. I come home every summer and already got to spend time with my mom , but I am still 397 km away. So today I drove to see my mom for her birthday.

Don’t forget the birthdays, the anniversaries the special occasions, but especially remember to surprise people every now and then with your presence , a gift ,a letter a note or something that will make someone’s day. It’s always been important, but especially now. Celebrate the moments , but more important celebrate the people.

Art is Therapeutic

Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life

Pablo Picasso

I love painting. In the last while I have grown to love working with inks and alcohol. I love the vibrancy of the colours and the way I feel when I splash away and see what happens.

What joy it brings me to be in the state of flow on a regular basis. I wish that for you too. We could all use a little therapeutic bath right now. Try doing a little art and see what happens.

Fall

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Fall is such a magical time. It’s a time of change. It’s a time to start fresh with each new day. Time to take a walk in the leaves and throw them in the air just for fun. I love fall. It is my favourite season next to summer, but for beauty fall wins. What are you going to do this fall? Make it a time to get outside and see, feel, smell and listen to the sounds of fall.

A Little Appreciation

There are a lot of people at work in schools right now doing some pretty amazing things. They are tired, overworked, feeling a multitude of emotions and often underappreciated for what they do. If you are a principal, supervisor, superintendent or someone who has a team working with you, take time to appreciate them. My challenge to you is to carve out 5 minutes to ask them how they are and tell them how much you appreciate them and what they are doing during this time. It matters. A little appreciation goes a long way.

It’s Never Too Late

As I enter this new chapter in my life I am making an extra effort to take care of myself physically. I have hired a personal trainer hoping to kickstart a stronger me. I have always been physically active having played sports like hockey, basketball, volleyball, baseball, ringette and more most of my life. I played lacrosse up to the age of 60. I still play pickleball which is my new love, but I have never done much in the area of weight training. As I age I know I need to ensure my body and mind are strong.

I am constantly looking at ways to improve my life and next month I begin focusing on this new area of my story, hoping a personal trainer will kickstart me off in a positive way.

I do many things that help me including my involvement in Second Chants an adult show choir.

I paint on a regular basis.

I volunteer with Calgary and Area Child Advocacy Centre, Online with School Counsellors and #scchat, Be My Eyes ready to help those with visual impairments.

I walk almost every day.

Keeping active, volunteering and working with adolescents all keep me positive and healthy. It is never too late to start something new, so keep moving forward as we all journey through this pandemic in the best way possible.

Take Time For You

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With work, children, and daily responsibilities it’s not always easy to make time in the day just for you. For many of you, you may put yourself last, but this needs to change today if this is your life.

I know when my kids were younger this was often me, but I loved getting up early when it was just me alone that was awake. I still do. Stealing time in those precious moments is essential for well being.

Moments that matter. There are so many moments that we can choose to take or not. What we do with the time we have will be healing or not. It is up to us. So go ahead make time for you today.

Lesson 5 for a New School Counsellor : The 3 R’s

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The 3 R’s

Relationships are fundamental to what you do. You need to work at creating them in your school. Your principal, administrators and teachers are often the ones who refer students, so create positive relationships with them often. Find ways to connect whether through sending positive uplifting emails or sitting in the lunchroom talking about life NOT students. Connect with students in as many ways as possible. Running groups, promoting a fun positive wellness day, stopping to chat or smiling at a student for no particular reason; find what works for you in your school. Relationships with community organizations, parents, and anyone who is connected with students or needs to be connected to students is essential.

Read often. Read the most updated research on counselling issues. Read articles, blogs or journal articles on School Counselling. Read for pleasure, but just continually read.

Resources are essential. Stop reinventing the wheel. There are so many great resources out there for you. I have collated a few that might be helpful. Twitter is an amazing place to get ideas and find resources. So check out #scchat on a regular basis.

School Counsellors Are There To Help

School Counsellors are trained professionals who understand child development, often with Masters degrees in Counselling or more, who partake in ongoing professional development and extensive mental health training . They know school culture and how the education system works, making them readily able to help youth in an effective manner.

Often the first place students present any concerns are in schools because that is where they spend so much time. The educators get to know students well building trusting relationships. School Counsellors have the whole child in mind with access to a comprehensive background regarding the students history in school, so are often able to make decisions collaboratively in the best interest of students.

If you are a new teacher and have never accessed your School Counsellor , please do so. They are there to help you help the student. When all work together to help our youth it is more likely to make a difference in the life of a child. Now more than ever we must do all we can together to help.