13 May 2021

Let Go of the Guilt

You know it’s important to take care of yourself.  You know it will help with your emotional, mental & physical well-being. You know
it will boost your happiness and you know by nurturing yourself, it will put you in a better place to help those you love.

Knowing isn’t enough. You actually have to put your knowledge into action.

And beyond that… you have to make self-care a necessity – a MUST do!

Have you made it your top priority?

If not, do you by chance feel guilty when you do something for yourself?

If you answered yes – please watch this video

Until next time…

30 Nov 2020

Guess What We All have in Common?

‘What emotion are you feeling?’

When you think about truly sharing your emotions, would you prefer to leave the conversation or conveniently find something else to talk about? Maybe it’s because you don’t know how you are feeling or maybe you want to shout ‘none of your business!’ Or is it because you think sharing emotions makes you look weak?

EXPRESSING EMOTIONS CAN BE TOUGH.

As human beings we enjoy feeling comfortable – ever heard a mattress commercial? All the marketing company has to do is focus on how comfortable the mattress is – SOLD!  We LOVE comfortable. Emotions are not always comfortable. They are messy, awkward and can feel down-right painful both mentally and physically.

You may be able to fool yourself into believing that by ignoring or suppressing emotions you won’t have to face them. Wrong. Not acknowledging your emotions causes burnout, health challenges, anxiety, and strained relationships

EMOTIONS AREN’T YOUR ENEMY.

Emotions are a natural and normal part of the human experience. Emotions are the one thing we all have in common. We may not have experienced the same circumstances – but we have all felt angry, sad, anxious, frustrated, disappointed and overwhelmed. Isn’t it comforting to know you’re not alone?

SURPRISE! EXPRESSING YOUR EMOTIONS HELPS:

  • boost happiness
  • reduce stress & anxiety
  • build resilience
  • improve communication
  • establish stronger relationships
  • create empathy
  • bring harmony and well-being to your mental and physical state

Instead of suppressing your emotions, use these 3 ways to help you move with and through your emotions:

1. NAME YOUR EMOTIONS 

There is a release that happens just in saying your emotion out loud, ‘I’m feeling sad.’ It makes it feel less intense. Acknowledge your emotions, instead of making yourself feel bad, wrong or weak for feeling. Next time someone asks, ‘how are you feeling?’ tell them. You are allowed to feel. You are supposed to feel. You will also be giving permission to others to speak up about their emotions.

2. RELEASE EMOTIONS IN A HEALTHY WAY

Create a list of healthy ways to move through your emotions. This will help you get clear about strategies that are helpful. Post it somewhere that will serve as a reminder. When you are experiencing an uncomfortable emotion you can easily forget what helps you move through.

3. FIND YOUR CALM

Being able to calm yourself in the moment from tough emotions and overwhelming circumstances is often easier said than done. Knowing ways to help you relax and decrease stress will calm your mind and body quickly. If one way doesn’t work for you, try another one. Some of my favourites are paying attention to my breath, relaxing with a cup of tea or coffee, humming or singing and watering my plants.

You would never take dead batteries, place them in a flashlight and expect it to shine – yet there are times you will drain yourself emotionally and stick yourself into work, relationships and conversations and expect to shine.

Reach out, ask for help and accept support. You Matter!

Until next time…

sara westbrook signature
6 Oct 2020

Boost Well-being with a Dose of Gratitude

As we find ourselves and our children/students adapting to a new version of what school looks like, whether it’s ‘online learning’ or ‘in building learning’, we may all be experiencing challenging circumstances which can trigger some tough emotions like: anger, sadness, frustration, anxious or disappointment.

Is there an antidote to help you and your children/students bounce back from these challenges and emotions? YES!

It’s called GRATITUDE.

Feeling and expressing gratitude not only boosts emotional and mental well-being, but also boosts your immune system and your happiness.

How do you teach children the skill of gratitude? 

Below are 3 grateful activities that are a fun way to practice and express gratitude.

1. VISUAL DISPLAY OF GRATITUDE

Create a tree, a banner, a board or a collage as a display to encourage children to focus on the people, experiences and things in their life that make them feel grateful and appreciative. Every day have them reflect and write one aspect of their life they are grateful for. By adding their paper to the display they deepen relationships and become more connected to the people around them.

2. JOURNALING

Journaling creates a practice of connecting to gratitude and helps with their writing skills. Daily entries in their own private journal about the people, events and things they are grateful for, helps them with emotional resilience and self-esteem. For those who may say, like my son, ‘I can’t think of anything’, here are some helpful hints:

  • What did you do today that was fun?
  • What makes you happy?
  • What do you look forward to when you wake up?
  • Who or what makes you smile?
  • What did you do today that made you feel brave?
  • What made you proud today?
  • Who was kind to you today?
  • What is your favourite place to visit?

3. CREATE A JAR OF JOY

A Jar of Joy is a fun, creative way to help children practice gratitude. Begin by providing a jar large enough to hold daily gratitude notes. Then personalize the jar with decorations using ribbons, stickers, pompoms, sparkles, markers etc

After decorating the jar, it’s time to add the ’gratitudes’ they have written about people, places or things. They can also add photos or cut out images from magazines that depict their gratitudes. Whenever they are having a challenging moment where they need a joyful lift encourage them to take a gratitude from their jar and have a brief discussion about it.

Being reminded to focus on what they enjoy and are grateful for, will not only shift their mood and mind to a happier state, but also yours.

Gratitude is transformational! Choosing to focus on what you are grateful for transforms how you feel about yourself, others and your life!

Until next time…

sara westbrook signature