Being bullied happens too often, and it can make kids feel scared, sick, embarrassed, anxious, depressed and sad. Bullying can make them feel alone with nowhere and no one to turn to.
That’s why Paul Davis (internet safety expert) & I decided to invite Emily, who is 18 years old, to join our podcast to share her bullying story that began in grade 3.
Words from Emily: ‘In grade 3 no one liked me & I don’t know why. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t fit in. I was the one who got picked last in gym class. I kept saying grade 4 will be better. It did get better for a while until the day our teacher asked us to mark each other’s spelling test. When mine was returned to me I saw messages written on it, “You’re not smart! You’re dumb!”
You feel so hopeless. You believe you will never get out of being bullied. You have no reason to go to school – you hate it there. My principal tried to help and for a while it was fine until it wasn’t. When you’re 9 years old you are just starting to figure out life and when the adults have no hope of fixing the situation you feel alone.’
Paul Davis reminds us that we need kids to know if they speak out about any type of bullying, they will be supported.
Once Emily entered high school, she had an idea…click here to watch or here to listen to the full podcast where Emily shares her idea.
One piece of advice to adults from Emily: ‘The most helpful thing an adult can do for a child that is being bullied is to take the time to listen & to let the child talk about how they are feeling & then help work through their emotions together, so it isn’t just on the child’s shoulders.’
Until next time…
28 Jan 2021
It’s Okay to Not Be Okay!
What’s the one part of the human experience we don’t want to talk about…EMOTIONS…which is a HUGE part of our mental health.
We all have emotions!
We may not have experienced the same circumstances – but we have all felt angry, sad, anxious, annoyed, frustrated and disappointed. Yet so many people are saying, ‘I’m fine’ when asked ‘how are you doing?’
It can feel overwhelming and vulnerable to share. You can even feel guilt or shame for feeling the way you do.
Keep reminding yourself…IT’S OK to FEEL. IT’S OK to NOT BE OK. Write it out. Place those words where you can read them every day.
Be proactive with your mental health by taking care of your emotional health:
☑ Practice emotional awareness. Put a name to your emotions. If you need help with this, email me and I’ll send you a chart to help you identify your emotions.
☑ Be observant. When experiencing an emotion – what physical impact does it have on you? For example: When I feel anxious it impacts my stomach – it feels like butterflies – it’s uncomfortable.
☑ Make a list of your healthy ways to move with and through your emotions. Have everyone in your family create their own list. Creating a list is powerful as you can forget what helps you calm when you are experiencing a big emotion. For me, deep breathing, writing, baking, music, working out and talking to someone are all helpful.
It takes courage to talk about your feelings and to reach out for help and comfort when you need it. When you choose to be brave and share you find connection – only with others but also with yourself.
Your Emotions Matter. Your Mental Health Matters. You Matter.
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:
reduce stress & anxiety
establish stronger relationships
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…
25 Jun 2020
Take Care of You First
Be selfish to be selfless. Sounds pretty … selfish!
What if, in order to help others, you first have to take care of yourself?
You would never take dead batteries and put them into a flashlight and expect it to shine. Yet, sometimes you will drain yourself, your battery, and then put yourself into relationships, work and conversations and expect to shine.
It doesn’t work that way!
You need to take care of yourself first. That’s why flight attendants ask you to put on your oxygen mask first. If you run out of oxygen, you won’t be able to help anyone else with their mask. The same applies in life.
The happier, healthier and more self-fulfilled you feel, the more you will be able to give to what matters to you most… family, friends, work, community.
Take time for you by reading, sleeping, eating healthy, listening to music, exercising, deep breathing etc. Make sure you are rejuvenating and recharging your batteries so you can keep on shining for yourself and others.