0
26 Oct 2022

Thriving through Emotional Chaos

At times it can be difficult to remain calm and thrive through the emotional chaos you might be experiencing. Your emotions seem to be all over the place. You promise yourself you won’t let your emotions get the best of you but then they do…you make a reactive choice from your emotions.

Later regret floods your brain. You wish you had taken a breath and been more self-aware of the emotions you were feeling and handled them differently.

Sound familiar?

Since emotions fluctuate and change according to the circumstance and mood you are experiencing, emotions are not a reliable place to make all choices from.

What helps me thrive through the emotional chaos so I can remain calm in order to make choices I am proud of, is keeping my character (who I believe I am), at the forefront of my mind. I repeat, ‘I choose to be respectful and patient.’ I even have it written on post-it notes as a visual reminder 😊

I remind myself that I am allowed to feel frustrated, disappointed, angry, upset (so are you). When I take a deep breath and say, ‘Sara, it’s OK to feel that way but your character is Respect & Patience’, it actually shifts my approach. It shifts my choices.

What character traits do you want to be known for as a person?

Training yourself to be conscious of the emotions you are experiencing so that you can breathe through them to make character-based choices, is essential to making choices in the moment that you can be proud of for the moments to come.

Until next time…

28 Sep 2022

It Hurts to be Bullied

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…

19 May 2022

How to Get a Child to Ask for Help

I can remember my son at 2 years old saying, ‘I can’t!’ My husband and I both looked at each other and thought ‘no way is that going to be his mindset!’ Every time Kai would say, ‘I can’t!’ we’d have him repeat, ‘I can. I just need help.’ This is now an ongoing mantra in our home.

This mantra gives your child courage.

Changing ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can’ allows your child not only be determined and successful but only to believe in possibility. Adding ‘I just need help’, creates an opening to ask for & receive support.

Getting a child to ask for help is a skill.

THINK ABOUT THIS: What emotions are making it harder for your child/student to ask for help? Emotions like embarrassment, fear, frustration and shyness can stop them from having the courage to reach out for the help and support they need and deserve.

REMEMBER THIS: Getting a child to ask for help is a skill that shows strength, confidence and curiosity. It’s an important part of a growth mindset.

TRY THIS: The next time you hear your child/student saying, ‘I can’t’ gently remind them to replace those words with…

I CAN. I JUST NEED HELP!

Until next time…

29 Sep 2021

Do you know what makes you happy?

Do you put your happiness on hold?

Do you wait for a special occasion or a goal to be achieved?

This is what I know… Looking for ways to bring happiness into your life is very important to your emotional and mental well-being.

Think of everything you could do to create happiness. It might be talking to a friend/family member, going for nature walks, writing in a journal or watching/playing sports. It could be as simple as starting your day with your favourite breakfast food, song or cup of coffee/tea.

Write your happiness list on a big piece of paper and put it where you can see it.

You have now created your guide to HAPPINESS – a guide that will remind you how to tap into your happy place when you are feeling stressed, anxious or ‘blue’.

I forgot to add…your happiness list should not include ‘I’m only happy when_____ is happy.’ Never let your happiness depend on someone else’s happiness.

You deserve to be HAPPY! Make it a conscious choice!

P.S. Have your children/students create their own list.

Until next time…

4 Mar 2021

How to Calm ‘The Worry Brain’

Do You or Your Kids/Students Worry?

When I was growing up I was the Queen of Worrying! I used to worry when I didn’t have something to worry about.

In this video I share 2 strategies to help you and your child/student calm the worrying brain.

I still use these strategies. They make a big difference!

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…

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.

Until next time…

sara westbrook signature
21 May 2020

Pets Bring Us So Much Joy and Comfort

It’s amazing how many photos I have of our dog Finn and yet I find myself taking more. He looks at me as if to say … ‘again … don’t you have anything else to do?’

Sometimes I will walk Finn chatting away. I’m sure the neighbours wonder?

He pays attention to my every word. To him I must be the smartest and most interesting person in the world.

If I feel sad, frustrated, disappointed or anxious he listens intently. He does not interrupt or give me advice. I get to just share with no judgment.

Perhaps that’s why so many students raise their hand when I ask, ‘Who talks to their pet to move through emotions?’

Our furry friends (and not so furry) play an important part in our physical, mental and emotional well-being. Studies show time and time again that pets are healing!

Our Finn is an important part of our family!  He brings happiness and peace. He’s always excited to see us (especially my husband) and he loves to be petted, carried and snuggled.

Finn loves us and we love him. Sure there are times when his bark annoys us … but he’s worth it!

Do you have a pet – maybe it’s a lizard, cat, dog, fish, bird, rabbit, hamster – that you couldn’t imagine life without? Share a photo on Instagram and tag me in it so I can share it @iamsarawestbrook

Until next time…

sara westbrook signature
19 Sep 2019

Let Your Unique Self Shine

Believe it’s possible. 

Beyond the doubt. ⁣

Beyond the “what if’s”. ⁣

Beyond your ‘imposter’ feeling.⁣

Beyond trying to ‘figure it ALL out in advance.’ ⁣

Beyond trying to be perfect. 

Beyond that voice in your head that sometimes says ‘you’re not enough.’⁣

You are Enough! 
⁣⁣
Make your UPower voice Prouder, LOUDER than that self defeating voice. ⁣

The world needs YOU! ⁣

Until next time,

sara westbrook signature