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…

2 Dec 2020

3 Mindsets to Help Young People Thrive through Challenges

For young people, challenging circumstances may look like a difficult home life, feeling overwhelmed at school, or experiencing a sudden stressful or upsetting event like being in the midst of a pandemic. These circumstances do not have to determine the course of a young person’s life, but their mindset of how they respond and bounce back can change how their life plays out.

Here are 3 mindsets that will help young people build their resilience and confidence so they can thrive even through challenging times.

1. LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES

Changing their perspective by looking for opportunities, changes their internal dialogue about an event or circumstance to a more positive, less emotional viewpoint.

If a challenging circumstance is seen as an opportunity for growth, they are better able to deal with it, bounce back and learn from it. They will learn that challenges are chapters of their life, not their whole story.

Have your student /child answer the following questions:

  1. What challenging circumstance are you facing?
  2. What’s something you can learn from this challenging circumstance?
  3. What choice could you put into action with your new found knowledge?

2. MISTAKES HAPPEN

The fear of making a mistake can be a huge deterrent to try something new. Mistakes can trigger big emotions like embarrassment, disappointment or shame. What if we taught young people to see making a mistake as an opportunity to celebrate that they are growing and learning?

What if we taught them that it’s normal to feel ‘nervous butterflies’ or worried when thinking about making a mistake? Perhaps then, they would be excited to try something new instead of fearing ‘what if I make a mistake?’

Have your student /child do the following exercises:

  1. Write about a time you allowed your fear of making a mistake stop you from saying or doing something.
  2. What do you wish you would have said or done?
  3. What did you learn from this experience?

3. FIND A SOLUTION

Everyone, no matter who they are or where they live, will experience challenges and mistakes. Children who understand that life is like a roller coaster, with lots of ups and downs, will be able to bounce back with more ease and confidence. Giving them the opportunity to find solutions to challenges and mistakes that affect them, will enhance their ability to problem solve. It will also give them the confidence to face adversity with more calmness.

Have your student /child do the following exercises:

  1. Write about a time you did something you thought you couldn’t do.
  2. What did you learn about yourself from that experience?
  3. List 3 new things you could try.

Children learn from our example, so it’s important for us to be mindful of our own responses to challenges and mistakes.

Until next time…

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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…

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