Hi Shark Friends,
Today I want to talk to you about gratitude. Gratitude is the quality of being thankful and people who regularly practice being grateful experience a greater sense of happiness. I know that times have been tough lately, but even in difficult times we can find things to be grateful for. Here are some ideas:
- I am grateful for a loved one who supports me
- I am grateful for a friend
- I am grateful for my pet
- I am grateful for the sunshine
- I am grateful for my health
- I am grateful for time with family
- I am grateful for my house
I would like for you to think about creating a gratitude jar or box. This does not have to be fancy, it can be an old shoebox you have in your closet. If you would like, you can decorate the jar or box with materials you have at home. (If you don’t have any materials, that is okay!) At the end of the day, think about something you are grateful for. Write it on a slip of paper and put it in your jar/box. Over time, you will have a box full of all the wonderful things in your life. What a great treasure to have! And when you are having a rough day, pull out your box and remember all you have to be grateful for!
In closing, I would like to tell you how much I have enjoyed being your counselor this year. I am grateful for YOU! Have a wonderful summer and please remember to always be kind to yourself and others.
May 11, 2020
Hi Shark Friends,
Today we are going to talk about two different mindsets. Mindset is basically a way to describe how you think. Take a moment to look at the picture below and read the statements that describe fixed and growth mindset:
Growth mindset teaches us that we can learn from our mistakes. It encourages us to keep trying when we get frustrated. Our brain is always learning new things and making new connections. If there is something that you can’t do (like ride a bike), think, “I can’t do that YET.” Continue to practice and don’t give up on yourself.
Hi Shark Friends,
Do you recognize the picture below:
Yes, you are correct! This is a picture of the bulletin board outside my office. One of the things I always say is that all of your feelings are okay. For example, if something happens that makes you angry, you should not feel bad because you are angry. The emotion that you are feeling is your body’s response to what is going on around you. What you can work on, though, is how you react. It is important to recognize when you are getting upset so that you can regulate your body. This means you find ways to calm the unsettled feeling you have inside.
Take a moment to look at the river in the picture below. What words would you use to describe this river? How do you think the person in the boat feels?
If you think of the world around you as a river, this might be how it looks when something is upsetting you. You may feel angry, scared, or frustrated by what is happening around you. When you are in this state, it is not easy for you to learn. This is why it is important for you to recognize when your river is feeling choppy so that you can choose some techniques to help you self-regulate (calm your river).
So what can you do when waters get choppy? Try some of the self-regulation techniques below:
After you take a moment to use a strategy listed above, then you will feel your river calm. Congratulations, you self-regulated! You are now calm and ready to go.
When I see you next, please tell me what your favorite self-regulation technique is.
Hi Shark Friends,
Today we are going to talk about something called resilience. Have you ever heard that word? Resilience is your ability to bounce back after difficult situations. Think about a time that you faced a challenge. Did you get stuck in your situation or did you show resilience and push forward? Life can be hard sometimes and it is important that we remember to be patient with ourselves, use our coping strategies (deep breathing, problem solving, talking to others) and keep trying!
Today, you will listen to a story called After the Fall by Dan Santat. After you listen to the story, think about how the egg showed resilience. He did not give up or let his fears take over. Ask a grown up to print out the egg and bird template. On the bird’s stomach, write about a time when you showed resilience.
Click here to listen to :After the Fall Read Aloud
Hello Shark Friends,
I wanted to talk to you this week about something called cognitive reframing. Cognitive reframing is changing the way we view things. When I was thinking about this topic, it reminded me of our lesson in the beginning of the year about perspective. Do you remember the activity we did with the letter M and W? Remember how two people could view the same letter from different perspectives and see something different? Then we looked at different pictures where you could see two different things in the same picture? Well, cognitive reframing is similar to that. I am challenging you to think differently about things around you. For example, I know many of you are missing your friends right now. It's not easy to be away from people you care about for so long! But instead of focusing on how difficult it is to be apart from them, reframe the situation and think of how by staying apart you are PROTECTING each other. Then, brainstorm other ways you can stay in touch with them. Maybe you could ask your parents if you could call them or FaceTime them:) Take a few moments to review the image below. Think about how you can reframe your negative thoughts into positive ones!