Social Work Series
Week of March 16th
Welcome to the Social Work Series!
Hello Brown Bobcats and Miller Mustangs!
Over the time away from school due to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) the School Social Work Team wanted to be in touch with all families in the hopes that we could offer support or provide needed information.
Hope you enjoy!
Please email if needed
Jaclyn Pylvainen -Brown Bobcats firstname.lastname@example.org
Krystal Lewis -Miller Mustangs email@example.com
On this day March 16
Publication of the First Black Newspaper in America
In 1827, Samuel Cornish and John B. Russwurm debuted Freedom's Journal, the first African-American-owned and operated newspaper published in the United States. All 103 issues have been digitized and are available at the Wisconsin Historical Society website.
Please email your Social Worker Jaclyn (Brown) Krystal (Miller)if you have questions, topic recommendations or concerns. Have a Happy St. Patrick's day and stay safe!
Anxiety is a feeling of fear in response to a perceived threat, and usually comes along with thoughts or beliefs that this situation is beyond our resources or ability to cope, which is why we feel overwhelmed when anxious. We experience anxiety through physical symptoms such as sweating, increased heart rate, or upset stomach. Anxiety might show up as racing thoughts, mental confusion, avoiding things, freezing, or an inability to decide on the best course of action. Anxiety may also impact interpersonal relationships as we tend to become irritable and preoccupied with ourselves when we’re anxious, which has consequences for our relationships.
Being in the Moment. Mindfulness is another tool that can help us recognize when we are feeling anxious and respond wisely rather than react hastily to that anxiety.
· Just This Moment: When you are feeling overwhelmed by information about the virus, take a moment to pause, stop, & listen. Think about just this moment. What is happening in your environment in this moment? With you? Notice how you feel-physically and emotionally. Use your senses to notice what is around you. Welcome difficult moments with friendliness and curiosity. Try to take one moment at a time.
· Mindful Walking: Take some time to go for a mindful walk in nature, whether that’s in your neighborhood or in the woods. This can be helpful if you’re feeling cooped up inside or need to get out of a ruminating thought pattern. Feel the fresh air, even if it’s cold. Notice the first signs of spring- buds on trees and green shoots in the soil. Notice the rise and fall of your feet, your gait, the movement of your arms and legs. Notice your breath. Have gratitude for the ways your body is able to move.
· Do just one thing: This can be a chaotic time, with many situations with your family, work, and school life changing rapidly. Remind yourself to just focus on one thing at a time. What can you take action on in this moment? What can you let go of until another day? What can you ask for help with?
· Breathe: Just notice your natural breath. With anxiety, our breath has a tendency to be shallow and just in our upper chest. Try not to judge how you breathe or if it’s hard to notice it. Just take a few moments to notice. If you’re able, you might try to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth with a big sigh. Do this a few times, see if you can slowly lengthen and deepen your breath. Try making your exhale longer than your inhale, which can activate the parasympathetic nervous system (our “rest & digest” mode of our autonomic nervous system). Visualize your lungs filling with air on the inhale and emptying on the exhale. Place one had on your heart and one on your belly, noticing any gentle movements (and it’s okay if it’s hard to notice anything!). Notice the gentle weight of your hands on your body and use this soothing touch to give yourself compassion.
· Compassion: Can we meet our anxiety and our struggles with compassion, knowing what we’re feeling is a normal response to a stressful situation, rather than judging or fighting against our feelings? This is a time to treat ourselves and others kindly, recognizing this is a moment of suffering and we are all dealing with this together, trying the best we can. Take a moment right now to notice how you feel in your body and emotions. Remind yourself it is okay to feel however you are feeling.
Adapted from Suzanne Brown, PhD, LMSW & Caitlin Brown, LMSW, E-RYT 200