Tidbits of information to bring hope and peace!
Take Good Care
As we launch into the holiday season of this crazy year, I am noticing increased levels of stress among my friends, colleagues, and students. We are all weary! The tensions, uncertainties, and challenges of 2020 juxtaposed with the added “to dos” of the holiday season are taking their toll - especially when the holidays will potentially look and feel differently this year. Somehow we must intentionally choose to take care of ourselves. Rather than merely defaulting to unhealthy habits in our weariness, it is essential that we weave some healthy habits into our daily routines during this season. Today, when I got home from work, I spied the lone piece of leftover pecan pie and was tempted to indulge - instead I chose to go for a walk, a much healthier option! For me, walks are life-giving. Being outside reminds me that there is a much larger purpose in life, far beyond the microcosm of my own worries. For me, intentionally calendaring in some outdoor walk-time several times a week, would be a healthy form of self-care (though truth be told - I did eat the pecan pie after my walk... I was mostly healthy, right??)
You see, our lives are like a four-legged stool. When all four dimensions are healthy, the stool is very stable and strong. Even if one “leg” gets out of whack, life still feels pretty solid. The problem lies in the fact that often we let two or more dimensions creep into the unhealthy zone, and life begins to feel overwhelming and out of control.
Study the picture below and try to determine where you may need to shore up the deficits created by Covid and holidays before your “stool” gets too wobbly. Be intentional about healthy choices in all four dimensions of your life in an effort to make this a memorable holiday season.
Have a great week! As always, if I can be of help, feel free to reach out!
LeeAnn Galbraith (aka Mrs. G)
31 Purposeful Acts of Kindness for December By Alexandra Eidens
Encourage your children to practice kindness for the entire month of December with our 2020 Kindness Calendar. Just like academic skills, social skills — including kindness, empathy, and respect — become second nature with practice.
The more children practice kindness, the more they’ll notice that being nice to others feels great! Engaging in acts of kindness releases feel-good chemicals like oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine. The person receiving the kind act and everyone who witnesses it feels those benefits, too. The mood-boosting benefits create a ripple effect that encourages people to pay it forward — one kind act can motivate many acts of kindness.
Being kind is a simple way to live a happier, healthier life that creates positive change in the world. Click HERE to access the printable calendar with 31 kindness ideas.
Social Skills Lesson
Caring About Others
Learning Objective: To teach children to think about and practice ways of caring for others
Ask your children, “Who is a special person you care about? Why do you care about this person?” As children volunteer names and reasons, write them on a large sheet of paper.
One of the best gifts you can give people is to let them know that you care about them. When you help people, show concern for them, or say something nice, you show them that you care. When you listen to them, share something, or laugh about something together, you show them that you care. And when you show people that you really care, you can make their day!
Distribute Activity Sheet 48A. When the group has completed it, have children share experiences they have had caring about, and for, others. Then have them write notes to special people with whom they have a caring relationship.
Shapiro, L. E. (2004). 101 ways to teach children social skills. Bureau for At Risk Youth (via Incentive Plus).
Love and Logic®
Affluence Distraction Disorder (ADD). Too Much Stuff Leads to Too Little Motivation and Too Little Relationship
Prior to the 1950s, most children grew up without many of the things they wanted. Because of this, they imagined what it might be like to someday struggle above their meager circumstances and “arrive” at a more comfortable standard of living.
Getting a good education was seen as the primary vehicle for attaining this dream. Over the last six decades, the amount of unneeded stuff possessed by many children has dramatically squelched this dreaming process. There’s no need for kids to dream or work toward things they already have or can get immediately simply by asking.
In my book, From Bad Grades to a Great Life!, I share the most important things we can do to prevent Affluence Distraction Disorder. Here are some of the ideas from the book:
- Spend as much time as possible with our kids.
- Play with them.
- Listen to them.
- Comfort them when they are hurting.
- Rejoice with them when they are glad.
- Enjoy them with all of our hearts.
- Teach them to spend less than they make.
- Show them how to base their happiness on relationships not retail goods.
And the most impactful suggestion we can make is:
Spend less time looking at screens and more time looking at faces!
We suggest that families agree to set aside days periodically when everyone in the family will be extra intentional about putting away electronic devices and committing to more face-to-face interaction.
When parents give their kids the gifts of love, time, and focused attention, then kids receive something much more valuable than lots of expensive stuff.
Thanks for reading!
Love and Logic® is a research-driven, whole-child philosophy founded in 1977 by Jim Fay and Foster W. Cline, M.D. It provides practical tools and techniques that help adults achieve respectful, healthy relationships with their children. Visit their website at loveandlogic.com
THE FOUR DIMENSIONS
Emotional Wellness refers to building an awareness of and accepting one's feelings and moods. It includes finding ways to encourage positive thinking and acceptance of oneself.
- Are you able to make decisions/complete activities with minimum stress/worry?
Is there something you are looking forward to?
Physical Wellness includes expanding your knowledge about your lifestyle and how food, good nutrition and physical activity can be an integral part of your lifestyle.
- Do you participate regularly (min 3X/week) in an aerobic activity?
- Do you get adequate and satisfying sleep, and wake up refreshed?
- Do you need to work on issues related to tobacco, alcohol, or nutrition?
Social Wellness entails being cognizant of the impact you and your actions have on your community, the society and nature.
- Do you set aside and plan time to be with your family and friends?
- Do you feel that your relationships are positive and rewarding?
- Are you involved in group activities or hobbies?
Spiritual Wellness is that force that drives us to make sacrifices for others, our nation, and the greater good. It may come from religious faith, heritage, experience within our community, influence of role models, or other sources of inspiration.
- Do you set aside time in your day for prayer, meditation, or personal time?
- Do you set aside time in your day for relaxation/quiet time?
- Do you have a purpose that is bigger than yourself?