Mabank Counseling Connection

January 2022

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Dear Parents,

Happy New Year!

We hope you had a wonderful Christmas break and that your holidays were filled to overflowing with good things- time well spent with family and friends, as well as time to rest and recharge. After the busyness of the holidays, the quiet of January often leaves us reflecting on the old year past and all that the new year may have in store.

As we move into the New Year, we turn our focus to goal setting and the power of optimism, grit, and resilience in the face of difficulty and how those skills can transform our lives.

Building these skill are essential, and will no doubt help us all to step out in our lives. At the same time, there is no doubt that the last couple of years have taken their toll in the lives of so many in our community as well. If you are concerned that you or someone you know may be experiencing a mental health issue, it is important to act. Start the conversation. Seek help from a trusted adult. A parent, a teacher, a counselor. A list of area Mental Health resources and hotlines can be found on our district counseling website under Counseling Resources. You are not alone.

Take care of you, take care of each other, and a very Happy New Year to you all,

Ashley Ward, MS, LPC

Coordinator of Counseling and Student Support

Mabank ISD

The Power of a Growth Mindset

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Awareness of Self: Optimism, Grit, and Resilience

Momentous Institute has been building and repairing social emotional health for nearly a century. Almost anywhere you look, the research confirms what we know to be true – that people with solid social emotional intelligence are happier, healthier and more successful.

All lessons are built on safe relationships and move up through self-regulation, awareness of self and others, empowering students to be change makers themselves. We wrapped-up Safe Relationships in the first six weeks of school and have moved on to the next step in our Social Emotional Learning: Self-Regulation.

Awareness of Self takes a look at Gratitude, Optimism, Resilience and Grit. We dug into gratitude during the holidays, and with the new year we are zooming in on goal-setting and motivation which we find in building optimism, resilience, and grit.

Lets take a closer look at each of these:


What Is It?

Optimism is a mindset that allows us to see options for addressing challenges in life. When you have optimism, you have the ability to see that opportunities exist in any situation.

Why Is It Important?

We know that self-talk matters, and it’s important for students to have optimism because it influences how they feel about themselves and their belief in their ability to achieve their goals. Having optimism makes it easier to take risks and view mistakes and challenges as opportunities for growth. Approaching challenges with an optimistic attitude will help children persist, target their efforts, and ultimately succeed.


What is it?

Grit is the ability to keep working toward a goal, especially when it is hard or challenging.

Why is it Important?

It’s important for students to learn about grit because when they keep going, one step at a time, they’re more likely to achieve their goals. In school, children are asked to work hard on things that are not necessarily intrinsically motivating. Sometimes they can begin to associate struggle with failure. We want children to learn to feel comfortable with taking risks and working on challenges. When children learn early that they have an inner source of strength, they approach life and learning with more confidence.


What is it?

Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from failures or setbacks.

Why is it Important?

Failure and setbacks are an inevitable part of life. Sometimes, caring adults in children’s lives try to shield them from failure. This is a mistake! We learn so much about ourselves when we experience failure and then “bounce back.” It is essential to teach resilience so that students will have the skills they need to bounce back from setbacks that they will experience in the future. It’s important for kids to learn resilience so that they don’t let failure stop them from achieving their goals.

GRIT: Traits that Matter for School, Work, and Life
'Mental toughness is the secret to success' | BBC Ideas
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ADVi / Virtual Advising Project

A chatbot named ADVi – short for “adviser” – uses artificial intelligence to provide on-demand support to Texans looking to attend or return to higher education. Right now, any student in Texas may access ADVi by texting “COLLEGE” to 512-829-3687 or by starting a freshman application in ApplyTexas.

When students sign up to receive messages from ADVi, they receive:

  • The ability to ask questions about college 24/7 via text message,
  • Backup support from our virtual advisers if a student has needs or questions beyond what ADVi can provide,
  • Student-friendly, accurate, and engaging messages about key college access milestones,
  • Information and tips to help with their college applications, planning, and financial aid, and
  • Resources to help navigate the transition to college.

Learn more at

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Brief Mindful Breathing for Anxiety
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Downloadable Apps for Self-Care

▪ Breath2Relax

▪ Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame

▪ Best Self-Help Quotes

▪ Mindfulness Coach

▪ Mind Yeti

Down Dog, Yoga for Beginners, HIIT, Barre, and 7 Minute Workout - free until January 2022

If you are a student or teacher (K-12 or college), go to for free access until July January 2022.

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