Monday Musings

Wow, it’s been a L-O-N-G time since I’ve written anything on my own blog. I guess I’ve been spending too much time reading other blogs, novels, Facebook…anything, even the cereal box!

I’m heading into the homestretch to the end of summer “vacation” before going back to school on August 18. Three more weeks of bliss…or trying to get my act together.

This summer has turned out to be one that I was not expecting at all. Oh, a few things I expected-the trip to Europe, the family vacation, lots of time with grandkids-but definitely not sinking slowly into the pit of depression.

And maybe that is why it’s a deeper hole than I’ve experienced in a few years…because it was unexpected. I always know the “black dog” is lurking in the background. I can’t escape it no matter how many tricks I have up my sleeve to keep it out of sight. A few times a year, especially with seasons changing and the crappy SAD of winter, I KNOW it’s coming and am prepared. Usually only is with me for a few days.

Summer has normally been a time of excitement and enjoyment and enlightenment and energy. Lots of good “e” words. This summer, especially the month of July, the most I’ve been able to muster is ‘meh’ or ‘blah’ with little glimpses of joy each day. I have even had a couple days of peace and but not any in a row. For those moments of grace I have been extremely grateful.

The one thing that I’ve learned about this insidious disorder named bipolar is that no matter how much one plans for the expected depression or hypomaniac episodes, they still happen, sometimes with a bang and sometimes slowly seeping in until the symptoms overwhelm me. I guess that is what makes life interesting, huh?

So anyway, the rest of vacation will include a whole lot of self-care, trying to trick my brain into stopping the incessant negative chatter long enough for the peace to whisper it’s way through the recesses until it overtakes the darkness and I can hear the music, see the glorious majesty, taste the happiness, and feel the joy of life again.

From whence I came…

Well, that could mean a lot of different things…my heritage, the place I grew up, the jobs I’ve had, where I was a couple minutes ago (in bed sleeping).  Once again I was re-reading some of my blog.  It is fun to see the change and development in oneself over the course of time.  I wrote this post last fall shortly after I started my job.

Now it’s about 5 weeks until the end of the first year.  I still have the same sentiments even more so.  In a lot of ways I’ve gotten better-I’m more mature, more confident, more excited with skills and practices more developed!!  I keep saying over and over to everyone that asks how it’s going…

I LOVE MY JOB!!!

I’m already planning what I’m going to focus on and research during the summer to implement in the fall.  I am teaching three classes (Sex and Babies, Help I’m Stressed!!, Transitions) this block plus advising three groups (prom, parade committee, KEY Club), plus the “regular” day-to-day stuff of meeting with students, doing groups, researching and connecting families with services, handling students in crisis, and those dealing with homelessness, death, illness, mental health conditions, relationships, conflict…and a whole bunch of other things like committees, staff meetings, workshops!

My biggest issue this year had been the tendency to take too much on, give so much to school that I often don’t have enough energy left for the rest of my life.  I know it’s a first-year thing where all is so new with a steep learning curve that contributes. 

I talked to Liz about it this week.  I have to remember that little word with two letters…NO

Saying NO to myself when the thoughts, ideas, dreams, improvements become all encompassing in my mind. 

I want to focus on saying yes to being present, right now, with who I am and being true to myself.  Sometimes I feel like I am so far ahead of the ‘right now’.  Sometimes I get stuck in the ‘what was’.

It is good to review “from whence I came” but not get stuck there.  It is good to look forward and plan but not get stuck there.  Doing the reviewing and planning are important, but not more important than being present, right where I am, right now.  So that is what I will focus on these next 26 school days…practicing mindfulness and being.

 

 

Being a victim does NOT serve you!

you have got to read this blog post!!!  some samples…

 I was fascinated by the notion that our minds and thoughts could make us physically ill, and I started wondering about our mind and thoughts in general. What are thoughts anyway? (Just thoughts.) And could something as simple as a thought truly change the way we perceive the world around us? (Hell yes.) And if that’s true, could we create the life we want by becoming more aware of our self-limiting thoughts and beliefs and making positive change through affirmations, mindfulness, and awareness? (Yep. But MAN it’s a constant practice.)

 

…playing the victim, whether outwardly or just in your head, is no way to live. I promise you. Feeling self-pity due to an illness or being wronged or a shitty childhood or a specific trauma DOES NOT SERVE YOU. At all. Not a bit. Holding onto negativity and stewing in resentment is slowly killing you. It’s not helping you at all. It’s not making things better or right or punishing the person or thing that hurt you. You are just hurting yourself. You are. Yes, you are causing your own pain. Right now. Big time.

 

It’s not easy. In fact, it might the be the biggest challenge you’ll ever face, but you can change the way you view your circumstances. You are not your thoughts. You are not your thoughts. You are a radiant, energy-filled, intuitive, happy being that is currently being controlled by your negative thoughts. Your bitterness, anxiety, sadness, fear etc…it’s all a loop, circling in your brain, not allowing you to see what’s really in front of you.

read the whole post here:  http://whoorl.com/archives/19215

Thank you…I am so excited to read stuff like this!  I firmly believe it and I want to BE A LIGHTHOUSE and share with everyone…especially my family, friends, and students.

Hope you take the words of this post to heart and believe them. 

God Bless,

Shelly

Shelly

take care of yourself!!

Reblogged From Healthy Place

Self-Care For Higher Self-Esteem

 
 

One of the most important things you can do for mind and body is take a break once in a while. That may mean taking time to stop and smell the roses or a more realistic approach–making it a mandatory part of your day. Why wouldn’t you add self-care into your daily routine? Science shows it makes you more productive, reduces the stress that leads to debilitating and fatal illnesses and can make you instantly happier. Purposeful self-care is proven to build awareness to listening to your body and developing a better relationship with your self, which leads to higher self-esteem.

Who Has Time for Self-Care?

You do! In fact, you waste more time thinking about what to do or when to do it, when in fact self-care can take just seconds. It’s the acct of noticing what you need and deserve in the moment, respecting your body and mind, and showing yourself love and kindnesses. Above all else, it’s a mindful reminder that you are important and deserving of a little “me” time. The more you remind yourself of this, the more it will enhance your self-esteem.

Small acts of self-care, some take less then a minute, can raise your self-esteem and make you happier. Try these self-care techniques for higher self-esteem.

Use these ideas for some simple self-care that takes just a few minutes:

S – snuggle with a furry friend or human – being close to someone who provides affection (licks from Fido count) increase oxytocin, the love hormone.

E – eat foods that you nourish you – notice what foods fuel your body and mind.

L -look at something beautiful – a picture or an image that makes you smile or inspires you, mindfully, for a minute.

F – funny clips, GIF’s or images – laughing and smiling produce happy endorphins making it more likely you’ll be in nicer to yourself and those around you.

Small acts of self-care, some take less then a minute, can raise your self-esteem and make you happier. Try these self-care techniques for higher self-esteem.

 

C – create confident thoughts with affirmations – take a moment to look for inspiring and loving quotes or phrases, read them to yourself, and put them into your phone or place on your mirror.

A – allow yourself a little luxury – the towels you reserve for guests, use them for you, buy the nice bath salt, get a foot massage (more men are in spas than ever before) and treat your body with some love.

R – read a blog or book that inspires you or that you look forward to.

E – enjoy a warm beverage, a cup of tea or coffee – become mindful of little things throughout the day that feel good.

These little, loving acts thought the day can really make an improvement in your self-esteem. Making time, even a few minutes, shows your body and mind that you are worth it. What acts of self-care do you try to do daily? Please share your ideas and let us know what your favorite ideas are.

Take Good Care.

You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on Google+ and Twitter.

An Exercise In Loving Yourself

Shelly:

This is what I need to remember. God is love. Love myself as God loves me. Ï am loved, I am beautiful.

Originally posted on Religion4All:

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More good stuff on the topic of healing. Here’s a useful exercise in learning how to love yourself:

Imagine all of the things that you say to yourself that are negative: “You’re too fat.”, or “That part sags.”, or how about “You’re a failure and you’ll never amount to anything.” Any of those ring a bell? If not, keep thinking … I’m sure you’ll think of something.

Now think of the one person that you love more than anybody else in the world … it could be your spouse/lover, or a parent, or your son or daughter, or a brother or sister. Imagine saying those things that you say to yourself … to that person you love so dearly … with the same regularity. Are you horrified yet?? You would never call the person you love up on the phone to tell them how ugly they are … or how…

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Social Work Month

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The month of March is designated as Social Work Month. This coming week is specifically noted for School Social Workers. I am so proud to be a member of this exciting group!

A School Social Worker’s mission is to promote academic success by reducing social, emotional, economic and environmental barriers to learning.

Who are School Social Workers?

School Social Workers provide a vital link among the school, home and community. Most School Social Workers are involved in providing services to all students. Most provide direct services to students and their families including casework, group work and classroom presentations as well as providing crisis intervention and consultation and making referrals to community agencies.

School Social Workers are part of the assessment process for special education students as well as often providing direct and indirect services to those students. School Social Workers consult with teachers and administrators and frequently participate on teams within the schools.

School Social Workers Remove Barriers to Academic Success by:

Partnering with Administration:

• Developing and implementing prevention programs/policies which address issues such as:
1. School Attendance
2. Bullying
3. Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse
4. Teen Pregnancy
5. Violence
6. Suicide and Sudden Death
7. Child Abuse and Neglect
8. School Safety

• Ensuring compliance with special education laws.

Supporting Teachers

• Identifying barriers to learning.

• Designing and implementing academic and behavioral interventions.

• Facilitating the special education process.

• Understanding of family, cultural and community factors impacting students.

• Engaging parents in their student’s education.

Serving Students

• Supporting needs to ensure maximum benefit from their education experience

• Learning and executing problem-solving skills

• Becoming resilient, successful learners

• Improving relationships

• Identifying mental health needs and locating access to services

Engaging Families

• Understanding of school policies and services available

• Communicating student’s developmental and educational needs

• Empowering participation relative to decisions, procedures and meetings affecting their student

• Strengthening parenting skills

• Linking to supports and resources

Collaborating with Outside Agencies

• Understanding school policies, programs and practices

• Coordinating delivery of educational and mental health services

• Developing resources to adequately meet the needs of students and families.

To practice school social work in Minnesota, the following are required:

1. Graduation with a baccalaureate degree from an accredited social work program;

2. Licensure by the Board of Social Work;

3. Licensure as a Teacher/Related Service through Minnesota Department of Education;

4. Social workers must pass the national, multiple-choice examination provided by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) comparable examination as determined by the Board in order to work in schools.

School social workers are an important member of the whole educational team. Be sure to thank your school social worker this week. If your school does not have one, advocate for your student and ask why not?

much of the information for this post was obtained here.

For more information please go to the School Work Association of America Website.

Aside

I’ve been re-reading my blog in the past 1 1/2 days.  I amaze myself sometimes at how I can write so eloquently.  I’m up to end of March 2012.  Two years ago we had record-breaking temperatures in the 70s.  Contrast that with this year’s record-breaking temps headed the other direction.  The post I’m linking has information in it that I need to keep at the forefront.  I have not been given a spirit of fear but have been given a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. Amen.