School counseling for all
returning to school, Fall 2022
Anxiety can be hard to manage. In my 15 year career I've never seen so many children (AND TEACHERS) so lost in the wilderness of instability. In March 2020 and again now, I encourage all families to put some basic support structures in place. When/if these aren't enough, reach out to me. In no particular order:
- Set and maintain a routine. Rituals, screens, mantras, eating, etc. USE AN ANALOG (not digital) CLOCK! Make time to grieve, worry, or vent - it may seem funny, but putting it in the schedule validates the feelings that need to be felt. The routine will also, in time, help you sleep.
- Include gratitude - tell others.
- Journal, even if you don't know what to write.
- Create something - music, drawing, painting, sand garden, food, poetry, crochet or friendship bracelets...
- Get outside. Walk, exercise, sit... every day.
- Turn the news and social media off (especially lately). Detoxing from news and social media has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression.
- Connect with people who respect you. Mix it up, and make sure to include people who aren't in your family. Being different is a GOOD THING, as long as there's respect. Check in with "uncles", "aunties", & neighbors.
Talking about extremist insurrection january 2021
Like with any major headlines, it is essential that the adults help children understand the world they will inherit from us. 2020 left us with problems that will linger for decades, and 2021 has already given traumatic events, especially the Pro-Trump Extremist Insurrection at the US Capitol Building of January 6, 2021. To help you talk with students about this, I have developed and collected some resources:
We must talk about race, racism, and ESPECIALLY ANTI-BLACK VIOLENCE!!! I have a resource page to support parents, school counselors, teachers, and students.
I've spent the vast majority of my life in the Portland area, educated by Sunset Elementary School, Willamette Middle School, West Linn High School, Southern Oregon University (BS in Psychology) and Lewis & Clark College (M.Ed in School Counseling) and educating at Centennial Learning Center, Centennial School District, Vose Elementary in Beaverton, Bridger K-8, Peninsula K-8, Ainsworth Elementary, and now Scott in 2016 (whew!). I can also proudly say that I am a Returned Peace Corps volunteer (Honduras '02-'04), which means that I am bilingual, resourceful and (most importantly) flexible!