Day 111 (of 187) my prethink on Sunday’s #bcedchat checking in on mental wellness and self (and co-) regulation
There is a reason why I suggested a bcedchat on mental wellness and self regulation checking this time of year… it’s important for us to think about our own mindsets as we approach one of the hardest weeks in education (day 113 is annually a toughie based on my blog -Monday is day 112….)
An earlier observation: https://technolandy.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/day-113-of-183-yep-that-time-of-year-check-in/
So…at this time of year where sometimes the snow is becoming stressful (even we on the Sunshine Coast had another snow warning last night….) we have to be mindful are what we are doing to & for ourselves! Right now I know I’m not walking as much as I want to be and evening walks are good for my son and myself… one thing adding to my stress is knowing that day 113-116 are annually tough on people so I’m hyper sensitive to how families are doing. This is a time when many families are waiting on word if a camp is opening up…and worried that no call has come yet. Also many decisions to end relationships come at this time of year (maybe because of poor choices for Christmas presents compared to the bills in the mail….)
Sometimes we need some comforts. Comfort foods (usually high carbs) comfort music….and of course the trash kids listen today….the same rant our parents said and Guns n Roses and NWA are in the rock and roll Hall of Fame! So even I spend time listening to Hits One on SiriusXM and follow along the Apple recommended hits – avoiding some because of lyrics but appreciating the era we have returned to: where the single is the thing and an album is the oddity. I’m sure the album concept will come back in vogue in a few years – where songs are strategically placed next to others on an album to tell a bigger story. Just not right now – the movie That Thing You Do has more relevance again…. and some songs connect better than others. I’m enjoying Sunflower (probably because of the Spiderverse movie) but don’t get some of the other sicko beats (yep – chose that word for a reason!)
And of course as years change, even I’m finding some self regulation strategies aren’t working as well as they used to. Sometimes “taking a breath” isn’t enough….though a strategy of 5-5-5 (five seconds in, five seconds out, for five minutes) is getting some traction – I’m going to try it with a group next week…
I think it’s important to not become too reliant not any one/new strategy. The “fad” of fidget spinners being a great recent example. They were everywhere (and banned because they were annoying- and as I preach: if you take a strategy away, gotta provide an alternative) and then they weren’t…except for the (relatively) few who actually found it helpful
Then there is the time honoured and respected in-class distraction: the book. I see kids off-task reading a “paper tablet” quite regularly and then get a “put it away you rascal” reminder…but if the paper tablet becomes electronic…seems like the world is aflame and the end is nigh! But reading is good for self regulation – I try to mix personal and professional readings (and display the covers on the bulletin board outside my office) Currently I’m enjoying da Vinci by Isaacson but not as much as his book on Jobs….
it’s interesting that “we” look at him as a genius, but in reality he was frequently distracted from his assigned tasks and didn’t actually complete as many projects as we might like to think he actually did (yep – inherit connection to our own expectations of learners and learning). And he saw himself as self educated and freer than those who were told what to think – so he could be an engineer, painter, artist, observer and more… and making me rethink some claims of dyslexia when some kids do mirror writing (not just db/qp reversals) as maybe something ….more complex.
Recently, I’ve been making some stream-of-thought observations to help me verbalized what I am visualizing. A recent one: sometimes we need to distract the complex brain in order to help it focus.
I think we need to do some more asynchronous and a logical thinking to work with regulation and wellness – after all if it was clear and direct, it would be behavioural and behavioural interventions are much more precise and succinct!
And then there is “this time of year” where it is easier to plug in and tune out (some great series on Netflix and Amazon lately – in many cases a re-golden age of visual media) and not make the good healthier choices (walking in nature) because it’s cold/wet/icy/fill-in-excuse-here and that might be part of why we are coming up to one of the hardest days/weeks in the school calendar (though our new Family Day may have an impact – and I’m not sure if the snow days where a re-set break or a break-with-more-anxiety …. but we will know all too soon.
I’m hoping that by being more mindful of the annual toughness of “February blahs” might help minimize things…but even this morning I heard about a dad who was angry that we were starting our day outside and not having an in-day because it was 0/the wind was blowing/the snow was starting and apparently we want to teach our kids how to catch pneumonia (fyi it’s viral so needs bacteria and viruses, not unpleasant weather conditions) Hopefully day 113 will be like any other day….!
And if your interested….we will be continuing some of these thoughts Sunday February 24th at 7pm pst at #bcedchat and always like others thoughts observations and shares!