Mindfully Connecting

We're midway through National School Counseling Week 2018, an annual opportunity for school counselors to advocate for their calling and connect their stakeholders with the support services that we offer. I didn't want to spend a lot of money, so today I started with the gift of time by going into homerooms to give teachers a mindfulness break and one of these water-beads stress balloons. They're easy to make; click the image for a video tutorial. 

I was just delighted at the reaction I got from these happy-face tactile treasures. The teachers loved them because, in the words of one of our third-grade girls: 
They really are satisfying. 

While the teacher was enjoying her break, I read King Calm, talked with my students about mindfulness, and taught them mindful breathing using the finger tracing technique. 

I started the week away from school because I'd been invited to Pearland ISD to work with their counselors and LSSPs that afternoon. So Monday morning I met a friend for breakfast at LeMadeline, where the barista made this candy-bar-in-a-cup for me. Is this perfect for Counseling Week or what? 

It was such a treat to savor this sweet sensation while connecting and catching up with Liz, who made this towel scarf for me. Isn't that so creative? 

So you wear it in the kitchen and you never have to look around for a towel to wipe and/or dry your hands again ... because you're wearing it. Liz is the photographer who snapped this scenic shot at her summer home in Canada.

That morning, my guest post at Free Spirit showcasing some of our favorite SEL bulletin boards went live. Click the image to go there and read all about them.

Monday afternoon I had the best time with my friends in Pearland. Here we are practicing our deep breathing; inhale calm as you gently toss the balloon as high as you can, exhale chaos as the balloon gently returns into your arms. So quieting.

Then we added a playful challenge to simulate what might happen to our mindfulness when life throws challenges our way if we're not intentional and proactive. I instructed participants to continue to toss the balloon into the air as they practiced their deep breathing, but this time they were also to try to bat away their colleagues' balloons whereby interrupting their deep breathing in an attempt to make the balloon fall to the ground so it would be out of play. We were looking for the last person standing, so once a balloon was grounded, that person tries to take another's out of the game and so on. Take a look and listen to what happened to the calm.

Our afternoon went by so quickly; they were such respectful and cooperative learners as they soaked in every bit of mindfulness I threw at them. Their kind feedback, like the words on this Reflection Exit Slip, made my heart smile.

On Tuesday, this Free Spirit guest post went live.
I wrote it right after we got back from skiing over winter break. 
Click the image to read it.

That day I spent a lot of time catching up from having been out on Monday while planning on how I'll advocate the rest of the week. Tomorrow I'm offering some scented germy gels and lavender foot salts; I left them at my door in a help-yourself basket before I left this afternoon because I'll be at a district meeting for our 9th-grade registration meetings in the morning.

On Friday, each staff member will get a meditative coloring sheet. It's so much fun to treat my staff, to let them know I'm there for them, too.

Click {here} for 25 rewarding reasons 
why you might consider becoming a school counselor.

If you are already a school counselor,
thank you for your {heart} work.
You help others
dream deep, 
reach higher, 
love well, 
make healthy choices, 
take chances, 
set and attain goals, 
show kindness, 
connect with people, 
serve with a smile, 
apologize and forgive, 
show integrity, 
be respectful, 
take responsibility, 
pursue excellence, 
be a 'value-able' citizen,
keep their promises,
be honest,
show up, 
and grow.
And so much more.
You are a rainbow in the storms of life.

Our world is better because of your love and light.
Thank you, thank you. 

1 comment

  1. Thanks for the great ideas! I just put in an order to Amazon so that I can do some of these things during Random Acts of Kindness Week.


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