Latest & Greatest
Happy New Year! With a new year comes hope and new beginnings. Yet, we continue to push through this ongoing pandemic and show up for our colleagues and community in the midst of ongoing social and political unrest, self-care continues to be vital as many of are experiencing fatigue within these ongoing crises.
Although many of us are continuing to stay physically distant, it is so crucial to continue to show up not only for others, your community, and your family, but most importantly, for yourself. With winter, some individuals may find it challenging to spend more time outside, but it is highly encouraged for movement, vitamin D (which can help improve our immune system and mood), mindfulness, and for our parasympathetic nervous system (to help reduce stress and our "fight and flight response." So, here are a few winter reminders for self-care:
Make sure to get quality time outside in nature
Try to adopt a "there is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing" mantra
Remember to show up for yourself, while also showing up for others in the communities in which you work, as well as the communities you have constructed for yourself as your support system. Maya Angelou reminds us in her words, "As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one hand for helping yourself, and the other for helping others."
Fall of 2020
As we continue to push through the school year, we are continued to be called to engage in self-care. It continues to be vital and part of our life line and much-needed to enhance our bandwidth. While we are continuing to try and break out our silver sharpies (thanks, Dr. Jamie Chaffin!) to find and highlight those silver linings (e.g., all of the helpers, people enhancing their awareness toward and re-prioritizing our values, many reconnecting with nature, etc.), we continue to move through the pandemic. While engaging in social justice and efforts to enhance our resiliency, it is important to remember the following:
Self-Compassion is highly important. Remember that you are "working during a crisis," no matter where you are working from.
You are a human being first, and a school psychologist second.
We need to remember Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: we are at the ground level with making sure our basic needs are met, in addition to safety and security.
Your main job right now is to take good care of yourself; taking good care of others comes after.
Summer of 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted racial disparities and marginalization from other groups. Given that we are a social justice oriented profession, we must continue to take care of ourselves while we take care of and advocate for others. These times further emphasize the need for both professional and personal self-care. At the same time, we must recognize that self-care is a privilege.
Continue to check out our webpage for different resources on professional self-care.
Also, here is a Q&A with some of the Queer Eye stars on self-care and Black Lives Matter, by Chris Azzopardi, a Michigan-based journalist.
Also, there are some additional curated social justice resources through the following school psychology sites:
Spring of 2020
A few highlights that have been noted with living through the current COVID-19 pandemic, is that individuals are struggling more and more with sleep and fatigue, (including "Zoom fatigue!")
Help support sleep with CBT techniques-- Life Kit by NPR has a specific episode that may help with the difficulties falling asleep and/or staying asleep, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Listen here. Also, be sure to continue to check back for additional supports on sleep on the Physical Self-Care portion of this website. Click here.
Another thing that is important during this time, is trying to take "screen breaks." So many of us are faced with multiple meetings, and are, quite frankly, experiencing "Zoom Fatigue." Zoom fatigue is real-- learn more about what it is, what causes it, and how to mitigate the effects here.
Also, given the rapid changes and increasing unknowns, it is important to take care of our mental health. Part of this is recognizing what we can and cannot control. Check out the visual of the "COVID-19 Control Fox" to help draw attention to what you may and may not be able to control at this unprecedented time.
For school psychologists, this includes, but is not limited to worrying about what the upcoming fall will "look like." It is important to focus on what you can control, including how you may be able to support students, families, and educators with mental health and well-being.