September 16, 2020
SKILL OF THE WEEK: Feelings Awareness
Dear Students, Families, and Teachers,
I have to start off with saying that I am on a corona-coaster with my emotions. It’s like being on a rollercoaster with times when I have really good feelings about our world and our lives and at times feeling really low and sad. All feelings are okay, it is what we do with them that we should focus on. It is also important to know that feelings can lead us to action and change. Like when we are sad, it is telling us we may be missing something in our lives and we need help from our friends and family.
The first step in emotional regulation is awareness of feelings. Our skill of the week is feelings or stress awareness. I have heard many students and grown-ups say that online learning is super stressful with some people having meltdowns and really hard times. I hope you can take some time to think about how you are feeling when you have strong emotions and why you are feeling that way.
As a reminder, all skills are intended for everyone (kids and adults) and they are strategies that can be used anytime and anywhere. Have fun with each skill and try to find opportunities together to practice the skill throughout the day.
Lately, there have been so many unexpected changes and we have all had to make adjustments to our lives very quickly. When this happens, we often don’t stop to truly recognize how we are feeling. When we don’t take this time to notice how we are feeling both emotionally and physically, we are less likely to give our body what it needs. The Zones of Regulation and Feelings or Stress Thermometer helps us identify how we are feeling and what is going on in our bodies. Prior to identifying the color or number that represents the current level of stress, lead you child through a body scan with the language below.
Let’s take a moment to pay attention to our bodies.
- Start with your head. Place your hands on your head. Notice your thoughts. Are your thoughts calm and relaxed or are they fast and swirling?
- Place your hands on your heart. Is it beating fast or slow?
- Place your hands on your stomach. Is your breathing fast or slow? Is it shallow (short breaths) or deep (long breaths)?
- Put your hands in your lap. Check in with your body. Are your muscles tight and tense or calm and relaxed?
- Put one hand on your chest and one hand on your stomach. Try a slow deep breath and see if you can get the hand on your stomach to move in and out. Try it one more time.
- Think to yourself I am OK.
Both good and bad feelings are temporary. They come and go all the time, just try not to get stuck in them. Over the next few weeks we are gonna look at coping skills to help manage our stress and our feelings.