Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Activity: Creating a Sensory Box

Some people call this a self-care box. Some call it a calm box, others a crisis box. Some call it a happy box or a cuddle box or even a sensory box.

Self-care boxes are a box of things that help you to calm down, to release stress and pent up energy. It is a customized box full of items that you choose for yourself that help you. It is personal and sometimes very private, though it can help to have people you trust who know where it is and can retrieve it for you in a time of need (ex; anxiety attacks).

Ideas for Things to put in your box


  • Blanket (soft or scratchy. Heavy or light)
  • Silk Scarf
  • Fuzzy socks
  • Teddy Bear or Stuffed Animal
  • Fidget toys
  • Worry stones or crystals
  • Juice
  • Crackers
  • Small pieces of chocolate
  • Cookies
  • Candy
  • Hand held game systems (gameboys)
  • Books
  • Poetry
  • Photographs or small photo albums
  • Coloring books and markers, crayons or colored pencils 
  • post cards
  • letters
  • Scented Candles
  • Cinnamon sticks or vanilla pods
  • Perfume or cologne
  • Room Spray
  • Significant others favorite shirt or jacket
  • Flowers
  • Essential oils
  • Ipod or MP3 player
  • Singing bowls
  • Chimes, bells
  • Rain sticks
  • Radio

A sensory box is all about you. It can take some time to find the perfect things and you may even have more than one box, but it is important to have one as it can keep you grounded, give comfort and create a safe space for you to handle whatever it is that you are feeling.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Resource: Activities to Relax and De-Stress

In the previous post, it was mentioned that Pinterest has some great resources for activities to do when one feels like self-harming or is struggling with their mental health.

Here are some info-graphics found on Pinterest with some really great ideas to relax, de-stress or alternatives to self-harming.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Resource: Self-Harm

Your child has had their first puberty class. Today they will be having their second. We will discuss self-harm with them, explaining what it is and what it means among several other topics.

There are many facts and information available out on the internet, in text books and from school staff but it is important to still speak with your child about self-harm and identifying people that they feel safe talking about emotional issues such as this with.

Below is an info-graphic about self harm. It is hard to find facts that are the absolute truth about teenagers who self-harm as many of them do not report their self-harm or do not accurately report it believing that is not 'as bad' as others or is not self-harm at all. However, this info-graphic has a lot of quality information and tips to help you and your teen.

Pinterest and google are great resources to help your child or yourself find activities that can be done when feeling the need to self-harm or general activities to help boost self-esteem, happiness and hobbies which have been proven to help maintain positive mental health.

Remember: Always let your child know that they can talk to you, the school counselor, the school nurse, their primary care doctor, or teachers about whatever it is that they are feeling or doing. Do your best to be nonjudgmental and to not let your feelings show if your child discloses self-harm or thoughts of self-harming. They are just as scared and lost as you are.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Resource: Parent Up VT

Today the 5th and 6th graders had a lesson with Healthy Lamoille Valley about substance abuse in middle school.
She gave us a great resource in the form of stickers that each of the students were given to hand off to parents with a link to ParentUpVT. She also gave them a tip sheet to help them avoid substances and tips for saying "No" in a comfortable, safe manner.

Parents are a huge influence in how a child learns, keep yourself educated in the best way to help your kids handle the peer pressure of middle and high school with Parent Up VT.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Creating Positivity at Home: Talking to kids

The website this graphic came from has a lot of great parenting tips and ideas!

Remember, it is important to say at least two positive statements for everyone one negative statement. Sometimes it's nice to just say something kind to your child, or your spouse.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Creating Positivity at Home: Positive Affirmations

An affirmation is a statement that someone can use to improve their mood. This is based
Off of the idea that we are affected emotionally by our thoughts. 

Affirmations are most effective in a complete sentence using 4 components.

1.         Present Tense
2.         Action Verb
3.         Self Reference (“I”)
4.         Realistically Positive

  • Begin by choosing a key word that will represent an important personal goal
    • Examples: Relaxed, Flexible, Trusting, Serene, Confident etc.
    • It might help to chose a word that is the opposite of the problem
      • Example: Trust and Optimism are opposites to Worry
  • Build a sentence around the key word
    • Example: I trust deeply that everything will be O.K.
Affirmations can go one of two ways.
1) we stop saying the affirmation because it is not coming true right away 
2) through constantly repeating and believing it we create the truth we had hoped for.

This means that if you continue to use the affirmation, and continue to train your thoughts, eventually whatever mindset goals you had made using the affirmation will become true. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Breathing Exercise: Breathing by Numbers and Counting Breaths

Breathing exercises can be used for nearly any situation. Anxiety, stress, anger, over-excitement, etc.

Remember, your children often learn about various breathing exercises at school. Ask them what their favorite one is!

With these exercises, it may be easiest to use specific counting methods such as:

    • One-one hundred, Two-one hundred, Three-one hundred, etc.
    • One Mississippi, Two Mississippi, Three Mississippi, etc. 

Breathing by Numbers: Calming Breath   

  • Try to make your in breath and out breath take an equal amount of time
  • Do this by counting slowly as you breathe in
  • Count for the same amount of time as you breathe out
  • Practice for two minutes once or twice a day.
    • Example
      • In two---Out two or
      • In five---Out five

Breathing by Numbers: Counting Breath

  • On each in breath, count for 2 seconds 
  • Each out breath increases by two
  •             In 2 ---- Out 2
  •             In 2 ---- Out 4
  •             In 2 ---- Out 6
  •             In 2 ---- Out 8
  •             In 2 ---- Out 10

Activity: Creating a Sensory Box

Some people call this a self-care box. Some call it a calm box, others a crisis box. Some call it a happy box or a cuddle box or even a sens...