Supporting Parents. Fostering Change.

Monthly Archives: March 2015

This is something my mom used to say to me. It’s one of those mom’isms that you just kind of shake your head at, but it does actually have some value. I spent the last few days in Florida visiting my parents. The sun and warmth was such a wonderful contrast to the dark and cold we have been experiencing for what feels like forever. It made me think about how we have all just become accustomed to the dreariness. It isn’t until Spring returns in earnest that we realize just how blah we have been feeling.

While it would be fabulous to dip out to sun country every time we are feeling like we need to recharge, that’s not practical for most of us as full-time employees, parents and/or real people. So here are a few things I found on the SparkPeople site that you can try to lift the winter weight of the world:

  1. Exercise – a little bit goes a long way. Take a walk in the middle of the day for 20 minutes and soak in the sun and the extra Vitamin D.
  3. Eat foods that lift your mood – and not the sugary kind that jack you up and then knock you down. Have some fresh fruit/grains and veggies. Complex carbs and 8 glasses of water a day can help to stabilize your blood sugar and your energy levels.
  5. Just say No to over scheduling. Take time to relax and enjoy. Read a book, sleep in or go to bed early, take a yoga class or plan time with your friends. It’s OK to do nothing!

And one of my own favorites, make time to touch base with your support network. As women, we can sometimes put our heads down to push through all of our obligations and lose touch with our friends as they are doing the same. Lift yourself up and check in with your friends. They can be just as warming to your spirit as a weekend on the beach.

Posted in Adults, Depression | Comments off

I am still thinking about the conference I attended recently and thought I would offer this set of strategies for my teacher/school counselor/youth group/girl scout leader/group therapy colleagues. (Even those of you with multiple children!)

We use this method to encourage cooperation, to highlight positive social interactions, or to get help from group members in problem solving conflict between two members.
The S.O.A.R. approach includes the following steps:
S – Stop Action
O – Observe Aloud
A – Ask for Feedback
R – Reinforce Cooperative Interaction

Freeze action during a group activity to observe out loud cooperative efforts. Watch how this technique empowers the group to cooperate!
S – Stop Action: “Hey guys, let’s freeze for a second here.”
O – Observe Aloud: “Is anyone noticing how great this group is all working together right now?”
A – Ask for Feedback: “How great does it feel to work so well together as a team?  If you like it, say, ‘Yes’!”
R – Reinforce Cooperative Interaction: “What great teamwork!”
Freeze action during group activity to enlist help from other group members in solving problems between two members.
S – Stop Action: “Hey guys, let’s freeze for a second here.”
O – Observe Aloud: “Is there anyone noticing what is happening here between Andy and Shawn?”
A – Ask for Feedback: “Grady noticed that Andy and Shawn are fighting over the same toy.  Does anyone in the group have any ideas to help them solve this problem?”
R – Reinforce Cooperative Interaction: “Grady suggested Andy and Shawn could take turns with the toy.  Does that idea work for both of you?  What great team work!”
Let me know how it works for you in your groups.

Posted in Communication, Group Therapy, Sibling Rivalry | Comments off