This is Part 2 of this blog series. If you haven’t yet read Part 1 with the background and intention of this work, as well as the first 3 well-being practices to cultivate well-being, go HERE. http://www.cwtherapy.com/prioritizing-well-being-for-spls-part1/
Were you able to give the first 3 well-being practices a go? How were they? What did you find helpful, and where are there still gaps in what you need? This second portion of the blog series will hopefully provide some additional practices to further nurture your resilience, sense of calm, and capacity for connection, so you can best show up for the clients and families you serve.
Additional Practices to Nurture Your Well-being
For each call, I led the educators through a guided meditation and visualization exercise that was focused on self-compassion. You can either read this quick synopsis to guide you in this practice, or you can find the whole guided meditation HERE.
Visualize your best friend. Even though they likely aren’t able to be with you right now, close your eyes, and picture them across the room. Now imagine that when you look at their face, they have tears in their eyes. If you saw this, what might you do? It’s highly likely that you would provide some type of loving embrace with your gestures and your words. You might ask what is bothering them, and when they speak their truth, you’d reassure them that whatever they are feeling is okay, that everyone is having a hard time right now, and that you are here for them, to love them, to be there for them through thick and through thin.
Self-compassion is taking this exact compassion that you would extend to your best friend, and extending it to yourself. To experience the many benefits of self-compassion, you can use the 3 components Kristin Neff, researcher and professor at the University of Texas Austin, recommends (for more details and a free printable with more ideas, you might enjoy my blog on Quick Self-Compassion Practices to Build Resilience in Educators and Children). Place your right hand over your heart, and your left hand over your right. Name your suffering (for example, “I’m so overwhelmed and anxious right now”), connect to common humanity (for example, “Tons of people are feeling this way during these challenging times”), and be kind to yourself just as you would be with your bestie (for example, “I’m here for you. You are not alone. I love you just as you are. May I be kind to myself through all of this.”).
Celebrate the Wins
Although the negativity bias we have as humans lead us to quickly focus on the negatives beyond our control, we can curiously explore and celebrate the wins we’ve managed because of what has been within our control. What wins have you had? What can you celebrate? For me, it’s been sticking to my morning routine to ensure I start every day off with wellness, so I have a resilient core from which to bounce no matter how the roller coaster of a day might unfold. So, this looks like practicing mindfulness with my meditation app in bed as soon as I wake (Insight Timer is my favorite free app), drinking a full glass of water to start my day as hydrated as possible, and making myself a nutrient-dense, blood sugar-balancing breakfast with protein and colors of the rainbow. What about you? I’m sure you’ve been doing things that are worthy of celebration, no matter how small or big. Thank yourself – verbally, in writing, or with a gesture – for doing something for yourself so you can keep on keeping on.
Success Story & Ripple Effects
Immediately after one of the CW Speech-Language Pathologists participated in the educator well-being support call, she needed to provide support to a client’s parent.
After the call, she wrote an email to CW Co-Director, Elizabeth Sautter, and it wholeheartedly captures the value of this work and the potential for ripple effects:
“I can’t tell you how much that meeting meant today. I knew I was stressed, but until I got on that meeting and went through the exercises, I didn’t realize how stressed and alone I felt. It meant so much to hear from others and have a sense of community and family…
Additionally, I got off the meeting and called a parent who had sent me a very desperate sounding email about her child’s stutter being exponentially worse, etc. Before this meeting, I was worried about saying the right thing. I felt so much better after the meeting, I decided to call instead of email. She just started sobbing almost right away. But I was able to talk her through some things because of what I had just been in… Assure her that she is not alone and parents around the country are right there with her, etc. I think it helped to just have a sounding board. And I had the bandwidth and words to offer thanks to this meeting.
So thank you! Once again, just grateful to be part of this team.”
Thank you indeed, CW! Thank you for supporting your team in these ways on a regular basis and for creating these kinds of ripple effects on the children who I know you want to impact.
I continue to be hopeful that some combination of the practices laid out across this blog series will bring you more well-being and allow you to more fully serve the students and families I know you hold so dear as well.
Thank you also to CW for allowing me to be part of this process. I’m excited that I’ll be continuing to support CW and their Speech-Language Pathologist community as part of their ongoing dedication to collective well-being in our field. [ADD LINK TO DATE/EVENT??]
For information about Katie and her mission, and access to several free resources to help you nurture your well-being, you can explore her work at www.constantloveandlearning.com.
To sign up for a seminar covering all of these wonderful techniques, follow the link:
Prioritizing Well-being for Speech-Language Pathologists during the Pandemic with Dr. Raher
Tuesday, May 19, 2020 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM PDT
LIKE – FOLLOW – SHARE