Emotional Literacy is a concept that has been talked about in the academic world for years and is now slowly beginning to make its way into mainstream society. But what is emotional literacy? Emotional Literacy is one’s ability to understand their own emotions, have the ability to regulate those emotions in a healthy and appropriate way; as well as the ability to recognize and empathise with the emotions of others.
If you have traveled on an airplane you’ve heard the flight attendant give instructions to put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others. This is advice that we can translate into our everyday lives. Often, in our society, especially as caregivers, we tend to overlook our own needs to assist others first. But we have to remember that we need to show ourselves as much care as we show others. Self-care is an important aspect to begin to incorporate into your daily life.
Anxiety is something that many individuals experience with varying degrees of intensity. Anxiety tends to overwhelm both the body and the mind. It is important for an individual to have tools to regulate their emotional and physical responses to anxiety. There are many ways to do this. Each of us has our own “go to” activities that calm us down or make us feel better. These are our natural coping skills and often are often very helpful. However, there are times when other coping skills may be beneficial. Below, I have highlighted some coping skills that can be helpful when experiencing anxiety. These techniques can be used by children or adults.
As a society we all have a basic understanding that sleep is important for both children and adults. Insomnia, the inability to fall and stay asleep, can begin to affect individuals at an early age and follow them throughout adulthood. Lack of sleep can lead to poor attention, concentration and memory, exhaustion, irritability and other mood disturbances. One way to work towards overcoming sleep disturbances is to improve your sleep hygiene.
What is sleep hygiene?
Sleep hygiene is the term used to describe good sleep habits. There has been a considerable amount of research done regarding sleep hygiene. This research has helped develop a set of guidelines and suggestions that are designed to enhance sleep. According to research there is evidence that these strategies can provide long term solutions to sleep issues and difficulties.
“Take a deep breath”. How often have we heard this directive when we are worked up or anxious? Many of us can agree that the answer is “often.“ But why? How does it help? Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for the rest and digest process in the body. Control of the breath activates the parasympathetic system which activates the resting processes in the body. This allows the body to begin to come into a state of calm. Because of this, deep breathing is effective in assisting emotional regulation. This is true for all ages. Teaching children how to utilize their breath to regulate their emotions and body sensations promotes a lifelong skill.
Many individuals are actively parenting and caring for children who have survived some form of trauma. The experience can bring up a variety of emotions for everyone involved. These emotions can range from anger and frustration to overwhelming sadness. What can a parent or caregiver do to help their child(ren) and themselves? One avenue that parents and caregivers are exploring is trauma informed parenting.
May is mental health awareness month. Throughout the month we have seen many Facebook, Instagram, and SnapChat posts, videos, ads and commercials, as well as, many community events; all supporting and promoting mental health awareness and working towards ending the stigma attached to mental illness. All of these activities are amazing and are great ways to raise awareness. But mental health awareness month is only 31 days. What about the other 334 days of the year?. As a society, we need to continue to promote awareness of mental health everyday to really make an impact; and work towards ending the stigma associated with mental health. So how do we, as individuals, go about working towards this change?
It’s easy to find a therapist, right? Take out your smartphone, open up your google app and type in therapist in my area and voila- a list of therapists. But as many individuals have found its not that easy.
Hurdle number one- getting in contact with a therapist. First of all, no one answers the phone. Slight exaggeration, but the majority of the time you will have to leave a message for a mental provider. Which is perfectly understandable. Problem is many providers do not call back if they are not accepting new clients. I have had many clients and potential clients be surprised when I return their call do to their previous experiences.
Many therapists that work with children, and sometimes adolescents, use play therapy or play therapy techniques in their practice. To those outside of the mental health community the thought of playing games with a child as part of therapy may seem simplistic or of...