Finding Balance in a Wired World

 

Our children learn how to use cell phones, video games, iPads, Kindles and other technological devices by watching us, their parents, so it’s up to us to model healthy habits, find balance with activity and technology and ultimately avoid being so absorbed in our devices that we miss our kids’ bids for attention.

We’ve all seen that mom texting, taking selfies and snapchatting at the playground while her three year old is calling out to her “mom, mom, mom look” we’ve also maybe been that parent. We upload a photo on Instagram or Facebook of our kids at the park- in real time, answer texts, answer emails and check our “likes”. The thing is, our kids notice, they’re watching us, watching our phones.

 

3 Things You Can Do to Change that, Starting Today.

 

Be a role model. Set an example by using tech the way that you want them to use it. Many parents feel they need to be accessible to their jobs. But that’s not realistic, set boundaries for work and family time, keep cell phones away from the dinner table, be fully present with your kids while you’re at the park and turn the TV off when it’s not being watched.

 

Set limits. Establish technology time limits www.healthychildren.org offers a quick easy way to create a personalized family media plan and offers a recommended “media time calculator” based on your children’s ages.

 

Use tech together. Watch, play, and listen with your kids. Sharing your thoughts, opinions and values regarding the content can be great teaching moments.

 

Remember, our children should never feel as though they have to compete with devices for our attention.

Careers for social good: Finding real career fulfillment

 

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Mahatma Gandhi.

A career at a not-for-profit human services agency is a great way to dedicate yourself to serving others, it provides you with an opportunity to get more involved with your community and make a direct and positive impact in the lives of those with who we share it with.

 

Why Work at a Not-for-Profit Human Services Agency?

 

Because you actually want to get up and come to work

Unlike a job in the corporate world, human service not-for-profit agencies offer work that enables you to utilize your education and professional skills but also delivers soul-feeding, meaningful outcomes. Encouraging you to strive to make a difference, and guaranteeing you’ll feel good about the work that you do.

The office culture is WAY better

Employees of human services agencies collaborate easily, you are all working for an organization because you believe you are making a difference in the world, you all believe in the mission and direction of the organization and you have a shared passion for the work that the group does. Not-for-profit agencies also offer more flexible working conditions, such as flexible scheduling, contract work, job sharing, leaves of absence, and health benefits.

There’s always an opportunity to advance or change careers

Working for a non-profit human service agency often means that you wear many hats. At one point or another, you’ll job share. Whether it’s helping a colleague with their workload or volunteering for one of the organizations events, it all leads to diverse experience within the agency and opens doors to advance into another role.

You literally change lives and see it first-hand

All not-for-profit human services professions are important in promoting social good and helping people in need. The goal of most human service organizations, including Family Service Regina is to strengthen individuals, families and communities through responsive leadership and innovative programs. Leading to a safe, inclusive and vibrant community in which all people are resilient, confident and filled with hope. How lucky are we? We get to witness the positive impact we make, just by coming to work every day.

If you’d like to spend your days feeling good, helping people, working for a cause or otherwise doing something extraordinary to improve your community, working at a not-for-profit human service agency is definitely for you.

Staff Spotlight: Colleen Barss, Counsellor

Colleen is passionate about investing in others and developing relationships that dig deeper than just the surface level. Her passion for people was discovered while working as a hairdresser and learning about her clients. Colleen set out on a journey to find a career that would utilize her skills and qualities while providing a service to others and decided to pursue social work- obtaining her Masters and a full-time position with Family Service Regina in 2004.

“I did my practicum under Ray at FSR when I received my bachelors in social work in 1995, I was hired to coordinate workshops in 1996 and held that position until I returned to the U of R for my Masters in 2001.” said Colleen.

When she’s not striving to make clients feel comfortable, you can find Colleen singing in choirs, gardening and spending quality time with her with her husband, children and grandchildren. Learn more Colleen in our Staff Spotlight:

 

  1. What personal style or experience, do you uniquely bring to counselling?

Well, I have three years of experience and training in Somatic Experiencing. Somatic Experiencing is a body-oriented approach to the healing of trauma and other stress disorders. The SE approach enables individuals to LEAN IN and release traumatic shock, which is key to transforming anything from PTSD to the wounds of emotional and early developmental trauma.

 

  1. What do you have to know to be a good counsellor?

Probably that you need to be interested and adaptable, you have to figure out what the individual needs and do it their way. It’s also important to have your own eclectic style and commit to life-long learning.

 

  1. What are three words that describe you?

I’d say I’m patient, flexible and interested in learning.

 

  1. What characteristic do you most admire in others?

Honesty and integrity are the most important qualities to me.

 

  1. What is your favorite food in the whole world?

Salad! I love salad, salads are interesting, you can have cranberries and pecans on one, or egg and chicken in another, it’s weird, but I love salad.

 

 

40 Self-Care Ideas- When Your World Seems Chaotic

  1. Have a good, long, body-shaking cry
  2. Call a friend or family member and talk it out
  3. Book a session with a counsellor
  4. Take a mental health day
  5. When you’re going through life’s trials and tribulations, soften your expectations of yourself and others
  6. Curl with good book and a freshly laundered fleece blanket
  7. Head to Mackenzie Art Gallery and take in some really gorgeous pieces of art
  8. Head outside into the sunshine for a nature walk, I recommend Wascana Valley Trails
  9. Turn on some upbeat tunes and get your body moving!
  10. Take a long, hot bath, light a candle and pamper yourself
  11. Write, knit, paint, sculpt, cook, bake. Engage your hands!
  12. Exhaust yourself physically – Go for a run, try some yoga, swim, whatever helps you feel fatigued
  13. Create a list of 10 of things you’ve overcome and accomplished
  14. Create a list of 10 reasons why you’re an awesome and loveable person
  15. Create a list of 10 things that make your life beautiful
  16. Clean up a room in your house, sometimes tidying up can help calm and clear our heads
  17. Go out and be around others. You don’t have to engage, but find a quiet corner in a coffee shop and soak up the humanity around you.
  18. Buy yourself some flowers
  19. Volunteer with a local non-profit, like Family Service Regina to assist with planning an event or pet the puppies at Regina Humane Society or become a foster parent to a Rescue Dog
  20. Spend a few hours in a bookstore and read some spiritual literature
  21. Scream, pound pillows, tear up paper, shake your body to move the energy out
  22. Take a long drive down some dirt roads
  23. Eat your favorite, most comforting foods
  24. Go to a church or spiritual community service
  25. Fantasize about what you’re hoping or longing for. There are clues and energy in your reveries and daydreams that are worth paying attention to
  26. Listen to some calm and relaxing sounds to soothe you
  27. Buy and colour in an adult coloring book
  28. Revisit an old hobby, try your hand at things you used to enjoy and see where that leads you
  29. Put down the self-help books and pick up some good old fashioned fiction
  30. Remind yourself: Your only job right now is to put one foot in front of the other
  31. Get dirty. If you have a garden, do some gardening. Learn more about horticulture during events at Regina Horticulture Society
  32. Seek help. Whether it’s through Counselling Services, visiting a psychiatrist or a Clergy- let those trained to support you do it
  33. Educate yourself about what you’re going through. Learn about what you’re facing, what you can expect to feel, and how you can support yourself during this time
  34. Establish a routine. Routines can bring comfort and ground you during the times that feel chaotic or out of control
  35. Get up early and watch a sunrise or head outside in the evening and watch the sunset
  36. Make your own list of self-soothing activities that engage all five of your senses
  37. Accompany a friend or family member while they run errands
  38. Try a new restaurant and order something you’ve never had
  39. Pray. Meditate. Write a letter to God/The Universe/Source/Your Higher-Self, whatever you believe in.
  40. As much as you can, please try and trust the process.

 

Finally,  remember, what you’re going through right now is temporary. It may not feel like that from your perspective right now, but this too shall pass.

Staff Spotlight: Katie Tuff, Receptionist

Katie Tuff, Receptionist

Katie Tuff, Receptionist

Katie is a welcoming and resourceful member our administration team, she’s the first point of contact for the agency and ensures our day-to-day runs smoothly by supporting staff and managing our client file processes. She’s completed Business Education at the University of Regina and held a full-time position with Family Service Regina since 2012. Katie is also an active member of our United Way fundraising committee and a key support for our event’s Jukebox Mania and the Shoppers Drug Mart Run for Women.

“There are a lot of things I love about my job, working for a human services agency I get to see and share in compassion and appreciation for one another on a daily basis and witness it influence positive change in the lives of others.” said Katie.

 

When she’s not busy supporting staff, you can find Katie with family and friends, camping or heading out to the acreage to spend some time outdoors. Learn more about Katie in our Staff Spotlight:

 

  1. What has been your favorite project at Family Service Regina?

I would have to say my favorite work at the agency has been being involved in the fundraisers that support the programs and services of Family service Regina. We always have a lot of fun and it brings out a creative side of yourself and your co-workers that you do not get to see every day.

 

  1. Before working with us, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

I have always loved waitressing but I would have to say the most interesting job I have had was working for the Saskatchewan Roughriders- Rewards Program. My job was basically to go to the home games and give out free merchandise!

 

  1. How has FSR helped you in your career development?

Family Service Regina has helped me advance my career in so many ways. Through my work I have gained valuable work experience, a new skill-set, an improved ability to make and build relationships and found an increased confidence in myself.

 

  1. What three traits define you?

This is a tough one; it’s always difficult to talk about yourself. But I guess I always try to see the good in other people. I am non-judgmental and understanding. I show people compassion and friendship whenever I can. I am a hard worker and will go out of my way if someone needs something.

 

  1. What is your personal philosophy?

My personal philosophy is (without sounding too cliché) is to look at the bright side of life. Everyone goes through struggles or has to deal with things that seem unfair. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and that if you are going through a tough time there is always a silver lining.

 

 

Have a question for Katie? Comment Below!

How to Help when a Friend tells you she is being Abused

When a friend tells you she’s being abused:

  • Believe her. Even if you know and like her abuser, know that it is common for abusive individuals to put their best face forward outside the home.
  • Tell her it’s not her fault. Don’t focus on what happened to “provoke” abuse. No one makes someone else abuse them.
  • Validate her feelings. A person who’s been abused can be filled with self-doubt. Let her know that feelings of fear, anger, shame, confusion, depression, embarrassment, loneliness, hope, hopelessness, hate, love, are all normal.
  • Don’t minimize. Let your friend know that you take what she has told you very seriously. Don’t try to make her feel better by letting on that it’s not that bad. Bring it up again. Remember that pretending it’s not happening or that it’s no big deal doesn’t make it go away.
  • Tell her positive things about herself. The act of physical abuse and the verbal abuse that typically go along with it can tear down a woman’s view of herself. You can help by communicating clearly the strengths that you see in her.
  • Listen. Although you may want to intervene immediately, the best help is to be someone she can rely on while she sorts it out for herself. Too much advice may make it difficult for her to do that.
  • Ask her about the children. Without judging, encourage her to talk about how she sees the abuse affecting them. Validate those concerns. It may help her to leave in the future.
  • Don’t try to make her do anything she doesn’t want to. If you try to take control, she won’t be ready and it’s likely to fail.
  • Don’t blame her for the abuse or her decisions. Leaving an abusive relationship may seem like a simple decision to make. It’s not. Leaving is difficult for a lot of reasons, and it usually takes a long time.
  • Urge her to seek medical attention and report to the police. The decision is hers, but even if she is not ready to leave, a documented history of abusive incidents will help her in the future with obtaining safety measures and custody of children.
  • Give her good information about abuse. It might not be safe for her to keep books and pamphlets around, but you can pass on information verbally and direct her to internet resources. As internet use can be easily monitored, recommend she use your computer or a library to access these resources.
  • Tell her that domestic violence is a crime and she can call 911 for help. If it’s not safe to stay on the phone with the operator, run or go to a safe place.
  • Help her develop a safety plan for the time she stays as well as the time when she leaves.
  • Encourage her to build a wide support system. Talk to her about the possibility of breaking the secret with trustworthy people, consulting a lawyer, attending a support group, getting to know people in the community, having a job or building job skills. Keep safety in mind, as the abuser may oppose these efforts.
  • Don’t blame or attack the abuser. Realize that in spite of what has happened there is a relationship that has involved strong feelings and loyalty. It’s emotionally confusing to be with someone who says he loves her, yet hurts her so badly. It’s likely that she has coped by making excuses for the abuser. Harsh statements against him may prompt her to defend him.
  • Keep in contact. Abuse creates isolation, and isolation makes it harder to get out. Find out from your friend the best times for you to initiate phone calls and get-togethers, and follow through.
  • Respect her right to privacy. Gossip only reinforces the sense of isolation and shame, and it could put her in danger.
  • Be patient and don’t give up. Gathering the will and strength to leave may take longer than you hope. Waiting can be frustrating, but knowing you’re still there for her can help her act when she is ready.