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.

Art for the Heart Supports Emotional Healing

Family Service Regina’s Art for the Heart program uses art to engage and strengthen those in our community by nurturing their creative talents. Art for the Heart allows people the freedom to move into a space that revitalizes hope and increases their self-esteem.

Anna Obey pioneered the workshop in 2014. She teaches First Nations beadwork, how to use a loom, painting and other creative activities.

Art for the Heart takes place two evenings a week.

Located at Family Service Regina– #200- 1440 Broadway Avenue
Register with Anna Obey at 306-757-6675

If you would like more information about our couselling services and coping with a traumatic event call our front desk to speak with a member of our intake team, 306-757-6675.

 

 

Our Art for the Heart Program is provided free of charge thanks to the generous support of:

 

Replacing “How was school today” With These 10 Questions

 

Every parents routinely asked “how was school today?” question rarely gets the response we’re looking for, it’s usually met with “good” or “fine”. So, we try to dig deeper and ask; “what did you do?” yet are still met with a less than enthusiastic “nothing”.

Sounds familiar right? It can be challenging to find out what’s happening in our child’s life, but with these ten questions, we can help these conversations be more positive, powerful and ultimately learn more about our kids.

The Questions

  1. Where did you play and who did you play with, at recess?
  2. If you could choose, who would you like to sit beside in class? Why?
  3. What was the most interesting word your teacher said today?
  4. What was your favourite subject today? Why?
  5. Tell me about a moment in class when you felt confused.
  6. Is there something you think you’d like to learn more about?
  7. Is there anything you feel worried or scared about during school?
  8. Were there any times today when you felt disrespected by anyone?
  9. Tell me about a conversation you had with one of your friends.
  10. What did you like best about your day?

 

What questions bring about the most conversation between you and your kids?

Family Day in Regina, 2017

Chances are you’re already looking forward to the next long weekend and Family Day is just around the corner on Monday, February 20, 2017.

The most important thing about this special day is spending quality time with your loved ones, even if it is a chilly Saskatchewan winter!

Some venues in our community are offering fun, active and inexpensive ways to celebrate with your family.

Check them out!

 

  1. The Royal Saskatchewan Museum

Storytelling from 10:30am-3:00pm – FREE

Elder Hazel Dixon will be sharing traditional indigenous stories throughout the day.

 

  1. Victoria Park Skating Rink

The Warm Up Hut from 11:30am-2:30pm and 5:00pm-8:00pm – FREE

Skates and hot chocolate provided.

 

  1. Conexus Arts Centre

Waskimo Winter Festival from 12:00pm-5:00pm – $8.00

Magicians, Face painting, Dog acts, African Drums, Balloons, Arts & Crafts and carnival food.

 

  1. Saskachewan Science Centre

Homemade Harmonica starting at 2:30pm – Admission Rates

Hands-on and perfect for kids!

 

#BellLetsTalk

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Every single one of us has been touched in some way by mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Maybe a close friend, a relative or even ourselves have been affected. It is important to understand that we are not alone, and these disorders are more common than you think.

#BellLetsTalk day is an annual event that encourages all Canadians to talk about mental health, work towards ending stigma and support mental health initiatives across the country. For every text, message, wireless and long distance call by Bell customers, every tweet using #BellLetsTalk, every Facebook share of the Bell Let’s Talk Day images or videos and every snapchat geofilter used Bell will donate 5¢ to support Canadian mental health programs.

 

Healthy Families, Strong Communities.

Counselling supports you to resolve many different kinds of challenges. It can equip you with tools for change, help you heal and prepare you to move forward. We have counsellors who can help with a wide range of issues that you may be facing as an individual or in your family and intimate relationships.

Contact Family Service Regina at 306-757-6675. Ask to speak with the Intake Counsellor, who will ask you some questions about yourself and your situation and guide you through the process.

FREE Walk-In Counselling Service

Walk-in counselling is FREE and roughly a 60-minute session, we run Walk-in Counselling every  Monday 12:00pm – 6:00pm and Thursday 1:00pm – 3:00pm (excluding statutory holidays.) You will be seen on a first come, first served basis.

**This service is not intended for individuals who already have a counsellor in place.**

Please arrive at least 1¼ hours before closing if you wish to be seen. Our last session starts one hour before closing.

 

 

 

 

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.

5 tips to improve your child’s emotional well-being

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Negative self-talk is a huge problem for people of all ages. This thinking often begins in childhood. Children are receiving constant messages that they are not good enough. Many children get “stuck” in thinking this way from hearing negative messages about themselves and their abilities. They then repeat these messages to themselves over and over. Repetitive negative thinking about yourself, others and the world can lead to future mental health struggles. So we’ve comprised 5 tips on how to improve your child’s emotional well-being.

 

1.  What you can do

STOP and really listen to your child before reacting and offering advice or getting angry. When children are upset, be careful to understand their point of view and validate how their feeling whether or not you agree. Listening to your child’s viewpoint can reduce their defensive reactions. This enables them to express what happened, or what their thought process was, so they can grow.

 

2.  Teach your children to express their feelings

Many children shut down when they are upset because they think negative feelings are bad and shameful. When you invite your children to explore and express their feelings, it shows them that difficult feelings are normal and healthy and the end result is their development of emotional intelligence and good social skills. By equipping them to recognize and deal with what they are feeling; they are increasing their self-esteem and are able to build stronger friendships too.

 

3.  Bad behavior is an indicator of trouble

Children often show that they are struggling, through their behavior. If your child is acting out and getting into trouble It’s a signal that there is a bigger issue to be addressed or that they are in need emotional support. All children need guidance and support to help them discover their emotions and create healthy relationships.

 

4.  Happiness and despair are normal for everyone

Teach your child that every single person on the planet will experience times of happiness and times of despair.  There is no shame in having a hard time. Often parents tend to focus too much on the struggles their children are having, be it in a sport or what they’re getting “stuck” on in school, this causes children to think they aren’t good enough. We need to encourage our children to balance the amount of time they focus on the negative and what their good qualities and natural skills are.

Counselling and leisure activities are great ways of helping your children build the skills they need to be the best version of themselves. Taking your children to counselling to learn new coping skills in an area that may be difficult for them can be a big help to their emotional health and development. It makes them healthier, stronger and more confident individuals.

 

5.  Break the cycle.

Many adults grew up ashamed of their feelings and unfortunately, we pass this onto our kids unintentionally. Children are like mirrors that reflect back to us what they see in their environment (monkey see, monkey do!). You can teach your kids emotional intelligence by showing them that you aren’t afraid to express your own feelings and cope with them in a healthy way.

Example: If you lose your temper, first apologize; next, show your kids how to learn from the experience by making emotionally healthy choices yourself. Teach them, by setting the example of taking responsibility for your actions. Show them it is normal to make a mistake.

 

Finally,

Our brains are designed to change when we repeat thoughts and actions over and over.

Picture yourself and your child making a snow angel, slowly, the repetitive movements groove into the snow deeper and deeper to make a beautiful angel shape. Our brains work in a similar way. If your child is rehearsing negative thoughts, they may become very good at something that is detrimental to their well-being. To change negative thinking patterns takes practice, try encouraging them to focus on the good things instead. They will eventually automatically gravitate towards positive thinking and start to feel happier.

Overcome Shame and Restore Your Self-Esteem

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We’ve all felt shame. It’s that feeling when you want to tuck yourself into a tight little ball, pull the blanket over your head and just disappear. You are a bad person who is unworthy and unlovable.

Shame feels like you’ve done something wrong- so wrong that it affects your self-esteem and you begin to see yourself as a seriously flawed individual. We often confuse shame with guilt, but they aren’t the same. As shame and vulnerability author and speaker Brene Brown says, “The difference between shame and guilt is the difference between ‘I am bad’ and ‘I did something bad.'”

Not surprisingly, shame is rooted within in our family. As a result of not feeling seen, loved, valued and understood, we developed the belief that we were not being loved because there was something wrong with us. Children develop their identity based on their parents reactions to them, if you grew up in a neglectful, abusive, controlling or otherwise dysfunctional family, then shame is an inevitable consequence of those painful experiences.

How could you not feel shame if you were mistreated or ignored by the very people who were supposed to protect and care for you? Something must be wrong with you if your parent(s) can’t show you love. When we are made to feel inadequate and unlovable, we begin to see ourselves that way.

How we’re treated by others when we were children becomes the way we internally treat ourselves. The experiences which we were shamed as children become the unconscious triggers for feeling and expressing shame as adults.

Example:

If you were a little boy shamed for being sensitive or crying, then you’ll feel deeply embarrassed or even humiliated when you cry as an adult. Thus propelling you to do everything in your power to repress feelings that might make you cry.

We develop multiple unhealthy coping mechanisms to hide our feelings of shame, all which have a negative impact on our most intimate relationships. Control, blame, anger, withdrawal, perfectionism and people pleasing are all strategies that temporarily relieve the feelings of inadequacy and unlovability.

Step off the shame cycle by practicing these strategies and working toward healing.

Overcome Shame and Restore Your Self-Esteem:

shame

1. Revisit your childhood

As painful as this might be, it’s important to understand that shame is not your fault. You are an adult, with an adult perspective and judgment. Take a look at the small, innocent child you were and how you were incapable of understanding and processing the hurtful behaviors of your parents. You desperately needed their approval and unconditional love, and if that wasn’t available to you, you grew to feel unworthy of anyone’s acceptance and love. This was NOT your fault. Remind yourself of this whenever you feel your shame triggered.

2. Recognize your triggers

Pay attention to what triggers your feelings of shame. This may be difficult at first, as we often bury our feelings under layers of unhealthy coping mechanisms. So start with the behaviors, the way you react to the feeling, and then ask yourself what happened to make you react.

Did someone say something that made you feel vulnerable? We’re you rejected in some way that reminded you of your childhood? Once you know what trips you up and envelopes you in feelings of shame, you can begin to learn healthier responses.

3. Practice self-compassion.

When you feel shame, it can be difficult to be kind and loving toward yourself, but try talking to yourself and treating yourself with the same loving-kindness you’d show to a child or a good friend until you begin to change your thoughts and feelings about yourself.

Based on groundbreaking research by Kristin Neff, it’s been discovered that self-compassion can act as an antidote to the self-criticism that comes with shame. The three key components of self-compassion are self-kindness, a sense of common humanity, and balanced mindful awareness. Kindness opens our hearts to suffering, so we can give ourselves what we need. Common humanity opens us to others so that we know we aren’t alone. Mindfulness opens us to the present moment, so we can accept our experience with greater ease. Together they comprise a state of warm, connected, presence during difficult moments in our lives.

4. Challenge your thoughts.

Rather than believing every thought that flows through your mind, find evidence to the contrary. Part of you knows you aren’t a bad, unlovable, unworthy person and that your thoughts aren’t the entire truth. Your job is to weaken the grasp shame has on you and you can do that by challenging your thoughts when they try to control your mind. Put up a mental fight by reframing your thoughts and focusing on the positive.

5. Accept love and kindness.

The feelings of unworthiness attached to shame make it very difficult to accept love from others. In fact, you might even distrust people who are kind to you because they can’t discern that you are really “bad” and unworthy.

This is a dysfunctional reaction to loving behavior from others, but you have to be open to teaching yourself a new way of responding.  Accept compliments without diminishing or deflecting them. Allow yourself to trust the judgment of the person who sees the good in you. This will take practice, but over time it will feel more natural to relish in the love and appreciation from others.

Finally, you may need the support of a professional counsellor if your shameful feelings are debilitating. If so, don’t hesitate to contact us. Working with a counsellor is positive step that puts you back in control of your future happiness and well-being.

 

Three workouts guaranteed to make you feel like a hero!

New year, new goals, new workouts, new you! This is the perfect time to experiment and find something new, exciting and healthy to totally dominate 2017.

Getting fit can be fun and shouldn’t be a financial burden. Maybe you’ll even find your resolution easier to stick to it if isn’t costing you a fortune. The perfect workout is one that’s actually do-able and manages to make you feel like a hero in the meantime.

Read on for our top three tips…

1. 5km Run/Walk

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Surprisingly there are quite a few run/walks in Regina that are not only designed to gently build up your stamina and get you used to getting out and running, but that also charge a small participation fee which is generally donated back to a local charity.

We really recommend the Shoppers Drug Mart- Run for Women which supports Family Service Regina’s mental health programs. You can sign up for the 5km or 10km run/walk and get your kids involved in the Little Steps 1km for girls and boys under the age of 12.

Register with your kids, a group of friends, your co-workers and you’ll have a day of awesome inspiration and activity!

You can find more upcoming Run/Walk’s by visiting the Running Room.

 

2. YouTube your workouts!

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YouTube is full of really great free exercise programs, like, Jillian Michaels: 30 day shred and Jillian Michaels: Yoga Meldown. Both of these programs come highly recommended (I’ve tried them myself) and they do deliver what is promised if you stick to the regime, and trust me, she has no qualms telling you that in her videos.

 

 

3. There’s an App for that.

 

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Now that we’re stuck in the deep freeze that is Saskatchewan, forget searching for Pokemon on a beautiful summers eve.

Your cell phone can actually help you get fit for free! There are tons of fitness apps that can help you get into shape and stay there.

The best app for you depends on your goals, but my favorites include MyFitnessPal , which helps you track your calorie intake and exercise, and the 30 Day Fitness Challenge, which helps you fit workouts into your life and stay motivated.