Daylight Activities Board: Starting March 15th, kids and teens will have another daylight hour to engage in life and build resilience, thanks to Daylight Savings! This can be a great opportunity to collaborate with kids on all the activities they enjoy doing in the daytime and fostering creativity on ways to engage with meaning, purpose, and fun!
Create a “board” of activities, identifying ways of engaging independently, with family members, and friends each day.
The board can be in the form of a weekly/monthly calendar, or with a sunny/rainy weather theme, and so forth.
Sample Progress Note: The focus of the session was (tailor based on treatment plan). The therapist engaged the client in a resiliency building exercise by identifying all the activities they enjoy engaging independently and with others. The client responded to the activity by (fill in the blank).
Couples’ strategy of the week:
Creative Engagement: One of the beautiful parts of having a partner is that you get to experience life together! This week, find one way that you can engage in life together. This could be as simple as a walk around your neighborhood, making your favorite meal together, discovering new music together, or playing with a pet together. As you engage in the activity, be intentional about sharing your observations, emotions, and thoughts with each other. This not only deepens your engagement but deepens your connection to each other as well. Bonus points if you’re able to set up a recurring time to experience life together!
Sample Progress Note: The focus of this session was… The therapist helped the couple explore creative ways they can engage with each other to build resiliency in the relationship. The couple was (engaged/receptive/disengaged/etc) while exploring this topic, and they (were able/struggled/somewhat able) to recognize how having a variety of engagement strengthens their relationship.
Adult strategy of the week:
Flowing into Engagement: The “flow state” is a mental state in which a person feels completely “in the zone” and engaged in what they’re doing. It’s common for people in “flow” to feel so energized and satisfied by what they’re doing that they forget about the passage of time. Examples include engaging in creative activities, playing sports, and learning about something you’re passionate about. This week, identify an activity that has put you in a “flow state” in the past and set aside some time this week to fully engage in that activity. To learn more about the “flow state” and its psychological benefits, visit: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-flow-2794768
Sample Progress Note: The focus of this session was… The therapist supported the client in exploring ways to increase engagement in their life by incorporating activities that put them into a state of flow. The client reported that was (helpful/not helpful/painful/etc) to explore activities that put them into a state of flow, and they identified ways that doing this could help them feel more engaged in their life.
Mindfulness/Meditation of the week:
Engage mindfully: Savor the extra hour of daylight by engaging in this standing meditation while you’re outdoors, noticing the warmth and light of the sun. Engaging in changes in nature is one way to establish feelings of connection.
Sample Progress Note: The focus of this session was… The therapist led Ct. in a meditation activity to build Ct.’s sense of engagement with the world around them. Ct. (engaged/did not engage in the activity), and they reported that the mindfulness activity was (helpful/difficult/not helpful).
Standing meditation is one of the most powerful ways to get our minds to slow down.
Think of what our bodies are used to doing when we’re simply standing. We’re usually standing in line… looking at something… having an alert conversation. We very rarely stand and do nothing.
Standing brings our bodies and minds into alertness. In this way, standing meditation is one of the quickest ways to bring ourselves into the present. It’s an excellent method to recharge our battery.
If you’ve never done standing meditation before, don’t do it for more than 5 minutes at a time. This can get longer once you become familiar with it.
Find a broomstick, a walking stick, a mop or something you can use to make sure you don’t lose your balance. The back of a chair will do in a pinch.
Hold the top of your broom/stick/chair. Place your feet hip width apart.
Look straight ahead. Close your eyes halfway, but not all the way.
Tune in to your breathing for a few moments. Feel the lifting and falling of your belly. Pay attention to your lower stomach.
Focus simply on the feeling of having your feet on the ground, and of breathing. If you find it hard to focus, you can silently or quietly repeat Thich Nhat Hanh’s beloved meditative verse:
Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in.
Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out.
Allow any emotions to be in the room with you, but do not focus on them.
When your mind wanders into thoughts and stories, gently and kindly bring it back to focusing on your breathing, and on the feeling and experience of your body, standing still.
After 5 minutes, open your eyes. Take a few deep breaths.
Be gentle with yourself as you return to “real life”. You’ve slowed down more than you might think.
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