Guided Journaling

Re-telling our stories especially those bad ones, no matter how painful they are, helps us with the healing process.

That is why counseling is therapeutic the same way journaling is. We can name our feelings better when there is someone who can listen and help us process an event and the emotions associated with it.

Journaling, on the other hand, helps us in organizing our thoughts and feelings in such a way that we can also process them on our own.

A lot of times we try to AVOID and DISMISS our emotions because we were raised to believe that we should be thinking logically at all times and that being emotional is a sign of weakness or immaturity.

Not everyone knows that our brains become fully developed only at the age of 25. This explains all of our misfortunes and wrong decisions while growing up. Unfortunately, emotions that are regularly swept under the rug and not processed properly can bottle up and can eventually cause depression.

Sensory Activities at Home

Here are some sensory activities that you can do at home. These doesn’t require much expense and are very easy to implement!

1. Sorting with a Twist

A sorting toy is one of the basics on every child’s toy list. To make it more challenging, wrap each item with a paper or a foil so your child can remove it first before putting the toy in the sorter. They will enjoy the added obstacle!

Options are colored paper or foil.

2. Flour Paint

This one is so easy to make! Just add enough water to the flour to achieve a paste-like consistency. Then add a food coloring of your choice!

Note: This can be super messy once dry. But it’s worth it.

3. No-Cook Play Dough

And yes, no cream of tartar needed too. Just slowly mix 1 cup of water to 1 cup of flour & 1/2 cup salt. Knead as you would a dough. Add food coloring as you knead! It it becomes dry, add a small amount of water for moisture. If it becomes too sticky, add a pinch of flour.

It can harden like a rock when left unused in open air.

4. Pasta!

This is my go-to activity when I’m running out of ideas and if I need to leave Pierce with some quiet time. Buy different types of pasta for variety, preferably: macaroni, penne, fusilli and the likes. Add a twist by coloring them using vinegar and food coloring. Why vinegar? Because it doesn’t expand the pasta unlike water. Let your child play with it using kitchen utensils.

Just use a small amount of vinegar enough to give the pasta some color.

5. Paper Cut-outs

First, pick a theme. It could be something from his favorite book or from the Bible. Then print corresponding cut outs for that theme. I make my own sometimes using colored papers (e.g. clouds, shapes). If the drawing is a bit complicated, I google and print. You can use craft materials too for texture (e.g. googly eyes, cotton balls, yarn). Let the child do the pasting with your help.

6. Piggy bank

This is my favorite because it requires no preparation and less effort. Just throw in a couple of loose change then let your child put them in the “piggy bank” (or any coin bank). You can also buy fake coins as an alternative. This can make him quiet for…. 5 minutes.

I hope you could use some of these activities to foster sensory learning that would further enhance the speech of your child.

Motherhood

Journal

Aside

Our corporate doctor encouraged me to write journals so my thoughts would be organized when I come back to my attending physician for follow-up. I’m the loquacious type and journaling at this point in time might be overwhelming for me. I feel like i don’t have enough time to write 1-2 paragraphs about my feelings even if I want to. 😬 For the sake of tracking I’m making it short and sweet. I track my:

✔️ Sleep and wake up time
✔️ Feelings
✔️ Physical symptoms (eg head aches, nausea)
✔️ Accomplishments for day

I found out that my average sleeping duration is 6 hours and my maximum hour is 10 (on Fridays). Anything else I missed?

Work Anniversary

I miss my desk.

I have always aspired to be in a leadership role ever since I started my career. But when I had kids, it became difficult to achieve. There were lots of times when I had to have a career slowdown and pass on some opportunities because I have to prioritize my family. I have accepted that as my reality but admittedly, it saddens me that my goals were not achieved according to my timeline (hello Type-A people). I soon realized that God’s timing is always better, and maybe God allowed me to have this opportunity according to His timing so I will not take it for granted.

So how was my first year like. Oh my where to begin? Any career change can be mentally taxing that’s for sure and I am not immune to that. I had to adjust with a lot of things: my schedule, perspectives, boundaries, language, habits, relationships, routines and priorities. 5 things I learned in the past year as a leader:

1. Tactical vs Strategic

I once thought that managers aren’t as busy as they ought to because they are always in a meeting and that they are not really on the “fighting ground”. When I became one, I realized that meetings are not just held for fun but it’s for strategizing the use of your resources to better provide service. You leave the day to day firefighting on the “battle ground” to your associates and you take on the long term & big picture thinking. That might sound “chill” but in reality it is a continuous process and it can sometimes take a while to accomplish. Along the way you will be disheartened because it doesn’t give you the instant gratification that the firefighting brings. But you take heart, because you’re a leader.

2. People

Ha! A lot of people don’t want to be in management because of this and of course I know why. We all know why. Work is relationship and relationship is people. For a team to be able to work like a well-oiled machine, it is imperative to establish a good working relationship and a working environment that would foster their individual talents. That could be a challenge sometimes especially when you’re dealing with a diverse group of people from different backgrounds with different ideals, personalities, and preferences. They will test your patience, your values and your abilities but at the same time, they are your best allies and your most valuable asset. If you fail here, you fail with everything.

3. Managing Up

You don’t just manage your direct reports but you also manage your boss. It can sometimes be challenging to keep up with their demands but they all have their reasons why, just ask. There are things that are only visible at their level. Simply put, managing up is making the life of your boss easier by doing things even before he asks for it. It is about embracing his mission and vision. It is about helping him put those into action. It is about partnering with him on achieving the goals he has for the team.

4. Adversity Quotient and Emotional Quotient

You don’t need to be Albert Einstein to lead. According to studies, EQ is the #1 predictor of professional success. In management, you will deal with A LOT of things and it will really make or break you. I had to go on therapy because I wasn’t prepared with the emotional challenges that I will face in this role and I believe that nobody really prepares you for this thing. The good news is, EQ can be developed and it is never to late to improve in this area. Adversities can look like a personal attack to you and it could bring a great deal of anxieties. One thing I learned is to make room for these negative things. It is true when they say, nobody grows from receiving just compliments.

5. Break

I know I’m bad at this. Don’t judge me. Maybe most of us are. I am one of the many people who has found an identity at work. This is one area that I struggle with and that I battle with everyday in prayer. Yes, I could sometimes be a workaholic so I’m talking to myself here. I found work as my break from motherhood and my job gives me that sense of fulfillment. However, sometimes it can be so stressful and that stress spirals down to neglecting myself and my family. Know when to stop and take a break. We are humans and not machines. Lastly, don’t feel guilty about getting rest! Want to sleep in on Saturdays and binge watch? Go for it! The business will continue while you’re on break!