Counselor’s Corner: A Simple Way to Show Self-Compassion!

Join our Counselor's Corner with Quaver SEL!

Right now, you may be experiencing a flood of changing emotions. One of the ways we can care for ourselves is just to be still and breathe. We’re excited to feature some self-care tips from QuaverSEL Content Manager and former school counselor Lindsey Jackson.

Today, Lindsey details a simple way to show self-compassion daily through practicing “Star Breathing.”

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Everyone, adults and children alike, has the capacity to feel multiple emotions at once. We experience changing emotions frequently.

This was my first year in a decade not working in an elementary school. I was extremely excited about my new position as an SEL curriculum specialist with QuaverEd. However, I grieved not being with my students and fellow educators. I experienced a confusing combination of emotions and I accepted that. It was okay to feel both excitement and a sense of loss at the same time. Through practicing self-compassion, I worked through my feelings of guilt. I embraced my excitement. 

I’m sure you’ve also found yourself in a similar situation. It’s overwhelming and exhausting. You may be experiencing this rollercoaster of emotions right now. It’s important to show yourself grace. You are processing a great deal of changing emotions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. None of us have dealt with something like this before. Allow yourself the space to feel what comes your way. 

One way to care for ourselves is to just sit still and breathe. Finding my breath is a way that I show myself compassion daily. It is the practice that I go to most frequently. It is the practice that I most frequently taught students as a school counselor. My personal reminder to stop and breathe is looking down at my own hand. I see a visual tool with which I can slow my breath and focus only on what is right in front of me. Even as an adult, I practice “Star Breathing.” 

Practice this deep breathing technique. Hold one hand in front of you with your fingers spread apart. Keep your palm facing outward. Use the pointer finger of your opposite hand. Begin to trace the outline of your hand. Start with the outside of your thumb. As you trace your thumb, inhale through your nose until you reach the very top of it. Trace from the top of your thumb to the valley between it and your pointer finger. Exhale through your mouth. Repeat this process, moving at your own pace. Inhale and exhale slowly as you trace each finger. When you reach the outer edge of your pinky, you may need more time to breathe. Begin tracing from the outer edge of your pinky finger all the way back to the outer edge of your thumb. When you are finished, take inventory of how you feel. 

Teach children to S.T.A.R.: Smile, Take a deep breath And Relax.

I hope this act of self-compassion serves you well. If you find it helpful, please share it with others, young and old. We all need time to breathe right now.

Thank you for spending a moment with me.

Lindsey details a simple way to show self-compassion daily through practicing “Star Breathing.”

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Try It with Your Students!

Offer your students practice with deep breathing as an act of self-compassion! Check out the QuaverSEL activity, “Getting Control.”

This activity is found in 1st Grade, Lesson 22 – Practicing My Self-Control.

Getting Control teaches students five different activities to help themselves calm down.

The following activities can be used as moment of calm in any setting at any time:

  • Taking deep breaths
  • Counting to ten
  • Thinking of a happy place

Extend the activity with the worksheet “Getting Control.” This worksheet provides students an opportunity to draw their happy place. What place do they like to visualize when they need a moment of calm?

"Getting Control." worksheet provides students an opportunity to draw their happy place.

Download the worksheet!

We would love to hear how you use these activities with your students!