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Strength is Within You, Around You

A Tool for Building Resilience for Difficult Times
Wendy Neyhard, MS, Wellness Screen Learning and Development Specialist, a program of Samaritan Counseling Center

Sources of Strength is an evidenced-based wellness program that focuses on suicide prevention and also impacts issues of substance abuse and violence. Sources of Strength is most often implemented as a school-based program in middle school, high school, or college. However, it is also used in community, faith-based, and cultural settings to promote connectivity and help-seeking behaviors.

Schools right here in northeast Wisconsin have embraced the program because it truly helps young people assess and develop strengths in their own lives, a skill that can transform a person’s life journey. Over time, one’s outlook on life—or the culture of an entire school or family—shifts its perspective to what strengths one has versus what one does not have. Young people in the program lead the development of strengths-based messaging campaigns. This helps make it approachable and accessible, no matter one’s interests or life experiences. The students and adult advisors guide young people to consider the mental, spiritual, and emotional resources they can access when times get tough. For example, a person might turn to medical care, family support, positive friends, mentors, healthy activities, generosity, and/or spirituality. These concepts are explored through discussion, practice, and activities as part of the campaigns.
As we make plans, it is important to check in with ourselves and see how we are feeling. Many traditions will not be the same this year. It is normal and okay to feel upset, sad, fearful, disappointed, and even frustrated that the pandemic continues to impact our everyday lives and holiday traditions. It is not a sign of weakness have these feelings. Your mind is processing the uncertainty and difficult decisions you face in the coming months. Acknowledge these feelings and understand that they are valid. Process them openly with friends and family to help accept the reality of this season and this time in history.

It is easy to get caught up in the things we can’t do this year. Help change your mindset by focusing on what is still possible. Many traditions can continue regardless of our circumstances. Sending holiday cards, decorating, shopping, baking, and going to light shows are still possible. However, you will need to shift large gatherings to smaller ones, or connect with one another virtually. Take time to try new ideas. Who knows? A virtual family meal, online ugly sweater contest, ornament swap in the mail, or name-that-holiday-tune may just stick and become part of your family lore for the long haul.

Your calendar may also be more open this year. Take time to slow down. Challenge yourself to be comfortable with an unstructured schedule. Focus on how you have the opportunity to feel more present and peaceful. One lesson we’ve learned in this pandemic is to seek joy in unexpected or overlooked places.

In the beforetimes, Sources programming took place in-person and on-site at schools and other gathering places. Since then, COVID-19 has motivated the qualified staff at Sources of Strength to create tools to bring Sources into homes so that young people and their families can practice these lessons in resilience on a daily basis. Please click on the link to use the At-Home Checklist to start a daily Sources practice. Here are my tips for making the most of this powerful opportunity:

  • When a machine is paused, it stops. When each of us pauses, we begin. Isn’t that amazing? Take time each day to pause and reflect on what you have in your life that can help pull you through difficult days. You will cultivate an attitude of hope, help, and strength.
  • Invest in building your protective factors, AKA Sources of Strength. If you don’t have positive friends, set a goal to make some. If your biological family isn’t as supportive as you wish, then look to positive, caring mentors for support, too. These investments will positively impact your life well into the future because you will learn to trust yourself and your ability to overcome.
  • Some people are surprised when life knocks them down. It’s hard to feel vulnerable in the big wide world. Know that every person is going to experience difficulties over the course of their lives. You, too, can cultivate resilience. Be intentional. Lean on your strengths. ■

Calming the Storm

TIPS FOR SOOTHING ANXIETY FOR KIDS
Becky Stellmacher, Guest Blogger, Former Samaritan Therapist

Self-Soothing
When an infant is upset, a parent can often soothe him or her. When a child or teen needs calming, a parent can help by teaching him or her how to self soothe. It is important to remember that whatever sensory stimulation soothed a child or adolescent as an infant most likely will be soothing to him or her now.
Here are some ideas:

Sight – What he or she sees impacts your child. It may incite excitement, create fear, or promote violence. Encourage your child to really look at nature in your yard or during a walk and encourage your child to look at the moon and the stars during these early fall evenings. Be cognizant of what your child is viewing on his/her tablet, phone, or computer.

Sound – Play soothing or joyful music. Create a playlist on Spotify with music your child finds calming. The Spotify app is free with ads – many fewer ads than the radio. You can create and play specific playlists. Create a playlist with your child to listen to when they are upset. Some children who have trouble going to sleep may benefit from listening to the same calming music each night before drifting off. While music can be soothing, remember it can also be invigorating or disruptive. Ask your teens to share what they listen to and talk about when/why they listen to it. Be curious. As much as possible, promote music with a calming, positive or empowering message – especially before sleep.

Smell – Aromatherapy can be effective for self-soothing. Per those who use aromatherapy, different scents evoke different responses. Vanilla is calming for some. Peppermint is reported to be invigorating. Lavender is purported to promote sleep. Is there a scent your child finds soothing?

Touch – Many babies calm with a favorite stuffed animal or blanket. This is often because of how it feels.  Comfy clothing, a favorite blanket or a chair a child loves to sit in may provide soothing because of the tactile sensation it provides.

Taste – Many young people as well as adults find certain foods comforting. Food can help soothe your child. However, as many children and adolescents find solace in sweets, moderation is recommended J.

Motion can also be beneficial. Rocking, swinging, jumping on a trampoline, going for a walk or jog, and riding a bike are all things that some young people find soothing. Engaging in the activity with your child may also soothe you. J

Breathing
These two techniques are classics which some kids may have been introduced to at school.

Smell the Flower/Blow Out the Candle: Smell a flower on the inhale, and then blow out a candle on the exhale. Pretend to hold a flower to your nose as you “smell the flower,” then put your pointer finger to your mouth as you “blow out the candle.”

Square Breathing: Parents can coach your kids on this one. Standing in front of the child, draw a square with your pointer finger while speaking/counting: “Breathe in 2, 3, 4” as you draw the top of the square, “Hold 2, 3, 4” as you draw the first side of the square, “Breathe out 2, 3, 4” as you draw the bottom of the square, “Relax 2, 3, 4” as you complete the last side of the square. Repeat multiple times.

Reminder: There are multiple YouTube videos that demonstrate different breathing techniques for kids and you might find one that works better than either of these for your child. PLEASE remember that kids will likely use breathing techniques if they see their parents use them when upset, or if their parents coach them in breathing practice and use them when the child is upset.

Worriers
This is beneficial for most people, but especially for anxious kids: Talk with your child without TV, music, computer, phone or other distractions, focusing on them, listening empathically to them, not providing solutions or trying to “fix anything.”  Doing this for 15 minutes a day, before bed, is often beneficial for an anxious child or teen.

Note: Parents of young people of any age may provide ideas for minimizing worry but should not tell their child to “Just stop worrying” as that tends to end communication. Parent should always ask if there’s any way they can help and remind the young person they are loved and that the parent will always be there to keep them safe and provide support.

General thoughts/recommendations for parents:

  1. Remember this is a scary time for everyone. Remind kids that you care for them and will keep them safe, as will other adults in charge of them. Discuss this regularly. Remind your child often if he or she is anxious. Remind them who keeps them safe in school or when in childcare. Children need to know who trusted adults are and be able to identify those people in their lives.
  2. Be cautious of what you say in front of children. Children, of all ages, listen to adults ALWAYS, even when the adults think they are busy doing something else or “won’t know” what the adults are talking about. However, while a child may or may not be able to process what is said he or she will sense the adult’s concern or fear. Before sharing information with a child, parents should ask themselves, “Is this an adult issue or a kid issue?” It’s best to err on the side of caution, and then share accordingly, avoiding most adult topics. If a parent chooses to share, he or she should remember the child’s age and level of understanding. Simple is better when explaining most things to young children. A reminder: Bright children, who understand many above age/grade level things, may become exponentially more concerned and/or anxious when information about the coronavirus, Black Lives Matter, or current politics is shared or overheard as they often ruminate on the potential implications.
  3. Remember in this, or any situation really, there are facts and feelings. The facts will not change, but feelings are ever changing. Kids and parents often benefit from the reminder that feelings can’t change facts. Working with children to figure out which things are facts and which are feelings may be helpful during the pandemic, but will also be beneficial for young people in the future. Parents may choose to address the facts in any situation, but should always do their best to validate their child’s feelings in EVERY situation.

One Last Suggestion for Parents
Spend time with your child or teen alone each week. Allow them to choose an activity – within reason. Do NOT engage in a required activity, i.e. not homework, a lesson, practice, etc. Do something recreational together – a game, craft or outdoor activity. Make the time child-oriented, remembering you don’t need to go anywhere or spend money to enjoy time with each other. Your goal is to engage with your child in high quality interaction. Do not discuss behavior issues or other parent concerns when together. Have some fun and enjoy being with your  child or teen!

Paraphrased from:  Taylor, J.  (2019). High-Impact Strategies to Reduce Chronic Misbehavior.  Presentation,  Appleton, WI

For more information during the pandemic (or any other time J)
https://www.heysigmund.com/ – General information with a focus on parenting anxious children or teens

https://www.additudemag.com/ – Info about all attention issues with loads of information including tips for teaching your child at home – which may be beneficial whether your child has attention issues or not

Note: These sites have info for all ages and life stages.


A CELEBRATION OF YOUNG CHILDREN

Posted on by Kim Davis

MAKE THE BEST OF OUR TIME TOGETHER
Becky Stellmacher, MSE, MS, LPC, Child and Adolescent Counselor, SCC

Writing for the this blog post began during the COVID-19 pandemic. We discussed writing about the Week of the Young Child (April 11-17) to share ideas about how to enrich our relationships with the young people in our lives. As conditions have shifted, we now know that we be spending much more time at home with our family members, and not only do we need to tend to the needs of young people, we also need to care for our family units. Close quarters, crumbs on the counter, new schedules, sadness over lost social connections, and financial and health worries will cause new stressors at home. I encourage you to try some of these activities:

Music Monday – Yes, have a dance party, sing together, or create a musical instrument with recycled materials. Also use your phone or speaker device to be a DJ. Play songs from your youth during the time it takes to wash the family dishes. Teach young children how to help with these chores. In the meantime, tell stories about your fashion, hairstyles, and taste in music when you were younger. You will make memories—and household helpers.

Tasty Tuesday – Create a healthy snack, make a meal together, or bake cookies as a team. Take it an extra step and plant seeds in small pots and put them in a sunny window. Remember putting toothpicks in a potato to support it in a glass of water and waiting for it to sprout? What else can you grow together? Look for teaching videos online made for young, curious minds.

Work Together Wednesday – Create a Lego or block structure, make a fort with cushions or blankets, or reorganize toys together. Encourage kids to fill their forts with stuffed animals and books for some cozy reading time. Consider rearranging the furniture in your child’s room with their input. This is certainly a time for a new outlook on life!

Artsy Thursday – Make art together, then string yarn or rope across a wall or window and use clothespins to hang the new creations. Consider making post-card size masterpieces and addressing them to friends and family via the USPS. Teach your children to become letterwriters and pen pals, a lost art for sure.

Family Friday –Board games, walks, or playing outside are all engaging activities. It’s the perfect time of year to play in the mud, so be prepared to insist that shoes come off at the door! Listen for
different bird songs, watch the progress of sprouting tulip bulbs, and find animal shapes in the clouds. Nature is still “open for business,” and is timeless in its ability to soothe the anxious soul.


21 Years at Samaritan: Megan Burdick-Grade, You Are Awesome!

This month we honor our colleague and friend, Megan Burdick-Grade, MA, LMFT, WATR-BC, a gifted licensed marriage and family therapist and a Wisconsin-licensed and nationally board certified art therapist who celebrates 21 years on staff at Samaritan Counseling Center in 2020. Megan started her working life as an art teacher and came to understand the healing effects of art and creativity. After learning about the field of art therapy, she adjusted her sails and earned dual master’s degrees in art therapy and marriage and family therapy. She relocated to Wisconsin with her husband and came to work at Samaritan in 1999.

Megan is a mentor and leader at Samaritan. She is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR), a healing resource that supports clients healing from trauma. She supervises clinicians in training to provide trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) through the TF-CBT Learning Collaborative which is a part of the larger Wisconsin Trauma Project at the Department of Children and Families. TF-CBT is an evidence-based therapy for children age 6 to 18 that includes elements of storytelling and resource-building.

“I believe in Samaritan because we are open and accepting to people of all faiths and spiritual practices, regardless of their ability to pay,” Megan said, “and I love that I can work with people of all ages.” Megan works with children, adolescents, families, and adults at our Menasha office with a variety of mental health concerns including behavioral issues, parenting, bipolar disorder, abuse, pain management, trauma, relationships, and marriage issues. Contact Samaritan to learn more or call 920.886.9319 to request an appointment with Megan or one of her colleagues.


When Teen Dating is Troublesome

When Teen Dating is Troublesome
Helping Young People Discover Healthy Dating Relationships

By John Schaller, MS, NCC, LPC, Samaritan Counseling Center

The internet is having powerful effects on the ways teens date and/or engage in romantic relationships. In my practice as a counselor, I work with young people to set personal boundaries, recognize healthy relationships, and build coping strategies for modern-day pressures. Here is some of what I see in my practice:

There is intense pressure to engage in sexting. Young people are pressured to send naked pictures of themselves or other sexual content over the internet to their romantic partners. The real-time nature of the internet especially manipulates the emotions of teens, many of whom are still controlled by impulses and motivated by the need for instant gratification and validation by others. If young people do not have models of healthy relationships in their lives, or validation from other family members, they are more likely to “do anything” to keep a boyfriend or girlfriend instead of setting personal boundaries that command the respect they deserve.

We need to talk about real love. When young people are raised in a social climate where marriages, sibling relationships and friendships have been irreparably broken, they don’t have a concept of what real, committed love is. They have to learn not all love relationships are doomed to end, and that holding fast to one’s self-respect helps them sort good from bad—and increase one’s chances of finding a healthy long-term love relationship. Remember the rush of emotions when you started dating? Simply the newness of dating can leave any young person perplexed about what good relationships should look like!

Social media is a master manipulator. Social media has exponentially expanded the pressure on young people to go along with otherwise poor dating behaviors. In the past, kids might have passed notes or spread gossip about a certain individual, couple, or relationship scandal. Now the accused are tagged by name in posts and hundreds of people can see (and share) the message in mere seconds. The power to manipulate a young person into making a damaging decision—whether it’s sexting, staying in an abusive or controlling relationship, or placing themselves in a situation that is flat-out uncomfortable—can go unchecked unless a young person receives healthy guidance from parents or other trusted adults. The choices they make now, even in the midst of intense pressure, will still be there on the internet—or in the emotional wounds they carry—long after they’ve grown and matured into the next stage of life. As a therapist, I work with clients and families to respond to these pressures in a way that honors a young person’s dignity and worth.

To learn more about healthy dating relationships, I recommend 50 Characteristics of Healthy Relationships by Alice Boyes, Ph.D. If you or someone you love needs help to learn how to establish healthy dating relationships, call Samaritan. We are here to help.


The Snowball Effect

The Snowball Effect
Small Acts of Kindness Really Catch On

By Nerf Udoekong, Case Manager, Connected Community Wellness Screen, Oshkosh Area School District (Rise Up)

After the holidays, winter can sometimes seem to drag on, doesn’t it? During these times, it can be hard to find energy or inspiration. I contend that inspiration can be found in the coldest spots. A few weeks ago, I was outside with my son playing in the snow and we began to make a snowball. This was his first experience with snowballs, so I explained to him the snowball effect—as we roll the snowball, it grows and grows until it becomes a giant ball that can be used for so many fun things.

Random acts of kindness work the same way. One kind action, no matter how small, can change the course of a person’s entire day. It can even inspire that person to be kind, and once the ball starts rolling, it has the potential to make a widespread, uplifting impact. Working part-time at a coffee shop, it’s always neat to see a car pay for the car behind them and then see the chain of generosity continue. A recent article in Psychology Today reports acts of kindness given or received can improve resiliency by promoting feelings of happiness and peace. Simply put, kindness inspires.

Acts of kindness also connect us to one another. Sources of Strength, a nationwide evidence-based youth suicide prevention program found in many of our local schools, emphasizes connection as a major component to preventing teens from taking their own lives. One of the strengths that the program promotes is generosity. Generosity helps others and helps us to see others in new ways. Showing others unprompted kindness can truly change someone’s life, and it can breathe a breath of fresh air into our own lives, too. As winter slogs on, try putting a little warmth into someone’s life and heart with an act of kindness. Not many things grow in this cold, but the positive effects of one act of generosity most certainly do.


3 Reasons Religion Has a Valuable Role in Mental Wellness

By Doug Bisbee, M.Div., MAC, LPC, at Samaritan Counseling Center

When it comes to mental wellness, research and earned wisdom have proven that having a faith tradition genuinely helps people navigate the struggles of life. No matter a person’s religious affiliation, here are three reasons why the structure and purpose of religion are assets to well-being:

Faith traditions help ground us. Our beliefs are the lenses through which we interact with the world. Religious creeds express our core values; help us negotiate loss, grief, and other challenges; and assign purpose and meaning to our lives. People with anxiety have an increase in their symptoms when there are no clear rules or boundaries and they are faced with too many choices. They drift without a set of fixed life-navigation tools. A religious belief system can help narrow and affirm good life choices in the midst of confusion or stress.

Faith is practiced in community. Faith is not meant to be practiced in private. However, mental illness tends to be myopic; that is overly-focused on one’s self and how one is feeling at a certain moment in time. Faith traditions by their nature bring us out of ourselves—out of our heads—to participate in meeting the needs of the community. When people focus on helping others, they take back their power from the depression or anxiety that entangles them. Secondly, people with mental illness tend to make choices based on how they feel (as in, “I don’t feel like visiting my elderly mother,”), but when our faith dictates that we honor and care for our parents, these values prod us to act in accordance with a higher set of expectations, beyond what we simply feel like doing at a given moment.

Our suffering is assigned meaning. Religious belief systems give us a framework with which we view human suffering. For example, Christianity was born of trauma and suffering with Christ’s crucifixion, but shifted and changed with his resurrection. Believers learn how to work through their own suffering, stand together in community with others who also suffer, and celebrate the wisdom and goodness that can result from otherwise painful experiences.

 

Doug Bisbee, M.Div., MAC, LPC, at Samaritan Counseling Center


From Presents to Presence: Reframing Our Holiday Expectations

From Presents to Presence: Reframing Our Holiday Expectations

By Gloria Allhiser, MA, LPC-IT, Samaritan Counseling Center

The holiday season seems to come and go in a flash now that I am an adult (and a parent), but when I was a little girl, I remember the four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas feeling like 10 years! When we’re little, time passes so slowly. Now, these same weeks pass in the blink of an eye. And for a season meant to be about togetherness, connection, and traditions, it can feel overwhelming and end up exhausting.

Now is the time to ponder the ways we can reduce holiday stress in the coming weeks, a season that frequently sees increases in anxiety and depression amongst people from all backgrounds. Parents may experience tight budgets amidst ever-growing gift lists. It’s also easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of the season—concerts, parades, gatherings with family and friends, cookie decorating parties, shopping—all while work and school carry on undeterred. As a parent, I know the pressure we feel to provide the “perfect” family holiday. And when something inevitably doesn’t work out the way we planned, whether it’s a sick child, a crabby partner, or not enough money for everything we hoped to buy, we might feel like we’re failing.

When I start to feel this way, I tend to lose focus on what really matters. I confuse my worth with what I can do for my family instead of who I can be for my family. When that happens, I pause and step back from what’s overwhelming me. Here are two thoughts that help ease my anxiety and bring renewed focus. I hope these tips also help you:

  1. Remember what you loved most about the holiday season when you were young. Every December, I think back to what I treasured most about this time of year with my own family, the memories that make my heart swell three times its normal size. When I picture those memories in my mind, it’s the people and the time we spent together that stand out the brightest.
  2. Remember that love is enough. You are enough. There’s a phrase out there that kids need a “good enough” parent, not a perfect parent. The same applies to the holiday season. It’s easy to feel what we’re doing is less-than or not enough compared to what we see in our curated Facebook feed. When it comes to making memories, family togetherness has the most staying power. You’d be surprised how many kids tell me their favorite part of the holiday season was when they all played a board game together and drank hot chocolate, or when the family got lost on the way to grandma’s house and laughed for hours. Simply being together trumps anything we could hope to schedule, purchase, or wrap. It’s okay and good to make that the focus.

It’s okay to feel sad when we can’t get our kids everything—or even that one thing—that they wanted. Our kids might feel disappointed if there’s a present missing from their list, but that’s okay and it will pass. We can only ever do the best with what we’ve got. The myth of more tells us that more means better, but, in fact, more is just more. Things are just things. Love is better, and love isn’t only expressed in gift-giving. Love might be shared in the giving and receiving of presents, but its most powerful form comes from our presence, and that’s the kind of “present” that will last a lifetime.


Making the Case for Elementary Age Mental Health Screening

How to Respond to Parent Questions

By Amy D’Addario, MS, CSW, SAC, Connected Community Wellness Screen Site Coordinator, On-Site Clinician at Samaritan Counseling Center

In the same way we monitor a child’s physical wellness, it is important to monitor mental wellness. Mental wellness enables children to think clearly, develop socially, and learn new skills. It is essential. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends annual mental health screening for all school-age children, a service Samaritan provides through Connected Community Wellness Screen in 11 area school districts. Some parents question the value of their child’s mental health screening; therefore, let’s consider the layers of meaning and value in this important initiative:

  • Parents are vital part of this process. They are excellent observers (and reporters) of children’s feelings and behaviors. For elementary-age children, we invite parents into the Wellness Screen process by asking them about their children’s mental and emotional development. Parental involvement helps everyone understand and feel more confident about the process.
  • We do our job well when we help prevent or lessen problems because young people get help early. It’s almost like working ourselves out of a job, and that’s okay! Most screening is preventative because regular screening helps children and families feel more comfortable about discussing mental health and asking for help or advice when they need it.
  • Wellness screening may seem unnecessary, especially when a parent does not have concerns regarding their child(ren), yet we know most parents are reassured that their child’s mental health is typical. However, approximately 20-25% of children will experience a mental health concern—that’s about five children in a classroom of 20. The good news is most mental health concerns are very treatable, especially with early identification.
  • If a young person is already connected to a medical or mental health provider for a mental health concern, the Wellness Screen is still valuable because it can serve as an annual check-in and used to track progress.
  • The Connected Community Wellness Screen team has gone beyond school-based screenings to help area school districts develop more comprehensive school-based mental health. When a child needs help, a masters-level clinician will contact the family to learn more and make recommendations, then follow up with the family to offer information and support.
  • We are here to help young people and families, no matter the result of a child’s Wellness Screen. After all, parenting is hard work, and it is difficult to know what is “normal.” Samaritan’s Connected Community Wellness Screen Program makes mental health clinicians or case managers available to answer parent questions at any time of year—and that’s at the heart of what it means to be Community and Connected.

 

Amy D’Addario, MS, CSW, SAC

Amy D’Addario is the screening site coordinator and an on-site clinician with the Connected Community Wellness Screen program for the Neenah Joint School District (HOPE), among seven additional school districts. Amy has more than 15 years of experience serving children, youth, and families in a variety of systems including child welfare, coordinated services, juvenile justice, adult corrections, and private practice. Amy has also managed several county and statewide initiatives focused on mental health screening and services.


The Meaning of World Kindness Day

The Meaning of World Kindness Day
Plus 10 Ideas for Small Acts of Kindness on Any Day

By Missy Klosterman, MSW, APSW, Resident Therapist at Samaritan Counseling Center of the Fox Valley

World Kindness Day was established in 1998 in Tokyo and has since taken hold of hearts and minds all over the world. Celebrated annually on November 13, World Kindness Day is set aside to focus on good deeds and the common thread of kindness that binds together all of humanity. The founders and supporters of the worldwide kindness movement emphasize that kindness has the capacity to bridge the divides of race, religion, politics, gender, economic differences, and geography—a powerful solution for the challenges of our time.

Why World Kindness Day?

World Kindness Day reminds us to slow down and practice compassion and kindness towards others, ourselves, and our environment. When we make kindness the focus of our day, we are more aware of our actions and what is happening around us. We avoid rushing to judgment and instead practice compassion for the hidden burdens that every person carries. Studies show when others observe kindness in action, they are more likely to carry out an act of kindness, too.

How To Do World Kindness Day

Try putting down your cell phone, unplugging from social media, and instead interacting with those who are in your physical presence. Be present in the moment and notice all that surrounds you, from bustling people, rustling leaves, and warm sunshine, to delicious aromas and unexpected smiles. Challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone to complete a simple act of kindness, including being kind to yourself. The day can be used to experiment with kindness in all areas of your life. You will begin to recognize the small joys that lift the human spirit, on this special day and every day.

A List of Kind Ideas for Any Day of the Year

  1. Send an uplifting text to a friend or family member
  2. Share a compliment with a co-worker or friend
  3. Genuinely smile at a stranger—or at yourself in the mirror!
  4. Write a thank you note and send it via USPS
  5. Pick up litter at the park
  6. Deliver needed items to a food pantry, homeless shelter, or animal shelter
  7. Pay-it-forward at the drive-through
  8. Say good morning to the person on the elevator with you
  9. Offer to help someone carry something heavy, return a grocery cart, or hold a door
  10. Leave a grateful note for your mail carrier in your mailbox

 

Missy Klosterman, MSW, APSW

Missy is a resident mental health therapist. She works with children, adolescents and adults experiencing a variety of mental health concerns including: anxiety, depression, adjustment issues, life transitions and relationship difficulties. Missy serves clients in our Menasha and New London locations.


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