Each year our district hosts an annual teen leadership summit for middle and high school leaders. Until recently, this conference was totally planned by an adult committee; however, the adults realized that it is a student conference and students should actually take part in the planning process! So, the students were given an opportunity to provide feedback on which topics they felt were important at a student-led conference and one of the topics was, surprisingly, on balancing life (particularly managing positive mental health and employing self care tactics). Fortunately, my social worker friend and I were asked if we would present on this topic and we humbly accepted.
Maintaining a Work Life Balance has become the war cry of the majority modern day workers and should justifiably be taken seriously by employers!! Although we all strive to maintain that fine balance, how many of us school counselors effectively find that sweet spot? (If you need a reminder about the importance of school counselor self care, read this article from Dr. Rhonda Williams!!) What is this concept anyway? According to the mental health and well-being page of the government of Queensland, Australia, Work-Life Balance is “adjusting your day-to-day activities to achieve a sense of balance between work life and personal life.” If adults have an issue finding this balance, youth are certainly more susceptible to falling into the same trap.
My friend and I divided the presentation into two sections. First, I discussed the concept of mental health, when students should be concerned about their own mental health, and how they can assist others. Second, my colleague gave tips on self care and she intentionally provided concrete examples that students could use once they walked out the door.
Attached is the power point presentation that you are more than welcome to borrow or revise for your own use.
Now, it is your turn to share your ideas and tools. What tips/resources/handouts do you use with your students. Please feel free to share!!!