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Healthy Processing Tools

Healthy Processing Tools

Last week we talked about building emotional awareness. The next piece to build on is developing healthy processing tools. I am sure you are all familiar with emotional regulation tools, so I won’t go too deep into those this week, but I do want to explore how we use the tools, without forcing them. The goal is to make the tools available to children and give them the space to use them when they feel the need. This week, I will share some ways to do this in the classroom and at home.  


Healthy Processing Tools


Different people require different emotional regulation tools. Different emotions require different tools. And our environment at any given time will dictate what is available to us. 


In my program, the approach is to introduce a variety of tools in the classroom over a period of time. The idea is to use the tools every single day, in a routine way, so that they feel familiar and accessible to students and teachers when they need them. In this way, the tools can feel preventative and kids start to embody the healthy coping skills within themselves. This self-efficacy is also a key pillar of resilience. 


Here’s an example of a daily rhythm to help nurture emotional resilience: 

  • Morning Meeting

- 10 deep breaths, hands to heart, & emotional check-in (share, write, draw)

  • High Energy Transitions (lunch, recess) 

- SIGH Breath - breath in and sigh as you exhale - this soothes the nervous system and helps to let go of stress in the body

- Quiet reflection for 1-5 minutes (sensory, drawing, reading, resting head)

  • Before Dismissal 

- Community Connection - self-acknowledgment, community appreciation, gratitude for things big and small (share, write, draw) - this shifts mindset and mitigates negativity bias and our brain's tendency to cling to what is negative 


The benefit of this approach is to help kids achieve self-efficacy around emotional regulation, which we are seeing in the classrooms that have been consistent with the tools. 


This week, practice using one of these tools in the classroom or at home every single day, making it part of your routine. 

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