• Sarah Young-Sheppard

Wednesday Pick Me Up - April 2021


Happy Earth Day! Yes, tomorrow marks the 51st anniversary of annual Earth Day. Celebrating Earth Day serves as a conscious reminder of how fragile our planet is and how important it is to protect it. Read below for more information and activities we can all do to celebrate our great Earth! April also marks National Autism Awareness Month. Beyond awareness, it is important to have an understanding and acceptance of all with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Read below for more information. Have you heard about our social and emotional wellness curriculums, SELFY middle school and SELFY Teen?! They have both been proven to help youth develop social and emotional learning skills and have a good time while doing so. We want to take this opportunity to remind you that on Thursday April 29th, we will be facilitating our online training Social & Emotional Wellness Activities & Practices. This training is designed for any adult that wants to learn more about social and emotional wellness and how to incorporate it into their lives and/or work. Click here for more info and registration. In our April Newsletter, we shared that we have great things in store for May. While we can’t divulge the news yet, we can tell you that it's in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month in May. We hope you will join us in creating conversations and connections around mental health awareness. Be on the lookout for a special email on May 1st!

P.S. In honor of Earth Day, we wanted to share some fun, yummy earth day inspired recipes. Check these out! As always if you or someone you know needs support. Email us at Care@SEWI.org

SOCIAL


Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the world. 1 in every 54 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. So what is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)? It is a complex developmental condition that involves persistent challenges in social interaction, speech and nonverbal communication, and restricted/repetitive behaviors. The effects of ASD and the severity of symptoms are different in each person.


Raising awareness and acceptance helps people understand and not be frightened by the disability. Autism is all around us, even if we might not notice, and it is important to always treat others with kindness, acceptance, and respect.


Through this month on social media, we have highlighted the voices of community members on the Autism spectrum who have used their platform to educate others, share facts and experiences with Autism Spectrum Disorder. We want to highlight a unique organization that we’ve been learning from called Autistic Self Advocacy Network, you can check them out here.


To learn more follow us on Instagram (@SEWInitiative), Twitter (@SEWIwellness ), and/or Facebook (@SEWInitiative).

EMOTIONAL


According to motivational speaker Bronnie Ware’s 2012 book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, most focus on authenticity, enjoyment, and community:

  1. “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

  2. “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard/much all the time.”

  3. “I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.”

  4. “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.”

  5. “I wish I had let myself be happier.”

We don’t want to live with regrets. No matter our age or health status we need to work towards a life that will protect you from feeling these common end-of-life regrets. So what can we do now?! That’s where one of our 5 competencies comes in! Remember those? We shared them with you in our April Newsletter and have been featuring them on social media. Let’s talk about the competency of self awareness. “Those who are self-aware tend to move into life’s possibilities. Those who are less self-reflective often get mired in negative cycles that can lead to regret.” —Carla Marie Manly, PhD, clinical psychologist. So let’s take action and truly reflect on our lives and the opportunities we are missing to live a life without regrets. We know it’s not going to be easy but if you are experiencing any of the regrets above start with small steps to rectify. For example, let’s look at the regret “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard/much all the time”. Rectifying this regret can be tricky depending on your industry and the general demands of your role. What this can look like for most people is creating specific boundaries. Maybe it’s vowing not to check your email over the weekends (and messaging that boundary to your manager). Maybe it means switching gears to a career path. Regardless of what regret you are experiencing now, believe that change is possible and that you can get on a path towards living without or with less regrets.

PHYSICAL


Earth Day is an annual event on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First held on April 22, 1970, it now includes a wide range of events coordinated globally by EARTHDAY.ORG including 1 billion people in more than 193 countries. Earth Day is a great day to get family and friends together and get moving to help our earth. Some great ways to stay active for a great cause are:

  • Neighborhood Clean Ups

  • Plant a Tree

  • Bike-to-work/school

  • Beach Clean Ups

For more activities and information on Earth Day check out the official website Earthday.org, NASA Earth Day Website & Activities to do at home here.



Good News


Check out this story about a restaurant serving up food and social justice amid the pandemic.



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