Tag Archives: back to school

Taking Time for Me – School and Other Things

I’ll be on a little hiatus currently.

Hi Friends! Since I am starting class for the next 2 months, I won’t be posting as much here and wanted to let you know some plans I have in the long run.

To those of you who are awaiting guest blog publishing, yes I am still going to publish your post! At this moment until I get a handle on online classes, I do’nt have any more scheduled to go out and will figure this out soon and let you know individually when I have some free time. Please do not worry! Since we rushed into Spring where I am, if you gave me a winter themed post, rest assured that I will be posting them this coming winter starting in November and will keep them on file! If you have any questions or concerns, please email me koraldawn@theunsanityblog.com and I’ll be happy to answer any questions!

Yes, I am still collecting guest posts. You may been seeing my tweets calling for guests. I am looking for spring/summer submissions, as my class is over April 26, and will be resuming guest posts then for a few months before the next class starts. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with anything you may need or any info you may want.

A bit of background – I am starting school again and attending SNHU online for a Business Administration degree. My ultimate goal? To create an online marketing platform/business where I can work from anywhere in the world and not conform to any set schedule anymore. I want to travel and I want to be able to work from a laptop on the road wherever I may be. I feel like getting to understand the fundamentals of business along with more marketing, will help me in the long run. It’s been 10 years since I’ve been in college and man it feels like ages ago. Probably because it was, but still… I’m just trying to get back into the groove of things and bang it out however long it takes.

The husband and I want to be able to enjoy our spring and summer since we really didn’t get to last year with being broke, and everything that was going on. We’re both employed now, and we now have weekends off together to do activities without needing him to request weekends anymore (we have NEVER had weekends off together except in WA when he was not employed, so this is going to be a lot of fun I hope.) The first 8 months of our marriage was bumpy, and it’s getting much better because we were both depressed with all the issues we had going on. I’m hoping our anniversary in May (wow!) goes better and his 40th birthday is this month! I can’t WAIT to give him his present for his birthday… he’s going to love it.

A little update on me as well – I started a new medication for my mental health and well-being a couple weeks ago and I think this one is helping much more than the other. So far it’s been good, and I hope it stays that way. My plan is to lose a bit of weight for summer/fall and go back to the gym with the husband (I’m making him come with me even if he says no) because I’ve hit my peak weight and I’ve been absolutely disgusted with myself. I’ve never weighed this much, and I want it to come off. It’s mostly thanks to medication and birth control from 2016 that I had… and now I’m ready for that weight to come off already. This is why (if you follow me on social media) I haven’t been posting many photos of myself and the husband recently, or much of me. I’m at the point where I just don’t think everything fits together anymore with the shape of my body, and I’m working on loving it more. I ordered a bathing suit for the first time in a few years… we’ll see how it fits now.

#FreebieFriday – Mid Quarter Progress Report for Teachers!

Readers, I have something different for you today regarding Freebies! I decided to make something for the teachers that follow me (I know there are a few of you!) Instead of a “report card”, I made a mid quarter progress report that you can print out to give to the parents of your children. I know report cards are regulated by the school system, and this is an easy way to let the parents and guardians know how their children are doing after a few weeks in classes to see what they may need to improve on to get that A or B in the class for the report card!

As always, visit my Freebie Page for the other free items I’ve posted the last few weeks and to download the high resolution copies of these.

Six Tips to Relieve School Stress – Just Call Me Jess

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The new school year is right around the corner and almost everyone is excited! Yes summer break is coming to an end, but the year will be filled with new opportunities to learn and make new friends…for most. For some, the new school year can be stressful! There is school supplies, new environment, new teachers/professors, stress if there is difficulty learning or reading and the list goes on!

Luckily, I have been there done that, when it comes to the stress associated with school. My anxiety would increase as the time got closer and would skyrocket the day before, “is my outfit right”, “what if I didn’t prepare enough”, “what if no one talks to me and I don’t make any friends”, and etc. As I would sit to take a test, I would begin to panic and often have to go outside of the classroom to catch my breath. Eventually, I began taking my classes outside and away from other classmates.

Stress is your body’s response to a challenge or demand. When you do not address the stress, it can begin to affect many aspects of your life, body and mind. Stress can often cause bodily effects such as headaches, insomnia, muscle tension, over eating or loss of appetite, and body aches. It can emotional cause you to have anxiety, lose focus, lack motivation, be easily frustrated or irritated, or even become depressed. When you are stressed you are more likely to use substances to cope, have angry outbursts, isolate yourself and have a decrease in participation in activities you once found pleasurable.

Throughout my experiences with stress, I learned many tips and tricks to decrease stress and rationalize my thoughts.

  1. Identify Your Stressor. If you walk into school/class and you begin to tense or you begin to have negative emotions identify where that comes from. Stressors can be anything and frankly that’s what makes them hard to identify. This is why it is important to have an effective self care and mindfulness routine so that you can identify your body’s responses to outside stimuli. Your body and mind will tell you that “this is not a safe place” or a “this is not comforting”.  Is it the subject, teacher or assignment you forgot to do? Once you identify the stressor it is easier to…
  2. Eliminate the Stressor. School can be a stressor in and of itself. The pressure to do well and achieve adequate grades will stress you out! Now add, family pressures, obligations, work, friends, relationships, bills, assignments, deadlines, extracurriculars…have I caused your heart rate to increase yet? Unfortunately some stressors we cannot eliminate but for the things we can impact, find alternatives.
  3. Breathing Techniques. I know, how cliche’! But seriously, taking slow breaths in and out will allow oxygen to get to the brain, your heart rate to slow and relaxes your body. Breathing in for 10 seconds, holding, and releasing for 10 seconds will allow you to make better decisions and become in tune with your body and what it needs.
  4. Exercise.The benefits of exercise are endless! Exercising is a mindfulness technique used to reduce stress, develop a healthy lifestyle and allow excess energy to be released. A simple 30 minute workout could reduce your stress and allow you to think clearly about decisions and what you need to do to have a successful day (this is why it is normally recommended in the mornings).
  5. Take A Mental Health Day. The brain is the most important organ in the body and yet we care for it the least. Stress can lead to many physical symptoms but also mental symptoms. I often see patients that have developed Anxiety Disorder or Major Depressive Disorder due to stress. How? If you continuously stress about your grades in school to the extent that you sacrifice your sleep or rarely eat you will get physically sick. You will also (eventually) burn out, lash out, fall out due to stress, lack of sleep and poor diet. Now there are no social supports, because you have isolated or pushed them away due to your emotional response to stress and you are not succeeding in school because you have burned out and fell out due to exhaustion. What is not advertised in school is taking time to care for your mental health. You will not give your best self if you are not caring for yourself.
  6. Seek Help. Speak to your teachers, counselor, family and friends about what is going on and how they can support you. I often suggest  individuals disclose their stressors to their support system in hopes that they can help combat them. If the stressor is one you cannot avoid, develop a plan with your support system so that they know how to be there for you during that time. If you need to be told to rest, eat, sleep, bathe, meditate, journal, listen to music, etc. let them know that. They cannot help you unless you tell them.

Good luck on your new school year! I know it will be everything you wish for and then some. Remember to implement these tips and stay positive!

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Hi I am Jessica, founder of Just Call Me Jess, a mental health blog that seeks to reduce stigma by normalizing the conversation surrounding it. I am a Licensed Master Level Social Worker with experience working with adults with severe, persistent mental illnesses and substance use.

Check out my blog for a FREE Weekly Self Care Calendar!

Follow me at www.twitter.com/just_jess_18 or www.pinterest.com/callmejess7

Getting Your Child Reading Ready for School – Elaine Gallagher

Today, I have a special guest post for back to school season from a good friend Elaine! While it’s a bit unrelated to mental health, which I try to focus on, Elaine wrote this for another blog, and it was never posted sadly, and I hate to see writing go to waste like this, especially with useful information! Elaine has written for me previously and you can see her post here if you are interested in seeing her other contribution to my blog.

Summer is the time of the year that we all look forward to as we count the last days of school. A break in the morning routines, rushing out the door, doing homework and squeezing in dinner time is on hold for a few months. It’s time to reconnect with your family and friends. But school is only on a break and we should remember that learning is a lifelong endeavor.

You often hear teachers and parents talk about the “summer slide”. That is the anticipation that children will drop up to two reading levels over the summer as they are no longer in the routine of reading every night. This is especially true of those in the lower grades who are just climbing to grade level.

As a parent, what can you do to prevent the summer slide?

Here are some suggestions:

Visit the library on some fun activity days (after the park or pool) and take a few books out. What is your child’s favorite author or genre? Encourage reading more books in a series or in a specific genre. Have your child look for books on their level to encourage reading confidently at that level and to keep their skills strong. Take turns reading the book together. Discuss what is happening in the book and make predictions and inferences whenever you can.

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Students should continue to log into their school’s reading website and continue accessing their individual reading records. Most schools will use these throughout the primary grades to monitor your child’s reading growth. You can also check out other fun sites for students to continue reading by visiting We Have Kids.

They can alternate between reading books from the library and using these websites. Look for YouTube videos of their favorite books and have them read aloud to them. Listening comprehension is important and having continuous discussions keeps children interested in books and stories.

Model reading wherever you go! Read in the grocery store. Read on the train. Read signs when driving in the car. Model reading directions or recipes you are following. Put closed captioning on TV to follow along while characters are speaking. When children see the importance of reading in everyday life and tasks, they will be more apt to keep their skills up.

Children practice what they see. When they see their parents reading and enjoying it, they are more apt to show an interest. Explain how you find books in your interest areas and encourage them to do the same. Have an area set up in your home where you keep your favorite books and magazines. Make it represent you. If you love the beach you can display some sea shells and pictures on your shelves alongside your books. Have a cozy chair nearby. Cuddle up in your reading area with your child to encourage parent and child bonding over reading time.

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Keep a reading log! If children keep a reading log required by school or just for them, they will be encouraged to have many books on their list. If there is a prize or recognition given at school for reading over the summer, keep encouraging them. Sign up for reading competitions at the local library or bookstore if available.

Work together with your child and encourage them to continue their reading growth and interest in reading. Make it clear how important reading is during their education and throughout their lives. Take a look at Child Mind for additional tips on keeping your child reading ready for a new school year.

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And above all, enjoy your summer vacation and the ease of relaxation which comes from a much needed break.

Elaine Gallagher is an elementary educator for over 20 years and a freelance writer. She
currently teaches 2nd Grade. She loves music, dance and reading. You can connect with her on Facebook (Elaine EMG), Instagram (@ellyelementary) and Pinterest (Elly  Elementary). Also, take a look at her two blogs: One on Education and one on Healthy Living.