Review Blog

Jul 07 2020

You are positively awesome: Good vibes and self-care prompts for all life's ups and downs by Stacie Swift

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Pavilion, 2020. ISBN: 9781911641995. 144pp., hbk.
One of the greatest concerns of this pandemic that has engulfed the globe is the mental health of those who have been in lockdown for some time. Humans are sociable creatures, particularly our young folk who haven't yet developed the wherewithal to be comfortable in their own company for long periods and who need the contact with their peers to validate and boost their sense of self-worth. Even though governments may have offered millions of dollars to help with the crisis, including for organisations like Kids Helpline, not all will reach out to such bodies and so books like this that talk directly to them and offer positive affirmations such as the following can be very valuable in the hands of those who can help:
*  we are all in this together
*  we all need a bit of TLC
*  we have all survived every bad day and overcome every obstacle we've faced

 Chapters include headings such as:
*  Hey, you're awesome!
*  Why is this stuff important?
*  We all have times when life is a bit rainy
*  It's okay
*  Self-love matters
*  You can be a good person with a kind heart and still say 'NO'
*  Say yes to self-care

Each page has an affirmation, information and often an activity that can offer a pathway forward. For example, in chapter 7 which focuses on self-care, the advice goes much deeper than temporary fixes like bath bombs and candles and offers some strategies for a 5-minute self care as well as identifying those things that matter to the individual so they can build their own circle of self-care and make sure they complete it each day.
As well as being an essential tool in the teacher's well-being box so that students consciously learn the strategies of mindfulness and taking care of their own mental health, this could also be a gift to a young one who might be adrift because of the loss of their immediate peer support at this time. Even as students gradually return to school, that return is different from coming back from school holidays because families will have had to have faced a whole range of unprecedented experiences unique to them, some might feel shame or anxiety about the loss of income or whatever, and so working through the things in this book should form part of each child's learning over the next weeks. Help them to understand that while each has had a unique set of circumstances to deal with and these will continue to be endured for some time to come, we are in this together and together we can survive and thrive. That said though, help them build the mindset and strategies that will build resilience and help them to help themselves when those difficulties arise.
Barbara Braxton

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