Tag Archives: calm

Katie’s Bookshelf: The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

brenebrownletgo“The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brene Brown is one of her earlier works but such a “go to.”  It’s a book on letting go of our perceptions and “shoulds” of who we are supposed to be and cultivating who we are.  Much of Brown’s work focuses on shame, vulnerability, authenticity, and empathy.  One of her messages about dealing with the shame monster is to “share your shame with someone who has earned the right to hear it.”

The book starts off exploring Courage, Compassion, and Connection.  I think this ties in nicely with her common themes as we need courage to be vulnerable and share our shame, which breeds compassion, and drives connection.  The next section is on Love, Belonging, and Being Enough.  Sit with that for a minute.

“It’s as simple and complicated as this: If we want to fully experience love and belonging, we must believe that we are worthy of love and belonging.”

The remainder of the book is filled with 10 Guideposts of cultivating and letting go.  She has chapters on topics such as self-compassion, resiliency, creativity, and calm and stillness.  I just love the topics that she chooses and how she frames them as what we need to cultivate more of and what we need to let go of.  At the end of each chapter, she has a section called, “Dig Deep” where she provides suggestions on practicing what we are cultivating.

Overall, I loved this book!  It’s such a simple read and can be read at various times not necessarily succinctly.  Brene Brown’s work is so hot right now and she does an incredible job of making the material so relatable and easily digestible.  You cannot go wrong with any of her books!

Read this book if:

  • You are a human.

Buy it here

Brown, B. (2010). The Gifts of Imperfection. Center City, Minnesota: Hazelden.

“Cool Down Basket”

DSC_0205I began to develop this idea 2 years ago after I received a basket full of Christmas goodies and had no foreseeable use for the basket.  So the “Cool Down Basket” was born!  As an Outpatient Therapist, I regularly meet with people who are anxious in my office and need something to take the edge off or children who benefit from practicing various coping mechanisms with me to use at home or school.  Parents come to me as well for assistance in helping their child with emotional regulation.  The “Cool Down Basket” is perfect, fun, and soothing for all ages!

Start off with a basket, box, or other container to put the items in.  Fill it with various “fiddle toys” that you can find at the dollar, party, cheesy touristy, or toy store.  I have found many items online at Trainer’s Warehouse or Amazon.  For those children who like to draw, include a piece of paper and some markers.  The “Calm Down Jar” is all over Pinterest.  For children, I suggest making it out of a plastic bottle and hot glue the top on to avoid colored glitter water from getting all over the place!  Making your own items or having your child create something for the basket keeps it personal.

Some staples for any basket include:

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A stress ball

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“Calm Down Jar”

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Tangle

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Pinwheel(to practice deep breaths)

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Random squishy things

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Something happy

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and who doesn’t love “Bug-Eye Bob?”

This idea can translate to a smaller version for the car or school.  Therapists can create a similar one for their office and what adult doesn’t like to have a fiddle toy or two on their desk for those stressful days??  Most of all, be creative, have fun, and “cool down!”