Monday, 9 January 2017

The SELF in self-regulation

For the assignments in my self-regulation course, I've been thinking a lot about the self in self-regulation and how it has to be very individual.  What is calming for one person can be aggravating for another.  Lots of people find it very relaxing to take a bath but I just get restless. Sitting and soaking in a tub would be stressful for me!

There are many definitions of self-regulation but I am working from the definition that self-regulation is a function of becoming aware of your arousal states and what things you can do to get yourself back to calmly aware and alert.  Some teachers and entire schools are adopting mindfulness programs and using visualization exercises to teach children to become calm, alert and ready to learn.  But for some of our students those types of exercises may add to stress rather than reduce it.  We want to work towards the child becoming aware of their arousal state, identifying their particular stressors and the child determining what strategies help them to self-regulate, not educator implementation of a one-size-fits all program that we do as a class when the noise level is getting too high.

Some people in my course and in my own circle of friends shared the following strategies they use to self-regulate - to either up-regulate or down-regulate and return to a state of calmness.

  • a warm bath
  • meditation
  • deep breaths
  • going for a walk
  • going for a run
  • spending time with a pet
  • knitting
  • painting
  • journaling
  • sewing
  • spending time in nature
  • spending time alone

What works for you? What strategies are appropriate for the classroom setting?


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