Category Archives: Existential Depression

Staying Socially Connected while Physically Distancing with Guest, Heather Vaughn, EdS

The terms social and physical distancing as well as social connecting have become a part of daily conversation as we all are learning to cope with the consequences of our current situation. It is not too soon, however, to consider the long-term consequences physical distancing. It will affect personal (one-to-one) relationships, families, and businesses. It will fundamentally change the meaning of ‘society’. Physical distancing will realign interpersonal priorities and how we engage with each other. It’s vital to frame these changes in a positive light. It should be viewed as an opportunity to improve our lives. An inability to cope with physical distancing can lead to profound loneliness, neglecting daily self-care, increased substance abuse, and attention issues.

What are the risks to our mental health from social isolation? Social isolation can pose a major risk to our mental health leading to increased anxiety and depression. The very thought of not knowing when it will end, increases these risks. It can affect different age groups differently. Parents need to watch for warning signs in their children as well as themselves (and their own parents). Social isolation can increase the rate of cognitive decline in the elderly; including those in the gifted community. No one is immune.

Staying connected is necessary for the continuance of society. Few have lived experiences to understand the scope of this crisis. Empathetic leadership is crucial. Connecting by personally checking on friends and family, leveraging technology to connect, and making time for informal connections are all important. Practical steps to staying in touch can include a simple phone call to a friend or family member, video chatting, engaging in activities together yet remotely.

What strategies can teachers use to help students stay socially connected? Teachers can encourage and facilitate virtual performances by their GT students as well as provide authentic audiences when it is time to perform and assess. They can serve as virtual mentors and share time with students to practice their skills. Teachers who are working from home can offer resources to students and their families that ensure a continuity of learning such as virtual experiences (field trips/explorations), book clubs, tutorials, or online study groups.

How can parents facilitate social connections for their kids? Parents are among the greatest facilitators in this time of crisis. Children are more vulnerable now to the effects of misinformation, neglect, and isolation from their friends and family. They can seek to connect their children through technology being mindful that interpersonal relationships within the family are paramount. Finding a balance between tech and time together is the goal.

It may be hard to realize at the moment, but benefits can be realized from our current situation. Most people are coming to the realization just how important the work of teachers, medical professionals, and service workers are to the continuity of society. It’s an important lesson learned that can’t be forgotten. Everyone can seek to use this time to do those activities that they seemed to never have time to do in the past. View webinars for personal and professional development, take online classes, and of course – join in Twitter chats!

A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

Social Revisioning at a Distance

It’s Possible to Find Happiness in Times of Social Isolation

How to Talk to Teens & Young Adults about Social Distancing

Sprite’s Site: Social Distancing

We’re All In This Together How to Engage in Social Connection While Socially Distancing

MIT: In a Time of Physical Distancing, Connecting Socially across Generations is More Important than Ever

How to Stay Socially Connected while Social Distancing

How to Stay Socially Connected while Physically Apart

Why You Need to Stay Connected While Social Distancing

CAN: Staying Connected while Practicing Social and Physical Distancing

CAN: Immersive technologies to address social isolation: Is a technological solution feasible and desirable?

AUS: Staying Connected while Being Physically Apart: Wellbeing in the Time of Social Distancing

5 Ways to Use Social Media for Connection During Times of Social Distancing

Forget ‘Social Distancing.’ The WHO Prefers We call it ‘Physical Distancing’ because Social Connections are More Important than Ever

Univ. of Chicago: How to Connect with Others in the Age of Social Distancing

Physical vs. Social Distancing: Ways to Make Social Contact

Stay Connected in Your Communities

Allen, TX HS Students Create Group to Help People’s Physical and Mental Health During Coronavirus Pandemic

Duke: How to be Productive under Quarantine

How Duke Students are Staying Connected during Quarantine

How to Maintain Social Distancing during the Coronavirus Pandemic without Feeling Depressed

Social Distancing while Staying Connected for Better Mental Health

APA: Keeping Your Distance to Stay Safe

Psych Central: The Importance of Staying Connected While Practicing Social Distancing

Harvard Medical: Apps to Keep Us Connected in a Time of Social Distancing

Cybraryman’s Coping Strategies Pages

Cybraryman’s Zoom Pages

Cybraryman’s Google Meet Pages

Cybraryman’s Skype Pages

Civic Action Opportunities: Community Resource Guide (Google Doc)

Connectivity for Gifted Students in the Age of Social Distancing

Image courtesy of Heather Vaughn and Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Self-Care in the Era of Covid19

This week, Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT welcomed Jen Merrill and Kate Arms to discuss the need to remember the importance of self-care during the current coronavirus Pandemic. It was a much need topic for all those who participated.

Our first question dealt with how we can handle isolation well. First and foremost, we need to remember that we are all in this together; albeit, not necessarily in the same boat, but in the same ocean. Even the introverts among us have rarely experienced this level of isolation. Isolating oneself in an attempt to be alone is quite different from self-preservation and survival. In the past, isolation was an individual coping mechanism. Today, its significance is much more communal. It is important to remember that our current situation is indeed temporary and necessary. We must depend on others’ behavior and good judgement. In lieu of that, we must take our isolation seriously.

What should you say to kids about #COVID19/pandemics/social isolation? Parents and teachers of gifted children should be cognizant of a few things that may not apply to all children. As in any situation, each child may display a ‘unique’ response to our new reality. Special consideration should be given to asynchronous development. Chronological age may or may not be a factor in understanding daily events. Do not suppose that intellectual maturity is in sync with their emotional state. Adults should temper their language when discussing #COVID19 with children, but not condescend to them. These kids may well know more than you about the virus, but still need your emotional support.

First step in teaching the importance of self-care to children is to model the behavior you wish to see in your children. Look forward, not backward; you can’t change the past. Self-care is a journey. Take time to learn about self-care and understand what it means for your child’s future. When you realize its importance, it can become a part of your life-style and children become the beneficiaries. As parents and teachers, we know that you must first ‘learn the lesson’ before you can teach it. Be diligent in the learning process.

What can parents/teachers do to begin self-care? Reach for the proverbial ‘oxygen mask’ first before attending to those around you. You are the starting point. You will inevitably be called to be a care-giver at some point. Self-care begins with self-assessment. What do you already do to take care of yourself, what needs to change, and how do you get to the point where you need to be? Honesty and objectivity are key.

We are living in unprecedented times. Few of us ever conceived of needing to plan our lives to respond to a pandemic of this magnitude. In designing a plan to balance work, home and school, we’ll need to be creative. Life plans do not need to be perfect all at once. It is a balancing act. Effective plans evolve over time. Be kind to yourself. The old adage, ‘if at first you don’t succeed’ comes to mind.

Are there special considerations for GT/2E kids that parents should know? Parents can realize the need to be especially attentive to their child’s emotional state at any given time and consider how to respond to their needs in advance. Kindness, compassion, empathy, self-control … are all important. We are living in a new reality. Physical distancing doesn’t need to be social distancing. Be prepared for the ‘highs and lows’ of emotions. And as Jen Merrill often reminds us, ‘Don’t forget to laugh’! It may be difficult at times, but we are all in this together. Stay safe, stay home, and stay healthy.

A transcript of this chat can be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 1PM NZDT/11AM AEDT/1AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

Self-Care for Parents of GT/2E Kids

R10 Counselor Conversations: Self Care

How Do You Laugh at This Magnitude of Chaos?

It’s Not Just in Your Head: Self-Care for Moms of Gifted Children

Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth (book)

Searching for Meaning: Idealism, Bright Minds, Disillusionment, and Hope (book)

Gifted Adult Self-Care Strategies

Cultivating Calm Amidst a Storm

Chicago Gifted Community Center: Parental Self-Care

Hoagies’ Blog Hop November 2014: Gifted Self-Care

Finding Structure in Times of Chaos

Stress Management Toolbox: Nine Tips for Parents of Gifted Children

If I’m So Smart, Why Am I So Stressed Out?

Mindful Self-Care

Self-care and YOU

The Life Organizer and Self-Care

Kate’s Nuggets: How to Feel a Sense of Control when the World Feels Chaotic (Audio 16:33)

2e Tuesday: Six Steps to Parental Self-Care

Social Revisioning at a Distance

It’s Possible to Find Happiness in Times of Social Isolation

Reassuring Children during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Breathe for Change: Resources (free – sign up required)

Cybraryman’s Nutrition Pages

Cybraryman’s Exercise/Fitness Pages

Cybraryman’s Yoga Pages

Cybraryman’s The Brain and Brain Games Pages

Cultivez Votre Bouffe (Farm Your Food)

Kate’s Nuggets: Self-Care: It’s Not What You Think it Is (Audio 18:00)

Sprite’s Site: Social Distancing

NAGC TIP Sheet: Supporting Your Gifted Child During COVID-19 (pdf)

Photos courtesy of Jen Merrill and Kate Arms.

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Your Rainforest Mind with Guest, Paula Prober

gtchat 06282016 Rainforest

 

Do you long to drive a Ferrari at top speed on the open road, but find yourself always stuck on the freeway during rush hour? Do you wonder how you can feel like “not enough” and “too much” at the same time? Like the rain forest, are you sometimes intense, multilayered, colorful, creative, overwhelming, highly sensitive, complex, and/or idealistic? And, like the rain forest, have you met too many chainsaws? ~ Paula Prober, MS, MEd

For a change of pace, this week #gtchat discussed gifted adults – you know … the kids who grew up! Not surprisingly, many of the issues facing gifted youth are present long into adulthood. Author Paula Prober joined us to discuss her new book, Your Rainforest Mind, from GHF Press.

Your Rainforest Mind – also the name of Paula’s Blog – is a metaphor used to describe the gifted mind: complex, creative, sensitive, intense, lively, colorful and misunderstood. Paula finds that it helps people get what giftedness is without the stigma. She explained, “The rainforest is the most complex ecosystem. It has the ability to contribute in a big way. It is not better than others; just more complex.”

What strategies can be used to address heightened sensitivities; sometimes referred to as overexcitabilities? Paula suggested, “Self-acceptance, understanding, self-soothing, relaxation strategies, mindfulness and artistic expression” can all be used. Additional strategies mentioned by Paula included, “time in nature, spiritual practices, talking to a friend, or visualization of a container to hold emotions.” She also indicated that it is important to identify anxiety triggers such as noise, visuals, textures, criticism, empathy or family members. If necessary, you should attempt to reduce exposure to these things.

Positive outcomes are possible when Rainforest Mind adults learn to redirect their passion.  Paula pointed out first one must realize having lots of passions is not dysfunctional or shallow. Rather, it is more about multipotentiality. What this means for careers is that it’s okay to change paths over one’s lifetime; look for a job with variety depth  and challenge. Be creative in crafting a career that works for you. With regard to parenting, recognize that having a Rainforest Mind is a complex challenge on many levels. Paula also recommends keeping a journal of ideas so they don’t get lost, growing self-acceptance and prioritizing time for intellectual stimulation.

Perfectionism – a topic we’ve covered several times on chat – is a concern for Rainforest Minds. First and foremost, know the difference between healthy (intrinsic) and unhealthy (extrinsic) perfectionism. It is best to aim for harmony, balance, justice and precision; all associated with intrinsic perfectionism. A person needs to prioritize what’s worthy of striving for ‘perfect’ and what can just be excellent or even mediocre because it is not important. Extrinsic perfectionism comes from early pressure to achieve, please others, to not disappoint or from dysfunctional family behaviors.

Should adults consider being tested for giftedness if they were not identified as a child? In most cases, Paula told us that it is not necessary. Whether or not you possess a Rainforest Mind can generally be determined from traits. Also, tests are not always accurate. A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

gtchat-logo-new bannner

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon (12.00) NZST/10.00 AEST/1.00 UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults & Youth (Amazon)

Your Rainforest Mind (Paula’s Blog)

Your Rainforest Mind (Paula’s Website)

Understanding Your Rainforest Mind Counseling & Gifted Adults (pdf)

GHF Press

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum

The “I” of the Beholder: A Guided Journey to the Essence of a Child Roeper (Amazon)

Bright Adults: Uniqueness and Belonging across the Lifespan by Ellen Fiedler (Amazon)

Overexcitabilities — Can’t Live With Them, Can’t Live Without Them

Quiet Revolution (Susan Cain – website)

It’s Not the End of the World: Developing Resilience in Times of Change (Amazon)

Gifted Shmifted

Perfectionism’s Twin Sister

When Gifted Kids Don’t Have All the Answers (Amazon)

Living with Intensity (Amazon)

“Perfectionism” with Guest, Lisa Van Gemert

Refuse to Choose!: Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the Life and Career of Your Dreams (Amazon)

Puttylike: A Home for Multipotentialites!

Rebels at Work

Beautiful Imperfections

The Motivation for Perfectionism

Sprite’s Site: White Poodle, Black Poodle

The Gifted Adult: A Revolutionary Guide for Liberating Everyday Genius (Amazon)

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

The Many Faces of Gifted

gtchat 01122016 Many Faces of Gifted

 

The many faces of giftedness often look quite different depending on the characteristics used and who is making the judgement. Early on in the discussion, Jen Merrill, author and blogger at Laughing at Chaos,  pointed out appropriately so that we shouldn’t be looking at ‘types’ of giftedness but rather differences in ‘wiring’ or ‘strengths’ among gifted children.

Although arguments have been made for and against labeling gifted children, we considered the consequences which occur when children are mislabeled or not identified at all. Gifted children often ‘feel different’ from their age-peers and when not identified or mislabeled, they can feel confused. They may be placed in an inappropriate educational setting, miss valuable opportunities, or receive a medical misdiagnosis. According to Gail Post, Clinical Psychologist, “At worst, [it] could result in depression, despair, isolation; always feeling there is something wrong with them,”

What do we risk by equating ‘gifted’ only with high academic achievement? Many gifted children never achieve academically as their areas of strength may lay elsewhere. Talents outside the academic realm may never be realized if only academic achievement is considered. As Jeremy Bond expressed, “We risk getting it spectacularly wrong. Our most gifted leaders weren’t correlated with school “achievement” (whatever that is).”

Intellectual giftedness can get overlooked as well when considering twice-exceptional students and those from culturally different or diverse populations. Disabilities can be more visible and obstruct the viewpoint of adults responsible for identification. Too many educational professionals lack the necessary expertise in cultural differences & diverse populations. As #gtchat adviser, Krissy Venosdale, told us, “I honestly can’t think of a field in education where there is more bias, preconceived notions, misunderstandings than gifted.”

Highly gifted children are at particular risk for medical misdiagnosis that fails to recognize giftedness. Many areas such as ADHD share characteristics with giftedness making diagnosis difficult. Most medical professionals have had little to no training about gifted characteristics. A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

gtchat-logo-new bannner

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at  1 AM (1.00) in the UK,  2 PM (14.00) NZDT/Noon (12.00) AEDT to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found atStorify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

Many Faces of Giftedness: Lifting the Masks (Amazon)

The Misunderstood Face of Giftedness via @MarianneKuz

Handbook for Counselors Serving Students with Gifts &Talents: Development, Relationships, School (Amazon)

Misdiagnosis & Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children & Adults

Trading Beyond the Mark: Supporting the Genius of Disobedient Thought

The Faces of Gifted: A Resource for Educators & Parents

The Varied Faces of Gifted/Talented Students (pdf)

Many Faces of Gifted (PPT pdf) by Dr James T Webb

Revised Profiles of the Talented & Gifted 2010 (pdf) by Betts and Neihart

Changing Our View of Gifted Learners

GT Chat: Labels: Good, Bad, or Simply Wrong

Sprite’s Site: Columbus Cheetah, Myth Buster – Myth 3

Hoagies’ Gifted: Testing and Assessment

Cybraryman: Twice-Exceptional Children

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum: Healthcare Providers’ Guide to Gifted Children (downloadable guide)

SENG Misdiagnosis Initiative: Reducing the Risk of Medical Misdiagnosis

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Blog Hop: Discovering the Depth and Breadth of Giftedness

Hoagies’ Gifted Blog Hop: Ages & Stages of Giftedness

 

Photo Courtesy: Pixabay  CC0 Public Domain

Graphic Courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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