Time has been rolling along here at Five County. Here are the latest happenings the last few months!
Thanksgiving brought lots of yummy food and the holiday spirit to our center. Five County Staff and residents led by Mo-Nee Harrigfeld, worked together to meet the needs of local children in need. We gathered pillows, blankets, hats, books, crayons, snacks and many other things to donate to the Upper Valley Child Advocacy center. These items will be given to kids in need when they enter the child advocacy center. Check out the slideshow to see more photos!
Cake/ Cookie Decorating
Over Christmas break Mrs. Harrigfeld taught the young ladies a class in cookie and cake decorating. Fun was had by all! Look at the slideshow to see some highlights!
Cross Country Skiing
In January Five County staff took a couple of our young ladies Cross Country skiing for a therapeutic day pass. This is the first time they have been able to leave the facility in several months due to the pandemic. We'd like to give a special thanks to IDJC Outdoor Recreation for the use of the skis and also two of their OP staff who taught the youth how to Cross country ski.
Staff of the Quarter
Our staff of the quarter for the 2020 4th quarter was Mr. Clay Morgan! We so appreciate Mr. Morgan and all of his hard work with our youth. He has really stepped up and done a lot of great work with the youth in our center filling a lot of shifts when we were short handed, and continues to work hard each week. Thank you Mr. Morgan!
We'd also like to thank our runner's up; J. Harrigfeld, B. Harris, J. Simpson, M. Christiansen. You are all great at your jobs. Thank you for all that you do!
Update on Mr. Chavez
Some of you may know and some may not know, but Mr. Chavez our Executive Director has been on medical leave. He has a type of cancer and has been undergoing treatments. He has finally finished his radiation treatments and will soon be undergoing more tests to determine how best to proceed with his treatment and care. We at Five County have missed Mr. Chavez greatly, but are working together as a team to make sure our important work here with the juveniles in our care proceeds. We are keeping Mr. Chavez in our thoughts and prayers and invite anyone reading this to do the same according to their beliefs. Get well and take care Mr. Chavez!
Our case manager, Gina Jensen has been working hard to paint and clean different parts of our facility. So far the North and East wings have been completed. Thanks Gina for all your hard work in being in charge of such a big project. Thanks also to all the staff and residents who have helped her. A very special thanks Brett Jensen who donated time and the use of some of his painting equipment so that the work has been able to be completed in a more timely fashion.
For this newsletter we are going to talk about a mindfulness skill called the WHAT skill. The WHAT skill is the key to effective mindfulness. When using the WHAT skill we focus on observing, describing, and participating. When we do this we are more present in the moment.
Observe: Notice your environment and what is around you. What thoughts, feelings, and sensations are you experiencing? Simply observe without having any reaction. Do not attach a label or judgment to your observations. Notice your emotions and your thought processes. Do not push anything away—open yourself to all thoughts, feelings, and observations as they arise. Use your five senses to improve your observation skills.
Describe: Use words to describe your experience. It can be helpful to say this out loud. “I am observing that I feel anxious. I had the thought that I am in danger. I notice that my heart rate is speeding up.” Once again, be careful not to attach any labels or judgments to what you are describing.
Participate: Practice throwing yourself into each experience—stay in the “NOW.” Integrate your observe and describe skills into what you are doing. Open yourself up to every experience, once again without judgment, expectations, or labels. Practice having a “Teflon Mind” and let go of any negative or self-critical thoughts. Don’t let your judging thoughts stick in your mind.
The WHAT skill is effective for emotion regulation, decreased stress and anxiety, flexibility, empathy, and can improve your overall health. So go ahead and give it a try!