Naming (Obscure!) Emotions

Happy summer, SEL fans!  Your favorite Austin ISD SEL blog will be on vacation for a couple weeks after today, so here is a list of words to help describe those difficult-to-name emotions.  We didn’t want to leave you without a resource as you look for ways to identify your feelings during complex summer communication, of course!


(credit: The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows)

As a (dubious) aid for usage and word serving suggestion, I offer this small poem:


The Bookstore, Near Closing

I realize with sonder,

There are many lives to ponder

As I sit with wistful vellichor

In this ancient used book store.

I listen close to all of the

Cacophonous anecdoche

Of patrons here. I wonder when

The quiet kenopsia sets in,

If this evening’s storm will rage

Outside, and I will turn a page

And wrap myself in chrysalism

Contemplating solipsism.

Thanks for reading, dear readers, and see you soon with more news and stories from the Austin ISD’s Social and Emotional Learning Team!

A Valentine Self-Care Shakespearean Sonnet

And so the day has come of hearts and flow’rs,

That day of chocolate, sweets and words of love;

For some, the stress of each sugary hour

Might be enough to make push come to shove;


For others, pressure on to please a partner

Might forge a cranky, frazzled kind of day—

The favor of a lover’s good to garner,

But could there be a more self-caring way?


O Dear Reader, please consider giving

Thine own self compassion, love and care!

For cared-for selves glide gently through this living;

They nourish others with deep love to share.


So change the mindset of the chocolate grind,

And this sweet day be thine own Valentine!



So What Is Self-Care?  Concrete tips and ideas to introduce and practice self-care into busy lives

Stress at Work    Ideas for managing work-related stress and burn-out

Nine Self-Care Essentials to Add to your Life   More thoughts and inspiration for mindfulness practices

The Science of Self-Talk  Interesting research on the power of positive self-talk


Ode to Gratitude


Gratitude: An attitude? Or maybe it’s a trait?

A momentary feeling? Or could it be innate

To human beings globally, because we celebrate

Across the world’s traditions, that thankfulness is great?


Gratitude is noticing, and feeling thankful for

Acts and gifts and service, stuff we have that we adore.

And if we notice and give thanks for things we might ignore,

Our gratitude increases, and in this case more is more


Scientific studies show that happiness and peace

Can come from feeling thankful, and that these thoughts increase

Connectedness to others, empathy, and life’s own lease

Grateful people just might get a few more years apiece.


Though Thanksgiving gives gratitude a dedicated day

Here in the States, it might be good to seek out other ways

To get a daily dose of it.  To look in work and play

Finding gorgeous tiny moments that inspire us to say,


Thank you Sun for warmth and food, and every morning’s greeting,

Thank you Earth for rain and dirt and life, however fleeting.

Thanks for laughter, thanks for friends, that moment of our meeting—

Thanks for work and holidays, and to you, Reader, for reading!