COVID-19 and Remote Learning can be highly stressful for students, families, staff and school communities as a whole. Families may be feeling unsure about how to support their student’s learning and wellbeing at this time and in the future, especially with ever-changing restrictions. At Bellaire PS we aim to be supportive of all members in our community during this evolving and challenging time.
We have compiled some helpful resources and advice to support families and students during COVID-19 and will continue to share interesting articles, engaging and relevant videos, websites, app suggestions, and any other resources to help manage mental health amidst COVID-19.
Here are some quick tips to do what you can to take care of yourself and your loved ones.
Talk to kids about what is happening at their level
Be calm and reassuring when talking to kids because they often pick up on what you do and how you act more than the words you say. Some students may be coping with the changes quite well, while some may present as more anxious. Some may act as though they are feeling fine about it, but actually feel quite a lot of insecurity and worry which they are hiding. It is important to ensure that we give them the opportunity to talk about their feelings and ask questions and that we answer in a calm, relaxed and generally positive and hopeful way. Many can easily notice nonverbal cues when adults are feeling stressed, so to avoid passing on your stress to them, look after yourself and practice your own positive and healthy relaxation strategies.
It can be a challenging time for all
Parents may find that some student behaviours at home may change or become more difficult; this can be common for children but may be more so when they are going through an unsettling time. You can support them by spending time with them, checking in emotionally, doing fun things together like playing games and validating their feelings. Having daily routines will contribute to a sense of predictability and control in spite of external uncertainties.
Stay connected to your loved ones
Since most people are staying at home, this is easier than ever.
Stick to reputable sources for information
Credible sources for reliable information include:
Be cautious about social media and 24-hour news
Avoid going down the rabbit hole on your Facebook or Twitter feed and don’t stay glued to the TV. Limit your exposure and set specific times to check for updates. These are certainly strange and unprecedented times as we collectively try to navigate the uncertainty created by COVID-19. Although it’s important that we stay informed and aware, it’s equally important that we don’t inundate ourselves with a constant intake of media.
When quarantining or self-isolating, stay active
Use your time wisely with brain healthy activities. Read a book, learn something new, do crafts, do a video call with loved ones to stay connected, and watch a comedy (research shows that laughter can be a great immunity booster).
Get outside (if you aren’t sick or quarantined)
Exercising in nature—but not in or around groups of people—can brighten your mood.
Take deep breaths
Take a few minutes of every hour to practice deep breathing. Simply inhale deeply for a count of 6, hold for 3, then exhale slowly to the count of 3. Repeat the process 5 to 6 times.
Fuel your mind and body with the nutrients it needs
Make healthy food choices and stay hydrated to help keep your immune system strong.
If you would like specific assistance to support your child’s mental health and wellbeing over the coming weeks, please contact your teachers. Additionally, please feel free to reach out to me.