This article was written by middle school counselors Ben Robertaccio, Christa Haycock, and Mark Swarstad.
Advisory has become even more important during distance learning. Our focus has been on building community, staying healthy, reflecting, identifying emotions, gratitude, and empathy. Despite all of the unknowns, students have identified the ‘silver linings’ and most remain hopeful. However, we recognize that everyone is dealing with things in their own way and this change in “normalcy” hasn’t been easy for everyone. Times like these are where social and emotional skills become crucial to our well-being.
Here are some tips on how to help your child with distance learning and overall well-being:
1. Maintain a schedule
Try to keep yourself on a healthy schedule of sleep, healthy eating, and healthy activity.
Our mental health is very connected with our physical health, so we will be helped by keeping our bodies healthy. Exercise that feels good for your body will help you mentally, physically, and emotionally.
2. Get outside!
Go for a hike, enjoy being outdoors…but remember to maintain the social distancing rules. Please hike in your neighborhood and only with the family members you live with.
3. Make a list
For many of us, it is difficult to stay motivated to complete our required schoolwork when we don’t have our teachers and our peers around us. It will help to create a system to organize your work; use a planner to keep track of due dates. It helps to start your day with a simple “To-Do” list of things that we want to accomplish that day.
4. Take a break!
Break down your work into manageable 'chunks'. Take breaks after each chunk so that your brain has a chance to refresh.
5. Prioritize your tasks
The most difficult task is the first task. Getting started is the hardest part. If you start with easy, manageable tasks, you will gain confidence and momentum to build up to the more complex tasks.
6. Keep a balance
Allocate some time for schoolwork, some time for social exchanges with your friends, some time for your family, time for activity or exercise, and time for your own self-nurturing activities. This may be a good time to explore a new hobby, try a new recipe, to take on a project you’ve always wanted to do, or to play a daily game with your family or your friends (online).
7. Help others
You will feel so much better if you do something to help someone else. Reach out to an old friend, call your grandparents or an elderly neighbor, write a thank you note that you have been procrastinating, be kind to your sibling, or help out around the house without having to be asked.
8. Stay present
It may help to stay in the present moment. Limit your time watching or reading the news, especially at night when our sleep could be easily disrupted by our concerns.
9. Journal writing
Writing our thoughts and feelings down sometimes helps us to feel a sense of control that will help us to manage our feelings. Keeping a journal is a great way to keep track of how our thoughts and feelings are evolving.
10. Reach out for help!
We all deal with adversity in different ways. If you are finding it difficult to cope, please reach out to your grade level counselor. We are here to support you.
- distance learning
- middle school
- parent tips
- well being