Teachers, parents, administrators, and any adult supporting our students recognizes the impact of the pandemic on the social-emotional wellbeing of our students. However, it is vital that the adults focus on their own social-emotional wellbeing, too.
One of the safety messages shared on every airplane flight is the importance of putting the oxygen mask on ourselves first and then helping others. As a parent or teacher or caregiver, it is hard to think about taking care of yourself before a child—but that guidance about an oxygen mask applies to social-emotional wellbeing, too.
For 8 months, the COVID 19 pandemic has disrupted every facet of our lives. It has increased stress for all of us, and it has required us to strengthen our coping skills. As adults supporting students, it is critically important that we continuously and purposefully practice strategies such as those offered in this article:
Research has shown that adults will not be successful in de-escalating a stressed child if the adults are equally stressed. So, the best way to help our children through this crisis is to help ourselves! Find the strategy that works for you, and practice it regularly.
It is also important to recognize that some problems are too big to handle alone. If you have a child or a student who is experiencing significant anxiety or depression, please reach out to the school counselor. There are resources at the school and through our community partners to support our students in a virtual or face-to-face session. Please reach out for support.
Self-care matters. Find your calm. And pass it on.