WELCOME STUDENTS AND PARENTS MY NAME IS YVONNE THOMAS AND I’M THE SCHOOL COUNSELOR FOR AHFACHKEE SCHOOL. I HAVE BEEN WORKING AT AHFACHKEE FOR THE PAST THREE YEARS. MY ROLE AS THE SCHOOL COUNSELOR IS TO PROVIDE THE RESOURCES, TOOLS, AND ASSISTANCE STUDENTS MAY NEED TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN SCHOOL. THIS CAN INCLUDE ASSISTANCE WITH ACADEMICS, PERSONAL/SOCIAL NEEDS, AND CAREER/COLLEGE READINESS.
MY EMAIL IS YVONNETHOMAS@SEMTRIBE.COM
CELL PHONE : (754)245-9438
Managing stress & anxiety from COVID-19
The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Learning how to cope with stress can be a source of strength for you, your loved ones, and your community. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and the community you live in. People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include • Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for COVID-19 • Children and teens • People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors and other health care providers, or first responders. Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include : Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones • Changes in sleep or eating patterns • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating • Worsening of chronic health problems • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs. People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms. Additional information can be found at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website https://www.samhsa.gov/disaster-preparedness. Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger. Things you can do to support yourself • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting. • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs. • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy. • Connect with others.
Children and teens react, in part, on what they see from the adults around them. When parents and caregivers deal with the COVID-19 calmly and confidently, they can provide the best support for their children. Parents can be more reassuring to others around them, especially children, if they are better prepared. Not all children and teens respond to stress in the same way. Some common changes to watch for include:
- Excessive crying or irritation in younger children • Returning to behaviors they have outgrown (for example, toileting accidents or bedwetting) • Excessive worry or sadness • Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits • Irritability and “acting out” behaviors in teens • Poor school performance or avoiding school • Difficulty with attention and concentration • Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past • Unexplained headaches or body pain • Use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs There are many things you can do to support your child: • Take time to talk with your child or teen about the COVID-19 outbreak. Answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child or teen can understand. • Reassure your child or teen that they are safe. Let them know it is ok if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you. • Limit your family’s exposure to news coverage of the event, including social media. Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened about something they do not understand. • Try to keep up with regular routines. Create a schedule for learning activities and relaxing or fun activities.
What is mindfulness? It is to be in the moment and to be aware of one’s thoughts, feelings, emotions, body, and environment. Mindfulness is living in the present. Mindfulness meditation can help with depression and anxiety. It can help us by reducing our stress level and increasing our overall health. Mindfulness practice can increase our attention span, improve our relationships, and strength our level of compassion. Pause. Breathe. Smile.
The following is a short video about mindful meditation:
Here is a video of kids explaining mindfulness:
Liesl McConchie, a former teacher created a you tube page, “So now you’re a teacher …” as a parental survival guide to home learning
Helpful strategies to help children focus and learn during COVID-19
Articles and videos for parents about fostering skills like kindness, empathy, resilience, perseverance, and focus in children