Welcome to Worry-Less Wednesdays!
As we adjust to our new “normal”, we will continue to send out information that relates to mental wellness. Now is the time to engage in self-care, and to help your loved ones stay calm and
Worry-Less. Please send us ideas to share with our colleagues and families across the district. (WellnessWednesdays@Lawrence.k12.ny.us)
What you should know
- Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. COVID-19 is caused by a novel coronavirus; this means it is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
- COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that is mainly spread person-to-person. Currently, there is no available vaccine or curative treatment, so the best preventative strategy is to avoid exposure.
- So far, children appear to be much less affected by COVID-19, which was also seen after other coronavirus outbreaks. Children with pre-existing illnesses may have different risk, so you should discuss this with your child’s medical team
- To reduce the spread of the virus, a variety of approaches will be used, including keeping those who are sick away from others and promoting healthy hygiene strategies.
- Additional recommendations for ways to contain the virus’s spread could include canceling of events that attract large numbers of people; closing schools, public transit or businesses; and required quarantine, which is the separation and restriction of movement of people who might have been exposed to the virus.
- Even if your family is prepared, an outbreak can be very stressful. To help your family cope with this stress, following these recommendations can help
- Keep updated about what is happening with the outbreak and additional recommendations by getting information from credible media outlets, local public health authorities, and updates from public health websites (e.g., CDC).
- Seek support and continued connections from friends and family by talking to them on the telephone, texting, or communicating through email or social media. Schools may have additional ways to stay in contact with educators and classmates
- Although you need to stay informed, minimize exposure to media outlets or social media that might promote fear or panic. Be particularly aware of (and limit) how much media coverage or social media time your children are exposed to about the outbreak. E-mail and texting may be the best ways to stay in contact with others during an outbreak, as the Internet may have the most sensational media coverage and may be spreading rumors.
- Check in regularly with your children about what they have viewed on the Internet and clarify any misinformation. Focus on supporting children by encouraging questions and helping them understand the current situation. Talk about their feelings and validate these
- Help them express their feelings through drawing or other activities
- Clarify misinformation or misunderstandings about how the virus is spread and that not every respiratory disease is COVID-19
- Provide comfort and a bit of extra patience
- Check back in with your children on a regular basis or when the situation changes
It can be difficult to think of what to do for yourself when things get tough. It is best to have a plan ready for when you need it.
1. Make a list of what you can do when you are upset that will be good for you.
a. What will help me relax?
• Circle breathing, Muscle relaxation, Music
• Reading, watching a movie, puzzles
• Exercising, Taking a walk
b. What do I like to do when I’m in a good mood? ____________________________
• List your favorite things to do so you remember what they are when you need to think of something to do.
c. What can I do that will help me throughout the day? _______________________
• Avoid caffeine, carbs, news
• Current Moment (don’t worry over the future)
2. Make a list of people you can rely on
For example: your spouse, friends, colleagues, siblings, parents, grandparents, other relatives, teacher, therapist, religious advisor, etc. __________________________________________________________________
- Think about which people can help in different situations
• Who can I call if I am feeling sad or worried?
• Who can I call if I am lonely?
• Who do I live with that will be with me if I need company?
• Who will listen?
• Who will encourage me to do something fun?
• Who will remind me to follow my self-care plan?
3. Next, change negative statements into positive when you are the WHO that can get you to a better place
• I’m stuck at home… change to: I get to be SAFE in my home and be with my family
• I will get sick… change to: I will use social distancing which will decrease the risk
• I don’t know how to use technology… change to: I am learning like everyone else
4. Positive statements
• I will get up each day and find something to do
• I will check on signs of Spring – flowers, birds, rainbows
• If I get frustrated with new learning, I will call a person on my list to help
• I will listen for any new updates and then turn off the news
•I am a resource for those around me, and I plan on helping someone
Put some of these ideas on an index card or post-it and carry it with you or place where you can see it. Put it on your cell phone or tablet. Refer to the plan and Use it, if you are feeling stressed.
There are lots of things outside our control. Let’s remember to breathe and focus on what really matters so we can respond constructively.
Making wise choices helps everyone. Let’s choose positive actions that support our wellbeing and help others to do the same.
We’re all in this together, even when we’re forced apart. Let’s stay connected and reach out to help others who may be in need.