I hope you are all doing well and able to access homework, stay healthy at home, and be able to take care of yourself physically and emotionally. With all of the changes that we are all going through in our lives, I thought it would be a good idea to be able to give you guys some resources to be able to look at and use what you feel could benefit you. I wish I could be there with you in person to give you these resources, but of course we must follow the recommendations for keeping everyone healthy.
The first topic I wanted to talk to you about is coping with change. Change is something that some of us struggle with, and for those of you who are, please understand that you are not alone. Psycom.net has a great article here about dealing with change and becoming resilient. Resiliency is just a more official term that means the same thing as 'rising to the occasion' or 'bouncing back after feeling knocked down'. It can be tough to learn to be resilient, but it is very possible. Some people are naturally resilient, others need to put more work into it. Neither way is right or wrong. If resiliency comes easy for you, then that's awesome! If not, that's ok. Please understand that you have so many resources available to you if you need support, including myself (Ms. Martin) and Mrs. Vettel.
The next thing I wanted to discuss with you is completing classwork. Even though we are not in school, there is still work to be completed. This should not be overwhelming, but should help encourage you to learn. With our daily routines being turned upside down, it can sometimes be challenging to find time or the energy to complete your classwork. I have a few tips here for you that you could try if you find yourself struggling to get work completed.
Find a quiet place that you can dedicate to work. This might be tough for some, especially if you have a number of siblings at home. For some students, this might be a desk in their room. For others, it might be at the kitchen table, or even in the basement. If you are able to find a quieter space, that will help you to be able to focus more easily on your work.
Try setting "school" hours for yourself. By setting aside specific times each day for work, it will help you create a routine. This routine will help work not feel so overwhelming or hard to start. A good possibility is to start your hours at 8:30, roughly the same time you would have otherwise started class, and start at the same time every day.
Pace yourself and take breaks. Blasting through all your homework might work for a few days, but if the work takes up a good chunk of your day, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed when you sit down to work. Schedule breaks for yourself based on what works for you. Some like to work for 25 minutes and take a 5 minute break, then go back to work for another 25 minute cycle. Others like to work for 50 minutes and then take a 10 minute break. Everyone is unique in what works for them, but make sure you don't overwhelm yourself. If you find that you are able to finish all your homework in one sitting without feeling overwhelmed, then that's great! You have found what works for you. But that may not work for everyone, and that's ok.
Finally, take care of yourself. Listen to your body about what you need. I will include more on this in it's own paragraph.
When you're not working on classwork, try to find positive things to fill your time with. Binge watching your favorite show or only playing video games may be tempting and engaging for a few days, but these activities will become boring after a while. Try to find productive, creative activities to do. Maybe you enjoy art and so you spend time drawing or painting. Maybe you love writing or playing music. If neither of these options are your thing, here is a list of other possibilities. Another one would be to make your own game, such as a board game for your family, or one that you can play over the phone with a friend. I am sure you could also find a lot of other great ideas online. Try to enjoy the extra time you have with family, if possible.
As I mentioned earlier, try to take care of yourself. Remember to eat healthy and avoid junk food. Drink water, an try to exercise. Now is a great time to try out an online exercise video or create your own routine. Students who I would meet with regularly probably remember that I talk frequently about 'Self Care', and that is because it is so important.
While not all of these items are going to be feasible while staying at home, sometimes you can adjust some of them. Instead of spending time in person with your best friend, maybe you could Skype or FaceTime with them. The internet is another great resource for new ideas.
One thing I want to mention is social media. While social media can help to connect family and friends during this time, but there are some dangers that go along with it. Putting out too much information can be a very dangerous thing. When in doubt, it is best to ask a parent or other trusted adult. Social media can also be a very time-consuming activity that leaves you feeling drained. Platforms like FaceBook and SnapChat are full of articles about things like this virus going around or other negative news, and it can be very draining to be bombarded with that information all the time. I highly encourage limiting use of social media to positive interactions with family and friends. Be aware of your security settings as well. Making your profiles only visible to family and friends can help, but keep in mind it does not eliminate the dangers behind social media.
Lastly, please feel free to reach out to Mrs. Vettel or myself if you feel that meeting with one of us would be a benefit to you. We are still available to you. It would look a little different than you might be use to, but we are still here for you and want to support you. If you are not sure about how to contact us, just send one of us an email.
We are here for you and want to support you in any way you need. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us if you need anything.