SELF-CARE IS KEY – A letter from our school Psychologist
照顾好自己非常重要 — 一封来自学校心理辅导老师的信
As many staff, students, and families are returning to their homes in Qingdao; they are faced with a 14-day quarantine period. This can be a challenging length of time to stay mostly indoors and be isolated from others, whether alone or with a family. Below are some adapted recommendations from the International School Counselor Association to help build resilience during this challenging time.
Create a Daily Routine: Create a calm environment in your home by creating a daily routine that involves, enough sleep, healthy meals, and movement. A schedule can be posted for family members to see what will happen in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Each family member can take responsibility for helping the schedule run smoothly. It is important to set a time to wake up in the morning and start one’s day as if one did have to leave the house.
Stay Positive: Remember to keep calm. If you show anxiety or fear, your child will pick up on this and also feel nervous and afraid. Having calm, panic- free discussions can ease emotions around these changes. Check-in on how your child is feeling and acknowledge and address their worries rather than ignore them. Take time to acknowledge your own feelings and worries by journaling or talking with friends.
Stick to the facts: It is important to have thoughtful conversations regarding the coronavirus to distil anxiety, worry or fear. Look at the facts. Discuss that not everything they hear or see is real. Consider your child’s age, processing, and emotions to determine how to frame these conversations to ensure your child understands. Let them know that QAIS is doing everything we can, and you are up to date on current information. If they have additional questions you can look to find the answers. Make sure to only answer questions that your children are asking. Sometimes adults are thinking about more than what children are thinking about. It can also be comforting to be reminded that doctors around the world are looking for ways to address the coronavirus and highlight positive news as well.
Consider Reducing Media Consumption: When looking online, consider the source and fact-check to prevent fake news, and think before you share. Be mindful of how much media you are checking and minimize how often you are reading stories. Try to keep a healthy balance (both online and offline) in your daily routines and lifestyle. If you notice that you mind is racing while watching news stories that is a sign that you need to pull back from how much you are consuming. Be aware that your children are watching what you are doing. They can become more nervous if they see you are all consumed by news stories.
Eliminate stigma: It is important to be aware of how the coronavirus is explained to your children to avoid any person/group being blamed. Communicate to your children that if someone has a fever or cough it does not mean this person has the coronavirus.
Boost Your Coping Strategies: When anyone has change or uncertainty this can create some levels of worry or anxiety. When this occurs, it is important to use positive coping strategies to manage those emotions. As every person is different, so too are our coping strategies. Regardless, it is important to practice positive strategies to calm down or modify our thinking to improve our outlook and overall well-being. Coping strategies can include: positive self-talk, discussing hardships you have lived through in the past, singing, dancing, reading, drawing, music, Netflix/movies, create a gratitude list, meditation, yoga, coloring, exercise, cooking/baking, talking to a friend or family member, or doing other activities that are fun or give you joy and make you feel good.
Set Goals – This can be an excellent time to learn something new that you haven’t had time to learn. You may have wanted to share a skill with your children that you haven’t had time to share. Set a goal and list daily steps to reach that goal within your 14-day quarantined period. Feeling accomplished can be an excellent remedy to anxiety.
If you notice your child or you are still worried or anxious, be assured that this is a normal reaction, and continue conversations and providing care for your child. Below you will find additional resources. If you find that additional support is needed, please reach out to a school nurse or your child’s teacher who can refer you to online counseling resources.
- Understanding the Mental Health and Social Impact of the Coronavirus: Finding the Middle Path: This is a great article explaining the science behind our reactions to epidemics and practical ways we can find balance.
- Supporting Students Experiencing Childhood Trauma: Tips for Parents and Educators from the National Association of School Psychologists.
- Anxiety and world news : from Hey Sigmund. This is a great website for parents/caregivers containing the latest psychological news and research.
- Managing anxiety age by age: Also from Hey Sigmund. A guide about what to expect age by age around anxiety, strategies and tips on when to get help.
- Talking about world trauma with kids : another great article from Hey Sigmund!
- CoronaVirus Anxiety: 4 Ways to cope with Fear – Psych central article
- APS article re coronavirus – APS
建立日常生活规范：在家中创建一个平静的环境，包括充足的睡眠、健康的饮食和适当的运动 。可以为家庭成员制定一个时间表， 明确上午，下午和晚上应该干什么。每个家庭成员都可以互相监督和督促来执行这个时间表。一定要设定一个时间在早上按时起床，开始新的一天，就像我们每天出门上班上学一样。