The Counseling Department would like to provide you with some resources to cope with the many feelings we are experiencing as we navigate the current health crisis. This section of our website will be updated weekly.

Inner Peace
One way to recharge is to be mindful about our perspective. When thinking about the pandemic and the effects of staying at home, our perspective guides our response. Staying mindful helps us remain aware of our perspective, thoughts and responses. In this article, 4 Steps to More Inner Peace During a Pandemic, John J. Murphy from Mindful Leader offers 4 steps to improving our ability to respond to stressful situations: Let Be, Let Go, Let See and Let Flow.



Avoiding Burnout
Now that we are knee-deep in the pandemic and remote learning, we are getting used to experiencing a range of emotional reactions and levels of stress. However, some of us may be nearing burnout. Here is a great article, How To Avoid Burnout in a Pandemic, which discusses some strategies to manage burnout for adults and children.

 
It is important to give ourselves permission to experience whatever it is we are feeling. Elisha, Goldstein, Ph.D. talks about “grief bombs.” Goldstein says, “You may not even recognize them at first…You're feeling okay for a few days, and then all of sudden you're having an especially hard day - a bout of anxiety hits or it feels like nothing's going right. You may find yourself weepy, overwhelmed, irritable, anxious or unable to focus.” In remote counseling, students have described feeling this way and it is important as adults we understand this to be true for us as well.

When we realize what it is we are feeling (burnout, grief, anxiety…), we can take steps to provide ourselves with extra care, love and opportunities to refill our emotional cups.

Mental Health Tips
Here is a fantastic article from Greater Good Magazine, Helping Handle the Loss of Proms and Graduations. It gives us some helpful steps and strategies about managing emotions. The article’s title is focused on teens, but the content easily applies to all ages – elementary students through adults.

Ultimately, much of what we are all feeling is loss and grief. Loss of rituals, traditions, the end result of hard work (performances, showcases, sports seasons, scouting trips and events, graduation), routines, and closure of one stage and a fresh beginning to a new one. It will be important to help our children mourn their losses so they can get to a place of acceptance and move forward. The article included here gives us four great tools do to so: Acknowledge the loss, Name the feelings, Teach about grief, and Help find meaning.


May is Mental Health Awareness Month.
The COVID-19 Pandemic is adding to mental health challenges already experienced by so many. It was recently reported that half of all Americans believe their mental health is impacted by this health crisis. Now more than ever it is important for us to acknowledge the importance of protecting our mental health and being proactive about caring for ourselves and loved ones.
 
The theme of Mental Health Awareness Month 2020 is Tools to Thrive. Please visit Mental Health Month for a comprehensive tool kit that includes coping strategies in 6 important areas.
This resource focuses on supporting a loved one with mental health challenges during Covid-19 Supporting Loved Ones

Helping Others
One way of managing our own fears and anxieties about the Coronavirus Pandemic is to focus our energy on helping others in need.  The
Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has many ideas and activities to keep us focused on how to remain calm and kind in the face of this crisis.  One example, using these Hello-Help Cards  with neighbors or friends who may be in need of assistance (of course while practicing social distance and other safety measures).  Hint:  This is a great way to earn a PIN through our Community Connections PIN Program.

Mental Health Support
Additionally, here are some important resources for anyone who is struggling with their mental health:
 
  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK
  • 2nd Floor Hotline: 1-888-222-2228; https://www.2ndfloor.org/
  • NJ Mental Health Cares:  1-866-202-HELP (4357); https://www.mhanj.org/
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration:  Coping with Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks - SAMHSA.gov

Taking Time for Gratitude
One proven way that resilient people deal with difficult situations is by practicing gratitude.  Here is a sample Gratitude Letter that everyone in your family can use to focus on who and what we are grateful for during this uncertain time. Take the opportunity to let that person know!  Gratitude Letter


Guided Mindful Moment links that you can use at home:
Parent Tip: The Gift of Presence


Functional Living Skills

Being at home together creates a wonderful opportunity to teach and practice Functional Living Skills.

Children can make their beds, do laundry, help cook and practice crucial time management and organization skills as they engage in Remote Learning. This is a unique time where we can slow down and teach our families life skills that we normally might not have time to address.

FUNCTIONAL LIVING SKILLS - VIEW VIDEO LIBRARY