With the news of school closing for the rest of the year, I experienced a great deal of different emotions, including sadness and fear for the unknown. I wanted to reach out to our families to let you all know that we miss our students and care about them deeply. Please know that I am still here and happy to connect with anyone who would like to during this time. Below are some coping strategies that we have discussed in class.
Throughout the school year we have discussed various emotions and coping strategies during classroom counseling, and I want to remind our students of those strategies.
Remind students to breathe in slowly through the nose and out through the mouth. A slow exhale stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. A variation of belly breathing is to breathe in a memory of feeling safe and happy and breathe out the uncomfortable, pandemic-related feelings.
- Belly Breathing
Clasp hands together over belly button. Feel for the stomach going in as they take a deep breath in and then inflate as they slowly exhale.
- 5 Finger Breathing
Trace one hand with index finger of opposite hand while breathing in as the trace up the finger. Breathing out as they trace down each finger.
Positive Self Talk
Help students identify negative self-talk related to the pandemic. Discuss helpful or positive self-talk that they could use instead. Help them understand that they are at home in order to keep themselves and other people safe. In other words, they are doing something very caring and helpful for their family and their community.
Slowly counting to10 (or down) can also help in regulation. This can assist in additional think time to prevent speaking or behaving in a manner that will later be regretted.
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