Recent times have been difficult for everyone, including our students that have been pushed to online learning. For some, this has been a strenuous process, with their grades hitting an all time low and social opportunities being limited. With all of this, mental health concerns are arising and we should all play our part in any way possible.
Teachers, parents, and students themselves can practice the following advice to support themselves and the school community in online learning during these times of crisis:
Be a strong support network and help build the networks of others.
Something as simple as reaching out can help many overcome the immense feeling of isolation during this time. With this, I encourage you to take time to listen thoroughly and provide insightful feedback. Voice your thoughts and feelings to someone you trust, fully open up and confide in to compensate for the lack of connection during these times. It is also important to frequently stay in touch with those in your network as well as connect them to other helpful friends, family members, and online sources.
Recognize and understand their struggle.
While online learning may have been present for years, it is new to those who are now just joining it, particularly teenagers and younger. Things that are often simple to some may be a learning curve for others. Have patience and be empathetic to the situation.
It is also good to think beyond and consider what is really making online learning difficult and how you can do your part to improve it. A little understanding and accommodation can go a long way.
Utilize your resources.
Schools and institutions are trying their best to be there for those that are new to online learning at this time, so utilize your resources. Reach out to counselors, watch the tutorials and take your time getting accustomed to online learning. Knowing that these resources are readily available to you, as well as fully taking advantage of them can help overcome the overwhelming feeling of moving to online learning.
Dedicate time for outdoor activities.
While close interaction with others is limited due to COVID-19, I encourage you to partake in safe outdoor activities that can include reading a book outside, hiking, bike riding, exercising and more. Movement during this time is vital for physical and mental health. Maintain your hobbies as well as discover new ones!
Maintain a schedule.
Online learning can be repetitive to some, causing days and nights to mesh together and the concept of time to become hazy. So in order to combat this, maintaining a schedule and holding yourself accountable for certain tasks and duties throughout the day is important. I personally like to create a daily notecard of “to do list” at the beginning of my day and as the days goes cross of that goal.” This incorporates a sense of accomplishment and achievement for the day.
With all of this being said, reach out to your colleagues, teachers, parents, and students to check in on them and their mental health. Go the extra mile to provide them support and comfort to the best of your ability with these tips, but also by contacting me for any further questions, one-on-one counseling sessions and more.