Who would have imagined that Friday, March 13 would be the last day all of us would be on campus for over a month and a half? COVID-19 was already impacting the world and slowly was starting to impact us here at Kaimuki Middle. From cancellations of student trips and our brand new PTO’s “Taste of Kaimuki” event and discussions about the “what if’s” in regards to school closures. A lot of changes have happened in a short amount of time and it seems like things continue to change every hour.
There are a lot of unknowns and unanswered questions that we are all facing during these extremely unprecedented times. We are not only facing challenges on a personal basis, but as educators, we are faced with an entirely new challenge that will require us to do “school” in a total new way. Each of us is coping with this in a different way, but I would say it’s safe to say that we are all dealing with a lot of stress.
There is no other time like right now that SELF CARE is a must. If we do not manage our own stress and take time to take care of ourselves, the stress will become more burdensome and could begin to affect our physical and emotional health. Here are some key points to help you take care of yourself and manage your stress.
Emotions are contagious
It is very natural and expected to be experiencing both positive and negative emotions right now. But keep in mind that your emotions can affect those around you. Therefore, try your best to be positive and look for the small blessings in each day.
Take care of your health and well-being
More than ever, it is important to exercise good hygiene. Wash hands properly, refrain from touching your face, keep your home clean and STAY HOME. Make time to be active for at least 30 minutes a day and eat as healthy as possible. Keep in mind that our local businesses are hurting, so support businesses that you want to see re-open after this calms down.
Pause, Breathe & Respond
Instead of reacting to all the changes we are experiencing, be intentional and PAUSE, BREATHE and then RESPOND. This gives us power over the stress, versus when we react, the stress has the power. This is a great time to use your glitter jar you made at our meeting. Practicing this will help us to become well-equipped to respond and make decisions.
Take things day by day
The numbers of COVID-19 cases are increasing each day and causing changes by the hour. We do not know how long this will last or when things will get better. So focus on the present instead of thinking about the future. Take things day by day and sometimes, hour by hour.
And despite all of this, remember that we are fortunate to have our jobs. There are so many people who are out of a job and having to deal with financial stress.
With that said, as stressful as this is for us, imagine what our students are experiencing. Let us work together to do our best to take care of ourselves so that we are able to support our students to manage their own stress and get through this season that we are in. In coming weeks, I will be sharing how you can provide SEL to your students through distance learning.