Personal Counseling Resources
1. Develop and stick to a routine, especially for school days. Post your schedule somewhere you can see it. Go to sleep and wake up at normal times, include time for schoolwork, meals, breaks, exercise, and social time. Use the weekends for down time and self-care.
2. If possible, have a designated space for school, that is separate from your bedroom or down time space. Working where we sleep or relax can be confusing to the mind and body, so separating these out gives our bodies cues what to expect.
3. Don't wear your pajamas all day long. You don't have to be fancy, but shower and dress in comfortable clothes, wash your face, brush your teeth, etc. It is amazing how we dress impacts our mood.
4. Get fresh air and move once a day for thirty minutes or more. Go for a walk, run, or hike. Make sure to practice social distancing, and avoid high traffic times when others may be out (i.e. go in the early morning or later in the evening). If you cannot get out of the house, open the windows and try exercises you can do at home. Sunlight, fresh air, and exercise boosts our mood!
5. Connect with others at least once a day. It is vital to combat the loneliness this quarantine is causing us all to feel. Whether you FaceTime, Skype, Snapchat, call, text, or use some other form of social media, connect with other people to give and receive support. Also make sure to connect with the people in your home. Have game nights, watch movies, or do other community building activities to feel more connected to each other.
6. Eat healthy foods and drink water. While this may seem like a commonsense suggestion, when we are stressed or sad, our eating habits are affected. We either overeat, under eat, or avoid food completely. Make sure your diet is balanced and healthy.
7. Develop a list of self-care activities. This will look different for everyone. You can google self-care to get some ideas, but here are some suggestions:
- Something that soothes the senses: tastes yummy, looks beautiful, sounds pleasant, feels and smells good
- Drawing, painting, or some other creative outlet
- Making a list of the people who care about you
- Watching a movie or tv show
- Listening to music
- Looking up helpful quotes
- Making comfort food
- Wrapping yourself in a blanket
- Essential oils
- Scented candles
- Talking to someone/venting
- Thinking of a happy place
- Getting a hug
- Showering or taking a bath
- Going somewhere you feel safe
- Sleeping/taking a nap
- Playing an instrument
8. Approach those you're surrounded by with grace. This is a hard, confusing, and scary time, and being cooped up with the same people day in and day out can feel overwhelming. If arguments arise, take a time out and return to the subject when all parties are calmer. Take time-outs for yourself. We are all doing our best to make it through this trying time.
9. Limit COVID conversation and media about COVID. Make sure you are informed about what is going on, but do not be consumed by it. There is an overabundance of information out there, and it is rapidly changing. Find a few trusted sources to get your news from, a few trusted individuals you can talk with about it, and have limits on how often and for what length of time you discuss COVID.
10. Notice the hope in our world amidst the chaos. While there are many stories of the suffering happening in our world, there are also amazing stories of good: of people helping others, the healthcare workers battling this pandemic, and stories that showcase how we can love and support others.
11. Help others in any way you can. Whether this is around the house, talking to a friend in need, or seeing if your neighbors need anything, focusing on and helping others will boost our mood.
12. Check items off your long-term to do list. Learn a new skill, organize your closet, build something, finally do that gigantic puzzle, learn how to solve a rubix cube ... whatever that project you haven't had time for yet, do it!
13. Smile and laugh every day. Research shows that even when we're feeling sad, if we do a half-smile our body responds and our mood slowly shifts. Counteract the heaviness we all feel in the world with the goodness. Between funny tv shows, movies, Youtube, and social media, there are lots of options out there.
14. Reach out for help if you need it. Not only do you have your family and friends, but you also have JSerra. There is a team of people who are available and here for you. If you are struggling with your academics or overall well, being let us know. We want to help!
15. Remember that this is temporary, and it will pass. The quarantine will not last forever. We will return to school and be able to see our friends again. And in every challenge we face, there is a lesson to learn. What is the lesson you can learn in this? How can you become a stronger and better version of yourself in this time?
How to help our teens and families through this time of social isolation:
Tips for parents on how to manage stress:
What to say to our kids when their feelings are big:
How to help our teens not only survive but thrive during this time using gratitude:
Non-screen things to do while in quarantine:
Resiliency is a much needed skill for our teens to be successful. Here are 5 ways to build resilience:
Couples in Quarantine: How to Grow Stronger, Stay Sane, and Get Through This Together:
Living with Uncertainty:
Back-to-school online safety: 9 tips for parents, no matter what the school year looks like: