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Posts tagged ‘resilience’

Staying Connected and Sane during the Shelter-in-Place

The spread of the coronavirus is asking a lot from families, from homeschooling and work from home schedules to quarantine mandates and social distancing. It is a lot for families, parents and children to handle. This week, I talked to HITN Learning about strategies that parents can use to cope during these challenging times. You can access the video here (conversation starts at 2:08) or keep reading for a summary of the main take-aways.

  • Take care of yourself during these difficult times. As parents, we tend to think about our children’s needs first. It is natural to want to protect them and make sure they are safe. However, we know that we are going to be at home with them for a while, so we need to pay attention to our own needs, so we can be available to them in the long term.
    • Name your emotions. When we feel anxious, we probably want to retreat and protect ourselves. When we are scared, it is because we detect danger. Emotions are data—they provide important information about what’s happening inside. Put a name to your emotions, so you can consider them with more clarity. When you name your emotions, you create the necessary space to navigate them effectively.
    • Find something to “fill your bucket,” every day. Take time to do something you enjoy—exercise, dance to a favorite song, read a book or do nothing for a few minutes. Do something that will help you get the energy and positivity that you need in order to face the next day.
    • Show yourself some compassion. Allow yourself to have a bad day. If that happens, treat yourself with compassion the way you would treat a good friend. Talk to yourself with kindness, and acknowledge everything you are doing to keep things running during these challenging times.
  • Orchestrate space and people with harmony. One of the main challenges that parents are facing is how to organize and supervise homeschooling, while responding to their own job responsibilities.
    • Set up a homeschooling schedule. Kids thrive on routine, and do much better when they know what is expected of them. Create a daily schedule, so kids have a sense for how they day is going to be organized. Make sure kids have plenty of time to play!
    • Keep a regular routine for meals, bedtime and exercise.
    • Check-in at the end of the day with your children and ask them how things are going. If certain things are not working, ask them for suggestions.
    • Schedule quiet time for everybody in the family. This includes the adults too—no social media, cleaning or doing work during that time.
  • Create moments of connection. Connection is an important aspect of building resilience, so make sure you have moments to connect with your children and spouse or partner.
    • Find moments to do something just for fun with the entire family.
    • Knowing that tension will arise, make sure you communicate more with your spouse or partner, not less, during this difficult time.
    • Check in with loved ones, and allow the kids to call their friends.
    • Keep the communication open with your children about what’s happening with the coronavirus.
    • Be mindful of your consumption of social media. Is it making you feel more connected to people? If the answer is not, consider reducing its usage.
  • Show compassion towards yourself and others around you. Everybody is trying to adjust to this new situation, and we are all functioning with high levels of stress and anxiety. Treat others with kindness—including your child’s teachers, your employees and/or supervisors, cashiers at the grocery store. Everybody with a face can benefit from our kindness.

Until next time, please stay home and take care of yourself. And if you need any additional support, get in touch.

Purpose Builds Resilience

A few years back, I agreed to help organize an “SEL Day” at a local school. The organizing team did not seem to have a clear objective for the event, but I agreed anyway thinking that I could be of help. As the team started making decisions about the event, I became increasingly frustrated—I thought there were better ways to present information, engage the participants or select speakers. Since I did not want to question the group’s decisions, I became disengaged and lost interest. Then, as we were getting closer to the day of the event, I realized that I had forgotten the very reason why I had agreed to support this initiative: I wanted to support this group in pursuing something that was important to them, and that aligned with my own values. Read more

Behavior is Communication

“What happened, Mom? What is going on?” My daughter asked the other night, while she climbed on a chair to look at my computer. I was staring at my laptop, looking at pictures of the destruction caused by hurricane Dorian in The Bahamas. I felt speechless. Miles and miles of destroyed homes, entire towns swapped away by the hurricane. According to CNN, 70,000 people lost almost everything, and thousands of survivors are still trying to escape the destroyed areas. Read more

Adversity Affects Learning

David was a 5th grader at an elementary school in East Oakland (California), where I worked as a special education teacher¹. The school was located in a neighborhood greatly affected by crime, drugs and gangs. Many students at the school had been exposed to violence and abuse, and most students had some kind of psychological trauma. David lived with two siblings and his mom, who was addicted to drugs. I saw David twice a week to work on his reading. The minute he walked into my room, I could clearly see if he was doing well or having a hard day. When he felt defeated, frustrated or pushed in any way, he would shut down and not respond to any verbal communication. Read more

What do you do with your stress? Building Resilience through Emotional Intelligence

Resilience is the ability to withstand stress and catastrophe. Humans have an amazing capacity to adapt and overcome adversities and even after devastating tragedies, individuals and communities find ways to move forward and rebuild their lives. Linda Lantieri founded the Inner Resilience Program (IRP) in 2002 in response to the effects of the events of September 11, 2001 on New York City schools. Read more

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