As the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic continues to keep us guessing about the future of education, we’re beginning to question the next steps in schools reopening.
There are new stressors and fears surrounding the what-ifs of reopening schools during a pandemic this Fall.
Luckily, there’s support for students, parents, and staff from school counselors. Always adjusting to meet the needs of their peers, school counselors are a beacon of positivity.
Read on to learn how counselors can support their schools and families as we return to a new normal.
Mental Health and Anxiety Support During the Pandemic
When there is uncertainty, there is fear and worry. It’s natural to catastrophize and fear the worst.
But school counselors are there to help students, staff, and parents learn the benefits of mindfulness in a time of crisis.
Mindfulness practices help bring us back to the present moment so we can control our anxiety. These activities make our fears more manageable rather than constantly worrying about an unknown future.
ASCA has a great video that walks you through successfully implementing a mindfulness program in your school.
Beacons of Positivity
If students worry about outside factors, like the pandemic, they’ll have difficulty concentrating. Once their social-emotional needs are met, they can find success academically, and socially.
School counselors can help students remain positive with activities, games, and tasks. These activities allow students to have control over different aspects of their daily lives.
In turn, it will help them maintain presence and positivity.
Daily affirmations can also help students, and their families, start their day with positive and empowering thoughts. Rather than beginning a new day with negative social media scrolling, a few positive affirmations may reduce anxiety first thing in the morning. Check out these daily Mindful Mindset Journals for K-3, 4-8, & teens.
School counselors are masters of positivity and can help uncover the perfect affirmations for students, parents, and staff in these uncertain times.
Pandemic Self-Care and Mindfulness for Staff
Students aren’t the only members of the community that may feel anxiety over returning to school. Staff may feel as though their choices are limited and that they are stuck due to financial needs vs. healthcare concerns.
School Counselors can assist their peers in creating self-care plans and mindfulness activities to help cope with the anxiety of returning to work during a pandemic. The American School Counselor Association has some helpful tips for self-care for staff.
Professional development is another avenue of self-care and control for education professionals. Especially when they feel that there is little they can control in their daily lives. Counselors can take “ASCA U” courses to gain the confidence that they have the tools to assist staff members and students to the best of their ability.
At-Home Support for Parents
Some school counselors are taking to Zoom and Facebook to conduct mindfulness workshops for parents and families. It is their goal to encourage their community to remain mindful and present. Additionally, they are assisting parents and staff in preparation for the upcoming school year.
School Counselor understand the anxiety surrounding the pandemic, and the new normal, and they have the tools to help prepare students, staff, and parents for the upcoming school year.