Psychological First Aid Kit: 7 Things to Pack

In today’s new COVID-19 reality, all of us – students, parents, teachers – are working from home. It’s a big adjustment, one that challenges each of us to design a framework of healthy habits for our new, socially-distanced lives.
To make the most of our new everything-at-home world, we asked School Counselor Carol Dopp and Director of Health Services Emily MacLaury ‘96, RN for help. Here are just a few of the tips they gave us for making the most of distance learning and working from home. 
 
1. Create a Schedule
When will you work, eat, exercise, and take breaks? Creating a daily schedule is key to learning and working from home. If you follow a schedule, you’ll have a clear sense of purpose, accomplish more, and feel better overall.

2. Get Dressed
Just because we’re not in dress code doesn’t mean you should attend Zoom classes in your footy pajamas. The simple act of getting dressed in the morning will put you in the right mindset and help you stay focused on the work at hand.

3. Move!
Get your body moving each and every day. Work out virtually with your team, walk to the end of the block, run in place, or dance. You’ll get your endorphins flowing, stay in shape, and feel a whole lot better. 

4. Too Much News?
With so much going on in the world today, it’s easy to get caught up in the news. That’s why it’s so important to give yourself a break. Be sure to take time away from your computer or phone, or limit the number of times you check the news. If you feel the urge to constantly refresh your news feed, go outside, read a book, or catch up (virtually) with your friends instead.

5. Ask For Help!
Being at home away from school can feel isolating – but you’re not alone! We’re all facing the same unprecedented situation, and we’re here for you. Don’t ever be afraid to ask your teacher, advisor, classmate, or parent for help. Your Holderness Family is just an email or Zoom call away.

6. Help Others
It feels good to help others, especially during difficult times like these. If you have a younger brother or sister, take time to play with them, or read them a book. Have an elderly neighbor? See if you or your parents can run errands for them. You’ll be providing a valuable service - and you’ll feel empowered, too. 

7. Cultivate Hope
It’s easy to get discouraged, so do what you can to cultivate hope. Plant a garden, make plans for the future, or start a gratitude journal. Take time to focus on the things you’re thankful for, and doing so will eventually become second nature. 
 
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