It's a whole new world.
No, really! Everything we thought we knew about working and schooling and parenting has changed (and continues to change whether we like it or not). I am working from home, which is no big deal since I almost always work from home, but never before have I worked from home while my daughter finishes her final year of University from home and my sons learn online from home and my husband learns to work remotely from my office.
I have been collaborating with a team of educators, psychologists and counsellors from across North America to come up with some quick tips to make sure mental health is a priority and to help parents sift through all the "experts" telling them how they should be homeschooling. FYI, unless you were homeschooling before COVID-19 hit, you are not homeschooling, you are coping.
There is a difference. Homeschool is a choice. You didn't choose this. It's okay to be confused, sad, angry and scared. It's also okay to feel grateful to have everyone back home. This is a time to work for the minimum viable product. Do the best you can with the least amount of stress. Period.
I hope you will check out our first tip about checking in regularly. We know it's simple. Frankly, we aren't Goop or Martha Stewart. We like simple!
I also want to share this link to a webinar I did about working and educating from home.
If you have questions for me or my gang, we'd love you to hop over to our Facebook group and post them. We will also have guest experts visiting the group for Q & A's.
I'll add a new tip every week for parenting. Here are a few more tips for general coping.
People living under quarantine can show symptoms aligned with those of post-traumatic stress disorder. The longer people are in quarantine, the more pronounced the symptoms tend to become.”
To counteract the effects of quarantine-induced anxiety: stay in touch, set boundaries, exercise, limit social media as needed, continue to see your healthcare provider, keep a routine you follow on a daily basis, find volunteer opportunities, and join group chats with co-workers, which is a well-researched intervention to help soothe the symptoms of PTSD.
Watch for signs of anxiety and depression in loved ones. Your intervention can be a straightforward observation like, “I’ve noticed that you’ve been expressing x, y, and z. I think it’s time for you to get help, talk to someone, call this hotline.”
Support employees’ or colleagues’ emotional health during the coronavirus quarantine by creating communities, over-communicating, holding fireside chats and openly discussing your own struggles, not allowing mental health challenges to be stigmatized, and doing fun things together.
Listen, acknowledge, support.