When our loved ones are struggling it’s easy to only think about them and their needs. But don’t forget to take care of your own.
Just like in every airline emergency presentation when they tell you to put on your oxygen mask first and then help others; you can't help others breathe if you don't have oxygen yourself. We know it’s not easy, and sometimes it's downright impossible to step back when you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed. We’ve pulled together a list of resources and ideas that might help:
Take Care of YOU
- Spend some time doing a calming activity such as deep breathing, mindfulness meditation, reading a book, or taking a stroll.
- Reach out to friends or a trusted counselor and talk over your feelings regarding the situation.
- Watch or listen to something that will make you laugh or help you to think about something else for a while rather than listening to the news or “doom scrolling.”
- Try to focus on facts rather than fears and on what you can control versus what you can’t. Consider the most likely outcome rather than the worst possible one.
- Think about how you can use this time to build resilience in yourself and model it for your child.
- Write your feelings down in a journal.
Support Your Student
If your student is quarantined (or they know someone who is) - it can be very unsettling for everyone. Talking to them in ways that help them remain calm and help them navigate this crazy time can be really good for them, but you might feel you don't know how to go about it when you are feeling stressed yourself.
Here are tips that might help you support them through those situations:
- Practice active listening when talking with your student.
- Lead with empathy and ask lots of questions.
- Let them know that it’s okay and normal to feel sad, angry, anxious, and unsettled. They may want to avoid these feelings, but it’s important to help them acknowledge them and sit with them.
- Direct them toward resources that are provided on campus for their mental health needs, such as sending an email to email@example.com or having them fill out the How Can We Help You form.
- Encourage your student to check out activities on our Quarantine Life page, which we have assembled to help them have fun and make the best of a challenging situation.
- Direct them toward factual information about coronavirus and how we are helping them through it.
- Connect them with a therapist they can talk to remotely (many will be covered by your insurance, so check online with them to find a provider).
- Encourage them to take a walk down by the lake and enjoy the beautiful fall colors and fresh Finger Lakes air.
Fun Ways to Connect When You’re Apart
- Play tabletop games online like checkers, chess, and cards
- Watch a movie together
- Attend a concert together
- Make music for each other
- Play some texting games
- Join a dance party
- Play some trivia games
- Plan a Night of Mystery Party
- Plan a virtual picnic and eat together
- Plan a lunch date and meet up in Google Hangouts, Zoom, or Facetime
- Adapt your favorite family games to Zoom
- Make them a video and tell them how much you love them so they can watch it when they need to...Or tell them a story or just tell them about your day