Expert Advisory Panel 2 on Support to Address the Whole Child Experience has posted a bunch of tips to support caregivers during this time. Visit the PSB Reopening Hub for all Panel 2 wellness tips and the expert panel page for a complete list of Panel 2's presentations and recommendations.
Week of November 9, 2020
This week’s tip: Relax in Place
Often, the tools and techniques we use to help us relax and ‘take down the volume’ (going for a walk or run, taking an exercise class, listening to music, talking to a friend, being by ourselves) aren’t possible or don’t work in situations when we need them most. If you’re helping your child with remote learning at the same time you’re on a work call, you can’t go for a run or turn on your favorite music. Instead:
- Try a few of the breathing exercises listed on 10/5.
- Do a couple of body stretches.
- Shake out your hands, arms, legs to release tension.
- Consciously release your jaw.
- Literally shift your focus: If you’re feeling stressed, turn away from whatever you’re doing (computer screen, your child or partner) if only for a couple of seconds, and shift your gaze. This can be enough to disrupt the cycle.
- Take one task at a time as much as possible to avoid overwhelm, knowing that sometimes we need to power through difficult situations in the best ways we can.
Week of November 2, 2020
This week’s tip: Calming Space
If possible, create a calming space in your home where your child knows they can go when upset and in need of an activity that can calm them down. Some ideas are drawing art (drawing their emotions), playing with something sensory and tactile like a squishy ball, looking at a sparkle jar or listening to calming music.
Week of October 19, 2020
This week’s tip: 5 Senses
Take a 2 minute break when stressed to try practicing this 5 SENSES GAME. See if you can label and name:
- as many things you can SEE (in 20 sec) - big and small, high + low
- as many things you can HEAR (20 sec) - loudest and softest
- as many things you can FEEL (20 sec) - most prevalent + most subtle
- things you can SMELL. (20 sec)
- things you can TASTE (20 sec)
Try with eyes open and also with eyes closed.
Week of October 12, 2020
This week’s tip: Screentime and Bedtime
Power down early! To restore healthy sleep habits, make the bedroom a screen-free zone, and have everyone in the family turn off devices an hour before bedtime. If this is not possible, have your children keep a lamp on when using a phone or tablet in bed. Studies show that children have insufficient and poor sleep when they use screens close to bedtime, especially in darkness.
Week of October 5, 2020
This week’s tip: Breathing Techniques
Certain types of breathing can help calm your nervous system and activate your parasympathetic nervous system. Try practicing one breathing technique with your children at home once a day. It's good to practice these when calm. Here are some to try out:
- ELEVATOR BREATH = breathing in when your hand goes up and out when your hand goes down, slowing the speed of the elevator each time.
- 2X BREATH =
- Breathe IN for 2 count, OUT for 4.
- Then IN for 3, OUT for 6.
- Then IN for 4, OUT for 8.
- See how long you can make your "out" breath.
- 5 FINGER BREATHING = Breathe in as you trace one finger UP with your opposite hand, breath out as you trace it back down. Repeat for all 5 fingers.
- BOX BREATHING = Breathe in as you trace your finger up one side of a box, breath out as you go across one side, IN as you go down one side, OUT as you go across. Tracing 4 lines of a box. Repeat and slow the speed of your finger and breath.
Week of September 28, 2020
This week’s tip: Lunch, Snacks, and Routines
To fuel your child’s body and mind during remote learning, pack a nutritious lunch and snacks for your child in the morning, just as you would if they were going to school in person. This will maintain familiar school routines and help your child to eat independently if you are busy when your child has a snack or lunch break.
Why support your PTO?
The Heath Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) is a parent-run group that organizes and funds dozens of initiatives and enrichment programs for our children at Heath. Join other parents in helping make your child's school an excellent one!