We understand…it’s been a year with a lot of change.
It seems like every day things change. Some days you’re in school, some days you’re not. Activities and sports aren’t like they used to be, and cancellations have become a daily part of life. It’s hard to know what’s going to happen from one day to the next. With all these changes, you may feel frustrated, stressed, scared, anxious, isolated, sad or angry.
Understanding what’s in your control and knowing a few problem-solving skills can help you handle these changes with a little less stress…
Focus on what you can control
We can try to control our reactions to what’s happening, including our words, actions, and behaviors. For example, you can’t control that your school decided to only offer remote classes, but you can control how you react to that decision… you can decide what going to school remotely is going to look like for you so that you can make the best of it. Where are you comfortable being “in” class? Do you have fidget toy to play with while you’re sitting through long lectures? Do you get up and walk around when you have a break, maybe visit your pet?
Let’s say you’re really stressed about learning online. Here’s four steps that can help you work through a problem like that.
1.) Define the problem: Put your concerns into words – write it down if it helps. Maybe one of those is that you have trouble staying focused because your family is also home doing their stuff and it’s loud all day… making it hard for you to concentrate and participate.
2.) Generate alternatives:
Can you talk to everyone at home and and help them to understand how hard this is for you? Could you see if you could get headphones to help block out the noise? Is there somewhere else you can comfortably be in class or do your homework?
3.) Evaluate and select alternatives:
What realistically works for you? Are headphones going to take care of it? Is it possible to do your homework in another space?
4.) Implement solutions:
Put your solutions to work for you. If you decide to move your school workspace, think about what would make that space work and make sure that you take the time to set it up so it’s comfortable and a place where you can be productive.
Problem solving and focusing on what you can control will help with all of the changes you’ve had to make – and those that are yet to come. Not every problem has an easy or obvious answer and some things just aren’t within your control. Understanding both of those things can help you be less hard on yourself and less stressed as you work to figure things out during COVID.
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