We are all dealing with high levels of stress right now. On top of normal pressures, current events are causing stress related to job and financial worries, health risks, and disruption to our normal routines. We need to find ways to effectively manage our stress—and practicing SEL activities can help.
During these uncertain times, it is critical that educators find ways to effectively manage and reduce stress. It is also critical that we help students do the same. Just like with adults, if students’ stress goes unmanaged, it can lead to anxiety and depression and can cause harmful physical effects. It can also increase students’ risk of dropping out, substance abuse, and suicide.
As an educator, you are in a unique position to provide stability and support to your students and their families during uncertain times. One of the best ways you can help students is by looking after their social-emotional health.
Here are 10 SEL activities to help your students learn effective stress management.
1. Help students understand what is happening. A simple and age-appropriate conversation about what is going on and why their routine is disrupted can help alleviate students’ anxiety and stress. Send home talking points to help parents talk to their students about what is happening in a constructive way. If you have a school or class web page, keep it current with the latest information about your district’s plans and available resources.