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.

Related content: 10 SEL activities for teachers

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.

About the Author:

Emily Doerr has worked in education technology for over four years, specializing in the K-12 market. She currently serves as national marketing coordinator for Aperture Education. The daughter of two college professors, Emily developed a love for learning and for sharing knowledge at a young age and has carried that passion with her throughout her career. When not diving into trends and strategizing, you’ll find her exploring the world and taking on new adventures.

Note: A version of this article first appeared in the 2020 Back to School Guide from Aperture Education. Aperture Education provides social-emotional learning assessments, strategies and resources for schools and out of school time organizations.