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When the Going Gets Tough: Staying Calm During Disruption

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These are interesting times. As regular routines and social connections are being disrupted, it is even more apparent than usual how much we all rely on our friends and colleagues to stay happy and engaged in our own lives. We are social creatures who are largely resistant to change and are certainly vulnerable to the fear and anxiety that pandemics and economic threats instill. Our children always rely on us to stay calm and reassuring in the face of challenge and uncertainty and this is especially true when they are away from the rest of their social network.

Stay calm and reassuring?! How, exactly, do we do that? Here are some ideas:

1. Establish a routine and stick to it: Weekdays are work days. Maintain bedtime and wake up schedules that your family is used to in non-pandemic times. Set goals to accomplish each day/week. Everyone needs a routine and structure.

Make sure some part of each day is:

  • Quiet time (no devices) for reading, writing, and art
  • Wellness time for exercise
  • Connection time (via phone and screens) with friends and others
  • Active learning time. Teacher led classes will start remotely next Monday, March 30th. In the meantime:
    • Students should check their Compass email every weekday
    • Students may use time this week to finish up late work or make revisions to work from last Intensive session and last Venture session.
    • Read at least one hour per day*
    • Write for at least 30 minutes per day (journal, creative writing, summaries of what you are reading, letters to loved ones, etc.)
    • Pick a class to work on through Khan Academy. There are so many options!
    • Pick a class from free online university options and watch the lectures, taking notes to document your learning. These courses can be found on Coursera and other platforms by Googling information about MOOCs (massive open online courses)
    • Start an Independent Inquiry (and document it on Foundry) to learn something you always wanted to learn but never had time for until now!

2. Household jobs: Make a list of all the daily jobs involved in running a household. Have your kids sign up for responsibilities and assign all the ones that don’t get “picked”. Everyone needs to feel useful!

  • Teach them to cook (or find them some good cooking shows on YouTube) and give them the responsibility for feeding the family at least one meal per day.
  • This is a great time for spring cleaning and yard work.
  • Teach your children how you manage the household bills and let them help you set budgets and financial goals for the next month.
  • Learn more about your children’s interests and favorite music. Have them share their favorite social media posts, YouTube channels, playlists, and podcasts with you. Kids love to teach!
  • Learn or plan something together as a family. This pandemic will not always be so bad and we need things to look forward to when it is over!

3. Limit news-checking: Check the news morning and evening as opposed to streaming it all day. Bombarding your senses with this crisis all day tends to increase anxiety.

4. Reach out: While it may feel isolating, you are not alone! Reach out, stay connected, and let’s all work together to make this challenging time the best it can be. We are here for you to help in any way we can.

*If you don’t have enough books at home check out the Poudre River Public Library webpage. They have just announced a new “Overdrive Instant Digital Library Card” that gives instant access to ebooks and audiobooks.