Social distancing is an essential thing to do to stop the spread of infectious diseases, and Utah students are doing what they can to stop the spread of COVID-19 by taking their school work home.
For many students, this is not only a sacrifice academically, but socially. Going to school is one of the only ways students get social interactions. School is a place to gain new and foster existing relationships, and without the daily ability to do that, it can cause feelings of isolation and even depression and sadness.
Guidance counsellor at Mt. Nebo Junior High is concerned for the students he works with every day, as well as students everywhere.
He offered the following tips and thoughts for students who are struggling with the current loss of social interactions:
This is a great time to connect with family members.
Lean on each other and think of fun things to do each day.
Connect with friends and family via Facetime, Google Hangouts, Zoom, etc.
Social isolation doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be connecting with people who are important to us.
If anything, it is more important to connect now than it ever has been.
Connect with others via social media.
This is helpful in moderation and when done in a healthy way. Student’s shouldn’t be spending hours each day on social media because it can lead to more harm than good, but social media is meant for “social interaction”.
Parents should be checking in with their kids often.
Many parents can’t work from home and have no other option but to leave their kids home alone.
Kids are not used to being alone for that long and it is important for parents to do frequent temperature checks with their kids.
Students need to take care of themselves. Wake up at a decent time, shower, eat healthy meals, go outside, write in a journal, talk to friends, do homework, have fun, and go to bed as if it were a school night. In other words, get in a routine that will bring positivity into your life.
There are many other things out there that can help students at this unique time. I think it is helpful for any family to sit down and discuss how they are doing and then make goals and plans as to how they can connect with others socially and bring positivity into their life. (Brown is a Serve Daily contributor.)