As we enter into the new year of 2021, I found myself reflecting on this past year and all of the challenges, transitions, emotions, and pain we all as a human race had to navigate. One of the transitions that I wanted to discuss is the transition for most kids and teens going from in-person classes to online “E-learning”. This transition not only affected the students, but the parents, caretakers, and other family members that had to make this adjustment with the students (not to mention the transition for the teachers!). We have experienced first-hand what this has been like, and as we enter 2021, E-learning is still present.
As parents or loved ones of those having to do E-learning or the students who are doing E-learning still, here are some things to be mindful of.
Offer yourself compassion. Change and transitions are difficult for everyone. You had to learn to adjust to a type of learning that you never did before- be proud of yourself for making an effort to be open to these changes. Parents you too need to offer yourself compassion. You are doing the best you can with something we never expected would happen.
Take Breaks. You are not used to staring at a screen all day. Make sure to take full advantage of the breaks in-between classes that your school offers. Try to avoid using electronics on your breaks and instead go for a walk, do some stretching, or go play with your pet. Drink water and have your meals!
Ask for Help. If something does not make sense or you are struggling with the school’s E-learning platform- ask a teacher, classmate, parent, or sibling to assist you. Navigating all of the different rooms and expectations from different teachers is difficult- it is okay and expected you will not know everything or have questions from time to time. Ask for help to avoid panic and frustrations!
Have a space just for E-learning. This can be difficult if there is limited space and you have other people in the house that are also working from home or doing school. If that is the case, just try to find some space that is clutter-free, distraction-free, and quiet enough for you to concentrate that you can go to each time you have to log-in. If possible- try to not have the space be where you sleep (like on your bed), or in the living room (on the couch) so you can have some separation from your school life and your home life.
Learn quick and useful mindfulness activities that you can use to decompress after school or if you become frustrated while doing E-learning. Being mindful means being present in the current moment. This can be a useful way to bring ourselves out of rumination of the past or future, slow down when in distress, or take a break when things become stressful. Here is an example of a grounding technique I use.
5,4,3,2,1 technique uses your senses to bring you back to the present moment and aides in reducing stress.
5 things you can see
4 things you can touch
3 things you can hear
2 things you can smell
1 thing you can taste
Bonus grounding technique suggestion:
If it is hard for you to remember which order they go in, another great way to ground can be:
List all the things in the space you are in that are green
List all the things in the space you are in that are yellow