Tips from WAB’s Counselors: Completing the Cycle of Stress

The past couple of weeks have been challenging for many reasons. We had to do several quick pivots before starting remote learning, we witnessed different compounds being placed under temporary localized lockdown, we heard from friends who received contact tracing phone calls from the epidemic control team, we raced around to find COVID-19 testing kiosks to enter school, the workplace, and public places. Many of us are experiencing emotional whiplash from these unpredictable and unexpected changes that disrupt our daily routines. Change is unsettling and we all react to and cope with the stress differently.

When adults are stressed by what we see and hear, our children can pick up and mirror our stress level as well. These are some examples of how stress manifests itself in children.

As adults, we can model self-management and emotional regulation by taking care of ourselves. Once we complete our own stress cycle, we can then be present for and look after others around us. Here are some ways to complete the stress cycle with our children.

During stressful periods, we may have a lower tolerance threshold and experience high frustration for small things. Know that we are all doing the best that we can and that is more than good enough. There will be many opportunities for engaging in student-focused learning, but equally important is taking care of our needs for security, connection, and belonging. Be gentle with yourself and your family.

If you continue to struggle, please reach out to our counseling team who are here to help navigate through this challenging time together with you.