SOAPS’ individual school teams met multiple times last week to be in community with one another outside of the often-chaotic classrooms and milieus that they typically support. Teams spent this time checking in with each another, gauging the current needs of their students and families, and deepening their equity lens by choosing accessible resources to discuss.
Documentaries that teams watched included 13th, The Life and Death of Marsha P. Johnson, The Mask We Live In, and the Trial of Gabriel Fernandez, most of which can be found on Netflix. Through these meetings, teams discussed the many ways that it is important to advocate for their students and keep them safe in a system that does not center their needs.
There are many artists holding virtual concerts/musical healing through outlets such as Instagram and YouTube. Check out the up and coming artist Lizzo, and how she responded to the overwhelming occurrence of fear in our society here. Try creating a shared playlist with friends! This is a way to be in community while hearing what your friends have been listening to.
For those animal lovers out there, try checking out EXPLORE.ORG to watch live streams of whatever cute fuzzy creature you would like to see!
There are several great Apps you can access through your phone that provide different techniques for mindfulness, musical meditation, self-care, and provide news updates:
- Calm App: *This App does have a cost; however, you can access some things on it for free:
- Guided Meditation
- Sleep Aides
- Mental Fitness (one of my favorites is the Lebron James series)
- Breathing Exercises
- Scenery Sounds
- Classes (regarding pain, trauma, confidence, etc.)
- Calm Body (exercises and stretching routines)
- Spotify: This is a good way to find different perspectives on mental health and find amazing music! One playlist recommendation is by RZA called Guided Explorations. Search it and give it a try!
- Podcast: This podcast kid-friendly, has regular updates from local and international reliable news sources, and has some great audio series! One example is The Punies, A Children's Guided Story with Emphasis on Life Skills, created by Kobe Bryant.
Steps for Coping with a Disaster
Take the following steps to cope with a disaster:
- Take care of your body – Try to eat healthy well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Learn more about wellness strategies for mental health.
- Connect with others – Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships and build a strong support system.
- Take breaks – Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Try taking in deep breaths and consider doing activities you usually enjoy.
- Stay informed – When you feel that you are missing information, you may become more stressed or nervous. Watch, listen to, or read the news for updates from officials. Be aware that there may be rumors during a crisis, especially on social media. Always check your sources and turn to reliable sources of information, like your local government authorities.
- Avoid too much exposure to news – Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to repeatedly hear about the crisis and see images. Try to do enjoyable activities and return to normal life as much as possible, and check for updates between breaks.
- Seek help when needed – If distress impacts activities of your daily life for several days or weeks, talk to a clergy member, counselor, or doctor, or contact the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-985-5990.
These are just a few ways you can support yourself in these times as we support our students and families as well. Have other great ways that you have been getting by while socially distancing? Send them my way to Mackenzie_boyle@senecacenter.org.
Take care of yourselves, and each other!