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April 10, 2020

Supporting Families with Stress Management

Happy, healthy kids start with happy, healthy adults.  

We know that now more than ever, educators are working tirelessly to support students and their families in navigating stress and uncertainty around COVID-19. In order to help you help others, you need to know how to support your own well-being.  

Presented in partnership with Kaiser Permanente and Sanford Harmony, our recent webinar, “Stress Management for Educators,” focused on self-acceptance and self-awareness of stress patterns and provided ways to help build acceptance and awareness of others.  

While designed for educators, the information and tips we shared are relevant for everyone – especially parents and caregivers. A stable adult relationship is one of the single biggest protective factors children can have against stress. As students find themselves now home, in close quarters with adults who might also be struggling to cope with the current situation, it’s vital we support caregivers in managing their own stress response, and in turn, more successfully navigate their “new normal.”  

Supporting caregivers in this way helps them not only promote their own well-being, but also model healthy habits for kids – which empowers kids to express and manage their feelings in a healthy way, too. 

Share the webinar with your students’ families using the letter below to help reduce stress and prepare your school community to return to school with a sense of calm and readiness: 

 

Dear Families, 

We know that these are stressful times and we are dedicated to supporting you in any way we can. Recently, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, in partnership with Kaiser Permanente and Sanford Harmony, presented a 30-minute stress management webinar*.  

Although the title references “educators,” we believe the tips are useful to any person at this time. We know that providing a stable, loving home helps to buffer the impacts of stress for you and your children. We encourage you to watch this with other adults in your household and practice some of these tips. 

The webinar is broken into 3 parts: 

1. Stress and Uncertainty on the Brain 

In this section, you will learn that the stress you are feeling is a totally normal experience. The brain is hardwired to go into ‘self-protection’ mode when faced with fear and uncertainty. Be kind to yourself. 

2. Acceptance & Awareness of the Self 

We want to be sure that you know that we know you are doing the very best you can. This section will provide you with some strategies to help you accept the struggle we are all facing. It will also share how to fully become aware of how your stress is showing up for you. Maybe you are thinking to yourself that you aren’t a good enough parent-turned educator. Perhaps you are experiencing edginess with your kids. Or maybe you can’t find your focus. Whatever it is for you, this section will give you useful tips on how to notice and manage these feelings. 

3. Acceptance & Awareness of Others 

Living in close quarters with your family isn’t easy! One of the best ways to gain a quick perspective when we are irritated with other people is to practice a loving-kindness meditation. This quick strategy has been shown to reduce your stress and anxiety – and we could all use some of that right now! 

We really value and appreciate you all! We are here to support you. 

Sincerely, 

{School} 

*Need help accessing the webinar? Contact Healthier Generation’s support team at help@healthiergeneration.org or call toll-free at (888)-543-4584. 

 

What are your best tips for managing stress? Let me know on Twitter at @ecook_SEH and @Healthier Gen

 

Want more well-being tips and tools? Check out Kaiser Permanente’s upcoming lineup of educator-focused webinars
 

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