As St James’ moves to an online learning platform over the next few weeks we understand that this can be a very daunting time. Our School Counsellor, Mrs Teresa Gastevich has provided a few simple ideas for students and their parents to do to manage these feelings.

  1. When you wake up in the morning and your mind starts rattling off the ‘to-do’ list, take a deep breath. Focus your awareness on the moment. Don’t turn to your phone or iPad or any other device, use your five senses to identify what’s going on around you. There is a new school model for Monday to Friday, but it is still school. Get enough rest, eight hours for school nights. Now get out of bed and start the day.
  2. Find some quick humour by telling a joke to your family, keep it appropriate. Have a theme for the day: Monday is Knock Knock Jokes etc.
  3. Practise gratitude by finding something to be grateful for. It could be a friendship, your health or simply having an extra bottle of sanitizer in the bathroom or two packets of pasta in the cupboard.
  4. Do one task at a time. Don’t allow yourself to play the game of multi-tasking. You have your online learning schedule, stick to it, one session at a time.
  5. Do something productive. You could offer to hang out the washing, wipe all the door handles in the house or cook your parents a meal. Do something constructive with that energy which benefits you in the long run. Clean the pool or mow the lawn.
  6. Carry apples with you. Resist the urge to nervous eat, this means reaching for whatever is in front of you. There is no research that validates chocolate as a brain food; blueberries, sardines, eggs and avocados are brain foods.
  7. Put money in your piggy bank each day. You shouldn’t be out shopping on a school day so this is a great way to save money and then donate to charity. This will give you peace of mind.
  8. Move your body. This could be something simple, such as a walk around the park on your own, run with the dog or do sit-ups in the lounge room.
  9. If you drink coffee, try just having one cup, or better still, no caffeinated drinks at all. Water is best but only drink when thirsty.
  10. Don’t feel ashamed if you are feeling anxious. We are all in this together. Keep in virtual contact with your friends but keep access time short. Everyone has work to do. Adhere to the School Phone Policy: no phones during the school day.

The teachers of St James’ are here to help during this period. Mrs Gastevich is also available via email; to check-in and support all our students and their families.


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