Wednesday, May 6, 2020


Reducing Stress and Promoting Success

During this unprecedented time, the need for increased focus on self-management has become critical for adults, as well as children.  The CASEL definition of Self-Management is “The ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations. This includes managing stress, controlling impulses, motivating oneself, and setting and working toward achieving personal and academic goals.”  

As we continue to adjust to our new routines, strong feelings are bound to surface. Whether it is frustration rising over an assignment, irritation over sharing space/resources or just missing their previous structures, strong emotions can occur and are warranted. To assist with coping with these strong emotions, it is important to make intentional efforts to effectively self-manage.  Building structures and including behaviors into our lives that promote self-management sets us up for success while working and learning at home together, and beyond.

Although the structures of our days may look different, it is important to maintain a consistent routine.  Building a plan together that maintains a regular bedtime, includes morning routines and defines the goals and activities for the day is empowering and comforting. It sounds simple but getting out of bed, eating a healthy breakfast and lunch, limiting snacking and/or social media/television and taking advantage of the day to set goals is a recipe for success!  

Once structures and routines are established, setting daily and/or weekly goals are powerful behaviors that support and promote success.  Daily and incremental goal achievement promotes self-motivation and self-discipline.  Being sure the goals are appropriate for the individual with tangible rewards can improve a sense of accomplishment and naturally motivates learners while supporting focus and commitment.

Although structures and routines need to be consistent, they do not need to be inflexible.  Students are working hard. Be sure to take the time to integrate brain breaks such as games, physical activities, mindfulness breathing, prayer or other stress management techniques. Building in social time like FaceTime/phone calls with peers or classmates can be just the thing needed to energize and motivate.  

Much like the saying, “Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass but dancing in the rain.”, we can choose to embrace this current journey. We are all finding our way through this together. There may not be a “right way” to do this.  However, taking this time to foster relationships, build resiliency and foster a growth mindset is our chance to “dance in the rain”. Building self-management strategies into our daily lives to reduce stress and promote success can help us dance!

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