SCHOOL CLOSURE WEEKLY UPDATE from Principal Shelton (May 14)

Hello Lion Pride!

The coronavirus pandemic may lead to increased feelings of anxiety and sadness, especially in those who have underlying mental/health issues. We are worried that we ourselves, or a family member, will contract the disease. Our social media timelines are flooded with stories of people dying in hospitals alone and it is heartbreaking. Not to mention the isolation and feelings of loneliness as a result of social distancing. Some of us will certainly have post-traumatic stress after this is all over. This pandemic will not last forever and we will get through this together. Maybe we can come out of this crisis as more resilient individuals. This week I will focus on protecting your social emotional health during the pandemic.

Take a social media break
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that you minimize watching, reading or listening to news about COVID-19 that causes you to feel anxious or stressed. Only listen to information from trusted sources and choose one or two specific times during the day to get news updates. The obsessive scrolling on social media is detrimental to your mental health

Stay connected:
Social distancing does not mean that you need to be cut off from the world. Feelings of isolation and loneliness can trigger a depressive episode especially in people who have underlying depression. Stay connected with your family and friends via Facetime, Skype, Zoom and other messaging platforms. Share openly about your feelings and be willing to listen to their concerns as well.

Take care of your body:
Now is the time for you to make your health a priority. You should be getting adequate amounts of sleep. For an adult, this is at least 7-8 hours each night. Still maintain a healthy diet, try not to binge eat on your sofa.  Stay as active as you can; either indoors or if you choose to exercise outdoors, remember to maintain the six feet social distancing.

Make time for self-care: 
Set aside time for yourself every day to do something that makes you feel good. Journal, take a long bath, listen to your favorite music or read a book. Take care of your mind as well. If you are struggling with anxious thoughts, try activities like meditation or yoga. Meditation and deep breathing will decrease your fight and flight response (sympathetic nervous system) to reduce your blood pressure, slow your heart rate and calm you down. You can check out the many meditation apps which are available for free. 

Help others: 
Check in on your elderly neighbors; volunteer to get their medications or deliver their groceries so they do not have to leave their home. Practice social distancing. Be a source of inspiration and encouragement to others. Helping others can help reduce your stress, increases your happiness and gives you a sense of purpose and satisfaction. 

Ask for help: 
If you just feel overwhelmed and nothing you’ve done seems to have helped it might be time for you to seek assistance. Many social emotional specialists are offering virtual visits so you can speak with them from the safety of your home.

Try This Driveway Quarantine Workout a Mom Created for Her Daughter 
No gym? No problem. A Michigan mom upgraded her 8-year-old daughter’s P.E. time with an epic hopscotch course. Cardio has never been more fun! 

Here are 5 challenges to try over the next five days to support your and others emotional well-being.  

Favorite MEMES of the week!
Seventh graders created social distancing memes for an assignment. They did a really great job and we wanted to share some with you to brighten everyone’s day!

One Last SmileStop what you’re doing and watch these baby ducks swim in a sink. 

South Loop Photoshare– Challenge #10

Sincerely,

Principal Shelton

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*As always, for the most reliable information and updates, please visit CPS FAQ PAGE, www.chicago.gov/coronavirus or www.cdc.gov/coronavirus. For school-specific updates, visit www.cps.edu/coronavirus. If you need help locating medical care, please reach out to the CPS Office of Student Health & Wellness at oshw@cps.edu or by calling the Healthy CPS Hotline 773-553-KIDS (5437).*

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