After nearly two months of quarantining, traveling, and quarantining, many of us just want this turbulent period to be over so that we can resume our normal routines. But why can’t we try to resume life as we once knew it now?

Here are some suggestions by 3e’s Learning Support Specialist, Dr. Ira Canada to reduce the stress of this unpredictable period:

  • Create a home, work, life balance. At home, be present. Your family really needs your full attention. Situations like this should help us refocus on the truly important things in our lives, family! Designate opportunities for family talks, game nights, collaborative meal preparations, where the whole family gets involved in preparing dinner. If at work, set aside time in your workday to check in on the kids. It could be a facetime or video call just to let them know you’re thinking of them, miss them, and love them. If you don’t already, bring pictures of your family to work for your desk. This acts as a constant reminder of gratefulness. Lastly make sure you take time for you! You need to recharge, replenish, and refresh so that you can be the best YOU!
  • Limit your media intake. Find one reliable media source and subscribe to it. Please don’t fall prey to information overload. Information about the crisis is coming from multiple outlets and can sometimes cause panic, fear, and stress. Use your medium for information purposes and keep your perspective. Think about preparing to win, not planning to lose.
  • Keep a journal.  Document the stressors that you recognize during the crisis. Reflect on the stressors and evaluate whether they are legitimate or perpetuated by media hype? If there’s something stressful in your life that needs to be eliminated, write it on a piece of paper, then tear it up or trash it, but get rid of it. This becomes symbolic of the purge.
  • Laugh at the mask. Because we’re somewhat mandated to wear masks, I don’t recommend unmasking.  My recommendation is to wear the mask, but try and locate ones with caricatures on the mask for others to see some humor in the situation. 
  • Find your ZEN. Whether it be through meditation, listening to relaxing music, doing yoga, or deep-breathing techniques. Adopt ways to take yourself to another place. Here’s a simple deep breathing mantra that works for me (the mantra can be interchangeable) - Find your breath and begin breathing deeply; take in the oxygen through your nose, filling up your belly the bottom to the top; say to yourself, “I Am Prepared”; then exhale through your nose from top to bottom, saying to yourself, “To Win”.
  • Talk with your children. Get an idea of how they’re coping with this crisis. Give them opportunities to share their concerns, emotions, and fears. Don’t assume they’re going to be ok. Many of our children have been displaced from friends and family due to travel. Some haven’t returned since the outbreak, so there will be at least two reintegration periods. The big one will be school. Give them all the time necessary to adjust and regain a sense of normalcy.

Remember, we live in an unpredictable world and things are going to happen unexpectedly. We have no control over what the universe sends our way. We just need to be as prepared as we possibly can and continue to be kind to one another. In the end, we’re all part of the human race and we’re all we’ve got!

Ira Canada, Ed.D., 3e International School, Learning Support Specialist