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September 3, 2020

Nothing is Normal! Five Ways to Enhance our Students’ Emotional Wellness

By Laura Cross, Hillsborough County Schools

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that nothing is normal right now. Everything seems scattered, unorganized and a bit up-in-the air.

If this is weighing on us as parents, just imagine how unsettling it is for our little ones.

Think about it, this school year is unlike anything any of us have ever seen before.  Some of our kids are heading back to school wearing masks and staying distanced from their friends. Other students won’t even be stepping foot inside a school. They’ll be doing all their learning from the other side of a computer screen!

Crazy!

However, there is a way to breathe a little bit of normal into these crazy times.

Hillsborough County Public Schools has an experienced Student Services Team that is dedicated to the emotional and mental wellness of our students and their families.

The Student Services Team has come up with five ways to enhance our students’ emotional wellness:

  • Maintain a Sleeping Schedule: Going to bed at a regular time each night and making sure to get eight hours sleep each night can improve your overall mood and wellbeing.
  • Exercise: When you exercise, your body releases mood-improving chemicals. Try to look for ways to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine.
  • Reflect: Turn off the television, put down cell phones, and take time out of each day to rest, relax and reflect. You can also reflect by journaling. (Imagine looking back on those journals in 10 or 20 years!)
  • Eat Healthy: Research shows that eating certain foods such as fruits, vegetables and fish can help fuel your body and mind.
  • REACH OUT FOR HELP: Sometimes talking to a friend or family member is good enough if you’re feeling sad. However, sometimes we need the help of a professional. Hillsborough County Public Schools has many resources at our families’ disposal (see below). And, don’t forget about school counselors! Even if you’re eLearning, they are just a click away. Contact your school to get in contact with these trained professionals.

It may also help to try and keep some back-to-school traditions and routines.

If you haven’t already, shop for school supplies. Nothing says happiness like a new glittery backpack and water bottle!

And, if you’re eLearning, make an effort to get up at the same time every day, get dressed, do your hair and then go join your online classes. That little bit of effort really goes a long way to making the abnormal feel a little more normal!

Remember, we are all in this together.


Please feel free to reach out and explore the many resources available to students and families from your school district.

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