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We Need Snow Days, Not Remote Learning Days

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In the last two years, several things have changed about how we run our school systems. Due to COVID-19, many schools had to change their protocols, how their teachers teach and so much more. One of the big things that seems to be affecting a lot of people are snow days.

We spent over a year doing remote learning, which with no doubt, has burned our students out. We finally got back to going to school in person and feeling somewhat normal but it seems remote learning has taken over our snow days.

By the end of 2020, several school districts across the country decided that there would no longer be snow days. Instead, students would have a remote learning day, which meant having to attend school and each class virtually. This also meant sitting for almost 8 hours in front of a computer screen. I mean seriously, how can that be good?

Many students struggled to pay attention because they were distracted by things going on in their home. It was really hard to convey hands on material through a screen. By the time we got back to in-person sessions so many students were falling behind but with time, they improved. The in-person sessions really made a difference.

Personally, I did not enjoy watching my teacher struggle to make our lessons work or watching my students struggle to understand the material because I wasn’t physically there to help them. My students have earned their snow days and so have our staff members.

So what if we have to have a snow day? At least our students and staff are getting a well-deserved break!

Check out Sorry, Kids. Snow Days Are Probably Over. from The New York Times, really great read!

Read Sasha’s post How COVID-19 Has Affected My Life As A High School Student right here on TurningPointCT!

How are You practicing Self Care?

It’s a new year, but unfortunately COVID is still among us. Moreover, we don’t really know how much longer we will have to be limiting our social interactions, so it’s very important to remember to take care of our mental health and ourselves.

So, how are you taking care of your self?

For me, I’ve found that the best self-care has come by allowing myself to put everything aside and watch my favorite shows or listen to music while just relaxing. Because it’s often hard to disconnect when we are working from home or have to be home for the majority of the time, I encourage you to take time specifically to unwind and indulge in what makes you happy.

Other ways you may find relief or can practice self care include but are not limited to:

-Taking a shower or bath
-Doing your hair or makeup (even if you aren’t going anywhere)
-Having a mini photo shoot from the comfort of your own home
-Setting up a game night virtually
-Facetiming favorite relatives or friends on a consistent basis
-Ordering or cooking your favorite meals

Please comment what you’ve been doing to take care of yourself!!!

My Best Self

As part of my journey toward mental wellness and stability, I have suffered through many of these times- feeling like I am not good enough, not being happy in my own skin, not even wanting to look at myself in the mirror.

I have not been feeling like my best self.

And when I’m not feeling like my best self, it’s really easy to start going down a path of terrible thoughts, spinning out of control. Once those thoughts start spinning, it’s really hard to think anything else.

When you live with a mental illness, not every day is going to be great. Not every day is even going to be good. Some days just suck. It is hard to find the motivation to complete mundane tasks.  It is hard to get out of bed.

It is hard to be me.

It is hard to be you.

I think it’s very difficult to be cognizant of the battles that everyone fights, whether they be on the inside of their heads or on the outside of their heads. Living with a mental illness doesn’t make this battle any easier. In fact, it makes it harder. Not only are you in constant Fight or Flight mode with every decision, every move you make- you are also fighting the battles that occur outside of your brain.

Each day, I wake up and for that brief five seconds, my brain forgets that she has to fight. She is not worried. She is not scared. She is not running. She is at peace.

I wish that I could extend those five seconds just a little bit longer every day. Because if I get to a point where my brain feels like she is safe and she doesn’t have to fight, maybe she will decide she likes herself. Maybe if she decides she likes herself, she’ll like me, too.

For now, I can count on my brain to like me when I am dancing. She loves me when I’m dancing. She is free when I’m dancing.

What boosts your self-esteem?

Hi everybody! February is ‘Boost Your Self-Esteem’ Month! But if you have our calendar, then you already know that! With this month beginning to come to a close, I want to know, what do you guys do that makes you love yourself?

I think we can all list many things about ourselves we wish were different, but how many times a day do we stop and recognize how wonderful we are? Do you ever speak kindly to yourself, simply because you are an amazing person and deserve it? How often do you do something special for yourself, ‘just because’?

So, with that being said, I want to know:
1. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your self-esteem? How high do you wish it were?
2. What are your three favorite things about yourself?
3. What are two things you do for yourself everyday?
4. What is one thing you need to do for yourself (either daily, occasionally, or just once!)?

I’ll go first:
1. I’d say my self esteem is a 6.5. I would like to get to a solid 7, then we’ll go from there!
2. I like that I’m different- I dress differently, like a lot of different music, and I draw unique things! (This used to be something I was very self-conscious about); I like that I have a lot of empathy for others; I think I’m funny! Definitely not all the time- and not always out loud haha, but I like my sense of humor and I say some pretty hilarious things in my head… so that counts!
3.I feed myself and don’t feel guilty about it! Anyone who has struggled with an eating disorder before will understand this is a big one! And I try to forgive myself for things and speak kindly to myself throughout the day.
4. I need to do more nice “self-care” things. Its hard to prioritize a hair cut or manicure with a young child (and I’ve never been the ‘nails done all the time’ type of girl), but it’s so important to treat yourself to things that feel good!!

National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week

Child Mental Health: Warning Signs to help spot mental illness in Children:

  • Feeling very sad or withdrawn for two or more weeks
  • Seriously trying to harm or kill yourself, or making plans to do so
  • Sudden overwhelming fear for no reason, sometimes with a racing heart or fast breathing
  • Involved in multiple fights, using a weapon, or wanting badly to hurt others
  • Severe, out- of-control behavior that can hurt yourself or others
  • Not eating, throwing up or using laxatives to make yourself lose weight
  • Intensive worries or fears that get in the way of daily activities
  • Extreme difficulty in concentrating or staying still that puts you in physical danger or causes school failure
  • Repeated use of drugs or alcohol
  • Severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
  • Drastic changes in your behavior or personality