Well-Being in the Time of COVID-19

Greetings 321 Insight Community,

We at 321 Insight have been working to follow our own guidance over the past several weeks in an effort to deal with the stress and anxiety presented to us by the COVID-19 virus.  We have focused on creating a sense of safety for ourselves and our families by establishing helpful structure and routines, providing opportunities for regulation and being fully present and available to connect with our loved ones.

At 321 insight our products have typically focused on teachers, paraprofessionals, students and the “educational experience”. During these traumatic times we are reminded daily that the educational supports that mitigate trauma, such as a school-based culture of care, teacher wellness or a well regulated classroom, are highly relevant for all of us who are now at home being caregivers, home-based teachers, and supporters of our communities.

During this time, we have arrived at several key principles for moving forward to continue to support educators both currently and in the future when schools reopen. Here are our key principles:

First, there is no doubt our current situation is traumatic for children and adults. This means we have experienced increased stress, uncertainty and threat. Therefore, it is important for all of us to be aware of, and implement the foundational activities that help mitigate trauma. That is one key way for us to be healthy and promote healing.

Number one on our first aid list is our own wellness. Remember our 321 Insight motto, “Only a well regulated adult can help regulate a student”.  A twist on our motto is particularly true today; “only a healthyadult can help support and regulate others.” So it is extremely important during these traumatic times to have our personal health as a priority. We all are hearing about the daily things we can do to reduce the possibility of acquiring the COVID-19 virus (wash hands, social distancing, etc.). But we encourage you go further to promote your overall wellness. Now is the time to take care of your body and your mind.

Remember and use the principles and ideas we promote for educator wellness:

  • Eat well: proper nutrition helps your immune system
  • Get exercise: Movement helps you regulate and reduce stress, and helps your immune system
  • Monitor your thinking: Put a solution or positive orientation to your thoughts
  • Get rest: Sleep builds immunity and helps you perform. Get lots of it if possible.
  • Set limits on your news media intake:Schedule times for news updates during the day with your last check-in a couple of hours before bedtime.

In addition, try to put these priority targets on your daily “to-do” list:

  • Promote supportive relationships and connection with others
  • Emphasize predictability  for you and your children / reduce uncertainty whenever you can by being specific and definitive in what you say and do. Avoid being equivocal!
  • Establish daily routines and stick with them
  • Plan and engage in regulation / stress management activities such as movement, exercise. breathing etc.

Second, our existing 321 Insight Trauma Informed Series has focused on creating and maintaining a school-wide culture of care.  As a result, we are able to create a bridge between our existing resources and the demands educators will face going forward as a result of COVID-19. We believe that the 321 Insight philosophy will be well-suited for the times in which we find ourselves.  That is, at 321 Insight, we emphasize 3-13 minute training segments where the information that is presented provides staff with the most value, right now. The materials can be viewed and processed quickly, which then gives staff more time for practice and implementation.  We know that people learn by doing rather than sitting and absorbing information.  Most new skills that people learn are best furthered through practice.  Districts across the country are using 321 Insight materials to continue to provide learning and practice opportunities for their staff, even during closures.

We plan to continue to provide resources that will be helpful in developing and/or refining skills that will be needed as we return to brick and mortar education.  In addition to our webinars on Remote Social and Emotional Learning Instruction and Self-Care this spring, we will also be developing and refining new tools that can guide staff in adding to their skill package to address the unique challenges they will face when school once again resumes. The existing pillars in our Trauma Informed PD Toolkit (predictability, relational safety, and opportunities for regulation) will become even more critical as educators return to build a school climate and culture to meet the demands the COVID-19 virus has placed on all of us.  We look forward to continuing to support school districts in their efforts to address these new challenges.

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