Positive coping strategies for students
Emotional literacy is one of the social, emotional and learning topics in the DET program of Respectful Relationships. In light of challenges and uncertainty facing students (and teachers) right now, below we share past Tip of the Week HPE (TOTW) #108 from Nicole Comelli, a secondary teacher and volunteer development officer at YMCA, that provides some positive and practical coping strategies to help improve our students’ social-emotional wellbeing – something we can all use right about now.
There is little doubt that the development of wellbeing is associated with many positive outcomes in children and youth. Within the VC:HPE, wellbeing is presented within the Personal, Social and Community Health strand, with personal strategies to improve health and wellbeing explicitly stated in both sub-strands and is evident in several focus areas.
Positive coping strategies are actions you can take to manage and reduce stress in your life, therefore improving your wellbeing. In almost all reports that have been released during remote learning, the key areas affecting young people are social connection, employment and mental health.
You can read the report released by Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) and YMCA here. It is important that schools support young people in learning about social-emotional education practices, including positive coping strategies, and how this can support them in working with the current climate of the world.
Positive coping strategies for young people
During such a time of change, it is important that young people are equipped with the knowledge to reregulate their bodies and mind when things get a little overwhelming. HPE teachers will be familiar with Respectful Relationships education, which is now a core teaching component in schools and incorporates aspects of VC:HPE. The Rights, Resilience and Respectful Relationships (RRRR) resource packages for each level provide easily implementable activities and worksheets on topics around social-emotional learning, such as:
- Emotional Literacy
- Personal strengths
- Positive coping
- Stress management
- Gender and identity; and
- Positive gender relations
The following positive coping strategies are found within the RRRR resource, targets students at different levels are really easy to implement, even in the comforts of the home! Particularly with some students needing some strategies when facing the struggles that come with remote learning, you could tweak one of the scenarios or activities to apply to a real life issue your students are currently facing.
A simple strategy for teacher wellbeing: HOT DRINK MINDFULNESS
In the current climate, it is very easy to get overwhelmed by our thoughts, whether they are irrational or not. A really simple mindfulness technique that utilises the senses is 'hot drink mindfulness'. With this practice, you can use your senses to draw attention away from your unhelpful thoughts or stressors, and instead bring them to the present moment.
By feeling the warmth of the mug in your hands, noticing the aroma of the hot drink, observing the texture of the liquid in your mouth, and observing the colour and patterns on your mug, this multi-sensory mindfulness technique is a really great one to use during the school day when little things are overwhelming you.
The great thing about mindfulness is that you can easily implement practice in your everyday life without having to make it noticeable to the people around you. The added bonus with hot drink mindfulness is that you can sneak in an extra tea, coffee or hot chocolate in your work day! Also, considering students are currently working from home, this could be a great technique to teach students, particularly those in high school!
If you’re not yet a member of ACHPER but would like to access more 'member exclusive' resources and TOTWs with reference to a broad range of the AITSL standards, please click here to join us and receive tips like this one straight to your inbox each week of school term.
We hope the information above is of some help to you and your students at this time. If you need further support, please get in touch.