Holiday How Tos

December 16 2020

The following information was taken from an article by Dr. Calen Soma, PsyD, LMSW, Chief Clinical Officer at Starr Commonwealth and can be accessed here.   

Many students and teachers are looking forward to this holiday break.  Time away from teaching and learning and finding time for relaxation and physically distanced fun.  The holiday break can also bring stress for many students because when school is not in session, students lack opportunities to interact with caring adults, peers, and have little consistency to structure their days. This can be particularly difficult for students who have a trauma background who thrive when they experience predictability.  So here are a few ways to set everyone up for success!

For students and teachers who enjoy breaks—relish every moment!

  • Get outside on sunny and warm(er) days
  • Connect with family and friends outside or virtually
  • Take a nap
  • Read a book
  • Catch up on movies and shows

For those students who need consistency and connection, one or two of these strategies may be helpful: 

  • Schedule (in advance) a few messages that will get sent out to students throughout the break
  • Create a “challenge” during the break where students write down something each day (for example, what made them happy that day) and then let them know you’ll check in with them when they return.
  • Take some time this week to make a “holiday break” schedule for students where they can identify two or three things, they can do each day (play outside, play a board game, read, draw, connect with a friend).
  • Remind them that even though you will not see them every day, you are thinking about them and will be excited to see them when everyone returns from break. 
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