5 Resources for Student Wellness and Stress Management

5 Resources for Student Wellness and Stress Management

Happy New Year! Students and educators are setting new intentions, resolutions, and goals for 2021. While there’s a ton of excitement and ambition for the year ahead, millions of students across the country are still facing the challenges of the pandemic and remote learning. In this issue of Give Me Five, we’re focusing on building caring and trusting relationships and creating a strong school mission and culture—two XQ Design Principles.

Optimal mental health, stress management, and overall wellness are vital to help students succeed and thrive. By incorporating social-emotional learning (SEL) into our learning environments, whether virtually or in-person, we can better meet our students’ needs equitably.  In this issue, we put together five resources to help you do that. And make sure you scroll all the way down for access to our new free Stress Management course on Rethink Together.

1. DISCUSS Let’s Talk About Mental Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on mental health.

Why it matters: It’s always been important to talk about mental health. With COVID-19, school closures, anxiety, and trauma, talking about and checking in with our mental wellness is more crucial than ever before.

Peer Health Exchange created a space for young people to check in with their mental health, find resources, and get the help they need. Here you’ll find:

  • Mental health toolkit with reflection prompts, bingo, and more.
  • Stories from young people about mental health, wellness, and connection.
  • COVID-19-specific resources.
  • Understanding mental health and wellness resources.
  • Ways to connect with others.

Extra credit: Let’s Talk: Mental Health – Peer Health Exchange →

2. HELP Supporting and Saving LGBTQ+ Lives

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ youth and young adults.

Why it matters: 1.8 million LGBTQ young consider suicide every year. LGBTQ youth may be particularly vulnerable to the negative health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Trevor Project is available 24/7 for youth to get the support and help they need.

The Trevor Project has several options available for LGBTQ youth, including:

  • TrevorLifeLine: A 24/7 crisis hotline with trained counselors.
  • TrevorChat: A confidential, secure instant messaging service.
  • TrevorText: A confidential, secure texting service with trained specialists.
  • TrevorSpace: A social networking site for LGBTQ youth and their allies.
  • Trevor Support Center: FAQs and resources for LGTBQ youth and their allies.

Extra credit: The Trevor Project →

3. BREATHE How To Cope With Anxiety and Stress

Anxiety and stress can make it difficult to do everyday tasks, but there are many ways to cope.

Why it matters: We all experience mental health issues. Luckily, there are many ways to help relieve these emotions, feel better, and continue conquering the day. 

Here’s some advice from MTV’s Teen Code guide to coping with mental health:

  • Express your emotions through art, music, videography, or writing.
  • Ask for support and help when you need it.
  • Don’t be afraid to go to therapy.
  • Prioritize self-care.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Show empathy for others.

And more!

Extra credit: How to Cope With Anxiety & Stress | MTV’s Teen Code →

4. CONNECT Using Restorative Justice Circles To Build Positive Relationships

Restorative justice circles provide students, teachers, and educators with a space to connect and share.

Why it matters: The past year has been full of interconnected health, wellness, and social justice crises. It’s crucial to create spaces where students, teachers, and educators can connect, share their stories and feelings, and make meaningful connections. Restorative justice circles create a space to do that and more.

Restorative justice circles can be used for many purposes, including:

  • Strengthening relationships
  • Healing harms
  • Approaching challenging conversations
  • Increasing accountability
  • Planning and organizing

And so much more!

Click the extra credit link below to read the full article to learn more about restorative justice circles:

  • Examples of how school communities use restorative justice circles
  • Guidelines on how to conduct the circles
  • Reflection questions
  • Additional resources on restorative justice circles

Extra credit: What Are Restorative Justice Circles, and When Can They Be Utilized? →

5. SUPPORT Prioritizing Social Emotional Learning

During a school year full of traumas and challenges, social-emotional learning is more important than ever.

Why it matters: Connecting with students during remote learning may be difficult. However, as school closures and social distancing continue into the new year, educators must support their students’ social-emotional well-being. Uplifting, encouraging, and supporting students helps them thrive inside the classroom and beyond.

XQ’s Lauren Vertrees shares 10 tips to build SEL including:

  • School-wide approaches
  • Community-wide activities
  • Classroom-centered approaches

Extra credit: 10 Social Emotional Learning Tips for Educators in Distance Learning →

XQ X-tra Earn the Stress Management Badge!

Last month, we launched Rethink Together and our very first XQ Challenge, a digital learning experience that offers badges for students who complete the work. 

Our next course is Stress Management, where students will learn about stress, its impact on their physical and mental health, and how to cope with it. If you know any students who are interested, encourage them to sign up now!

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