Over the past few weeks, Momentum First’s Brigitte Johnson and Dr Michael Carr-Gregg have spoken with more than 1,000 professionals including parents, teachers and organisational leaders, as well as with hundreds of students. Embracing technology has helped us to feel more connected than ever before. 

Some really strong messages have come out of these conversations and we’ve summarised 7 key thoughts for surviving, and even thriving, through the setbacks:

  1. It’s up to each of us to address our own basic needs. Think of this as the Cognitive Oxygen Mask approach, i.e. fix yours first. The basics like sufficient sleep, exercise and nutrition are vitally important if we are to help others. Most importantly, checking in with your own mental wellbeing regularly. You can do this using the K10 checklist here.
  2. Expand your gratitude practice. Building more moments of gratitude into every day has clearly been a winning strategy for many. Part of this is reflecting on the aspects of your life that ARE going okay. Acknowledging those can help to build happiness as well as boosting the immune system.
  3. Set informational boundaries. This is a time when misinformation is rife. Stick to reputable sources and prioritise written material rather than social media or TV as it tends to be less anxiety-producing.
  4. Focus on what you can control. Your circle of concern (what you care about) will always be much bigger than your circle of influence (what you can control). So make sure you are focusing more of your energy on your circle of influence than all the other things that you care about but do not have control over.
  5. De-escalate your nervous system. As many people are overwhelmed with the enormity of global events, the nervous system can go into overdrive, which is exhausting and can lead to an array of other issues. This is best done with exercise and mindfulness. Take regular breaks during the day.
  6. Cultivate compassion. While self-compassion is trending, we encourage you to broaden your perspective of compassion to include not only yourself but all of humanity. Especially our frontline health workers.
  7. Rekindle connections – set aside some time whilst in isolation to strengthen your friendships and connections around the world by getting in touch with people you have been thinking about. This global health crisis is an incredibly unifying experience and so much strength can be gained by reaching out to people you know and love.

This is a challenging time for all of us across the world. Let’s take some time to back for a minute, take a breath and follow the advice of the experts.

Want more?

Renowned educator, author and broadcaster, Sharon Witt teams up with Australia’s leading child and adolescent psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg to give parents specific skills, knowledge and strategies you need to help kids now.

Especially for parents and carers of year 12 students, and for the students themselves. Discover strategies for thriving during the global pandemic.

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