To Members of the Birralee Community, Big and Small!
We are now going through a very unusual time. All Norwegian schools and Kindergartens are closed, and many parents are working from home. We realise that this can feel strange and a little unsettling for many people. Some of you might be feeling anxious. Everyday life is different, people cannot meet up anymore and it can be hard to know what is allowed and what is not allowed.
It is completely expected to feel a little bit apprehensive, but working together, I am confident we will successfully deal with the challenges we are facing. I understand that this is a challenging time for the Birralee Community. I therefore wanted to share some advice from psychologists on how to best deal with the current situation:
1. Ensure that the Available Information is Accurate
It is important to be up to date with the latest developments. There is a lot being written about the Coronavirus, but not everything is accurate. Therefore, it is important to identify a reliable source of information. Helsenorge.no and Folkehelseinstituttet.no are both good sources of information regarding the situation in Norway.
2. Take a Break from the News
It is tempting to read about, listen to and talk about the Coronavirus continuously, but this can become overwhelming and can sometimes make us more anxious. Keep informed, but make sure that you also take a break from the news.
Call a friend, family member, or talk to a person that you trust. You can still talk to both your teacher via Seesaw or email. You can also contact the school nurse via: firstname.lastname@example.org There is also a helpline for children and adults for times when it is difficult to talk to your friends and family.
Emergency helpline for children and young people: 116 111 Mental health helpline: 116 123 Parental support (Mental health helpline, press key 2): 116 123
4. Be Creative!
It is important not to think about the Coronavirus all the time and instead try to maintain as many familiar routines as possible. To take you mind off it, you can also be proactive and do something different. The only limit is your imagination!
5. Offer to Help Someone Out
The most important thing everyone can do to help is to stop the further spread of the virus. Perhaps you can also do something practical - Is there someone in your class who doesn’t have anyone to talk to? Perhaps you can give them a call for a chat?
6. Be Physically Active
Physical activity and fresh air are good for your body and mind! You will feel more rested and sleep better afterwards too. Just taking a walk in the fresh air can sometimes be enough. Remember to stay at least one meter away from other people.
7. Take a Deep Breath
It is important to recognise symptoms of anxiety which manifest themselves physically, some people get feelings like a knot in their stomach, start sweating or breathing rapidly. If you are starting to feel anxious, it can often help to stop and take some deep breaths. As you do this, imagine that you are breathing in deeply from your stomach and that you are sinking down into your chair as you breathe out. Repeat this a few times until you feel calmer and more relaxed.
8. Keep to Some of your Normal Routines
Keeping a set time when you wake up, eat meals, and go to bed etc. can minimise a sense of unease. It is important to have some routine when everything else is different, it can calm you and give a sense of normality.
9. Be Kind to Yourself and Others
If your home school or home office situations are not going exactly as you intended, if things go wrong or if not all of this advice is being followed, it is sensible to keep in mind that this is perfectly normal. Please be kind and generous towards yourself and others during this time. This is also a great way to relieve stress.
Advice to avoid spreading the disease: wash your hands thoroughly and regularly with soap. Cough into your elbow. Avoid touching your face. Stay at home. Keep a one meter distance from others whilst outside.