The stress coronavirus (COVID-19) has placed on businesses, non-profits, and families has been significant. Loss of livelihoods, restructuring of both work and school environments, and adapting to major lifestyle changes have all had far-ranging impacts, leaving many teetering on the precipice of chaos. For example:

  • 42 percent of businesses surveyed in the UK revealed having less than half a year's worth of cash reserves on hand, while 3 percent had none at all.
  • Only 4 percent of people sponsored someone for charity in August 2020 – half as many as in previous years.
  • The unemployment rate has risen just under a percent from July to September 2020 and is forecasted to rise to between 7.5–7.7 percent of the population by mid-2021.

Children are particularly vulnerable to pandemic stress. They're coping with a new normal that feels indefinite and are all too aware that the adults in their lives are likewise impacted. Typical stress inducers, like mastering new schoolwork, and finding their place socially, are made a bit more challenging when kids must adapt to a virtual learning environment, but reassurance and input from parents can help kids to manage and overcome their stress. Here’s how:

  • Create a safe space for sharing: Frustration is now an emotion shared by the young and old alike, and when kids feel like they can vent to someone who loves them and understands, they often leave the dialogue feeling less stressed out and more understood. Reassure them that while regulations may cause frustration, they're in place for good reason.
  • Know what child stress looks like: If your child's mood, sleep, or eating habits change, grades drop, or interest in friends and activities wanes, make sure you're checking in with them regularly. They may be feeling stressed or even be experiencing other mental health difficulties.
  • Disconnect from electronics: Omnipresent news media has become the norm in these challenging times, but it's also a stress trigger for both adults and children. Avoid keeping it on in the background – opt for something light, or skip TV entirely in favour of play.

TheSchoolBus provides a Stress Management Resource Pack. This contains policies, guidance and templates that can help your school manage and reduce stress amongst staff and pupils. The resource pack is designed to ensure appropriate measures are in place to minimise stress within your school. The pack features guidance on how to combat stress, template handouts and posters, a Staff Stress Management Policy, and more, to help you ensure the wellbeing of your school community is looked after.

 

Bibliography:

BBC News (2020) ‘Unemployment rate: How many people are out of work?’ <https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-52660591> [Accessed: 17 December 2020]

Charities Aid Foundation (2020) ‘How are charities coping with coronavirus?’ <https://www.cafonline.org/about-us/publications/2020-publications/coronavirus-impact-on-charities> [Accessed: 17 December 2020]

Office for National Statistics (2020) ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19) roundup: Economy, business and jobs’ <https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/articles/coronaviruscovid19roundupeconomybusinessandjobs/2020-07-02> [Accessed: 17 December 2020]