Counseling Center

SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING

River HomeLink and Battle Ground Public Schools are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for students, families, and staff. Our strategic goal in this focus area is to support and promote the physical, emotional, and social well-being of students and staff. Visit the district website’s Social Emotional Learning page for more information about how we’re working to advance wellness and resilience in education.

COMMUNITY RESOURCES

Battle Ground Public Schools’ Family and Community Resource Center (FCRC) helps meet the needs of families faced with housing instability and similar economic challenges. The center’s wonderful staff fields requests for a variety of resources to help those in need. Requests typically include school supplies, backpacks, winter clothes and personal items.

COPING WITH COVID-19

This is a time of high uncertainty and a lot of changes for everyone. It’s natural and to be expected that many of us are experiencing much more stress than usual.

The RHL counseling department is here to support you and your family through this challenging time.

Below is a list of resources to help you cope with the uncertainty, manage anxiety, and get the support you need. We will be updating it with additional resources as we get them, so keep checking in. If there’s something that would be helpful for you that you can’t find below, please reach out to your school counselor and let us know.

1) Set a reasonable limit on how much media you’re taking in. It’s fine to stay informed about how to keep yourself and your family safe and healthy, but limit the number of times you check the news, financial reports, or social media to only once or twice a day for important updates. Be sure to also limit how much time you spend talking about the latest news with family and friends. It is important to talk about how you’re feeling and how the situation is impacting you and your family – take as much time as needed to talk about that with friends and loved ones. Just don’t overwhelm yourself with endless discussions about news and updates. Once you have the information you need to stay safe, any additional information only increases anxiety.

2) Stay engaged in the here and now. The future is uncertain and a lot of our basic routines and structures are changing quickly, and that feels very uncomfortable and stressful for most people. One of the best ways to cope with uncertainty and change is to shift your focus to the things you can control and can do, right here and now. “Just do the next right thing” is a great mantra for when you’re feeling unsure. What can you do right now or today to stay safe and healthy? (Wash hands, limit trips outside the house, exercise, etc). What can you do right now/today so that things are a little better tomorrow? (Spend 10 minutes to create a good at-home learning space, check in with family about how they’re doing, etc). These things are still in your control, and focusing on them will help you feel more stable and calm during stressful times.

3) Notice Silver Linings. While many new burdens have been placed on families during this time and it’s important to acknowledge how difficult that is, there are also new opportunities. Have you ever wished for more time at home, or more time with your family? Many of us have, and while the current situation certainly is NOT what any of us envision when we make those kinds of wishes, we can choose to shift some of our focus to the new opportunities and whatever is good in our lives right now, no matter how small it may seem. Make a goal for how you can use this time so that your life will be just a little better when the crisis is over. Could you use this time to connect more with your family, learn a new skill or hobby, deep clean your living space, or something else? Find whatever silver linings you can and celebrate them. If you don’t already have a gratitude practice, now is actually a great time to start one! One thing we know in education is that whatever you focus on grows, so shift your attention to the silver linings wherever possible.

4) Focus on Safety, Predictability, and Control. Working to increase your feelings of safety, predictability, and personal control are key to coping and getting through a crisis like this with as much resilience as possible.

Focusing on Safety includes your physical safety by following guidelines about hand washing and social distancing, creating emotional safety by reducing media exposure, and maintaining supportive relationships through phone conversations or other means – whatever helps you to feel as safe, secure, and supported as possible during this time, do it.

Focusing on Predictability includes following or creating routines that increase your sense of stability and that you help you feel like you know at least some of what to expect from each day. When everything is new or unknown every day, it quickly becomes overwhelming. Set boundaries for when you will get new information about the changing situation, and structure the rest of your day around other things. Create a schedule for exercise, chores, personal time, learning time, and other things you and your family need to focus on each day in order to lead healthy, full lives. Doing so gives you small cornerstones of predictability to hold onto when so many larger things may feel uncertain.

Focusing on Control includes recognizing and letting go of the things you can’t control and shifting your focus to the things you can control. Every person wants to feel like they have some control in their own lives, even (or perhaps especially) young children. We can’t control or change that schools are closed right now or that we’re being asked to stay at home, but we can control how we use the time away from school, how much we help others, and what we do to keep ourselves healthy and safe, among other things. When you’re feeling worried, ask yourself if it’s something you can control (do something about) or not. If it’s not in your control, acknowledge the worried feeling, take a deep breath, and choose to focus your thinking on what you can control (do) right now. For example, if you’re worried about a family member getting sick, recognize that’s not in your control, acknowledge the worry, and choose an action that is in your control – maybe give them a call to let them know you’re thinking of them, or offer to run errands for them so they don’t have to leave the house.

For more details, you can watch an extended, research-based webinar about this trauma-informed framework for coping with uncertainty here.

5) Practice the 3 R’s of Self-Care: Reflection, Regulation, and Relaxation. Take time for yourself and your family to reflect on how you and those around you are doing, and what supports you might need right now to get through this. Do activities that help regulate and calm feelings of anxiety – exercise, good sleep, spending time paying attention to nature (even in your backyard or through a window), doing activities that you love (hobbies, etc), and deep breathing are all great ways to help keep our emotions steady and positive. (More information on emotional regulation for kids, teens, and adults coming to the website soon). And finally, make sure you take time to relax – whenever our stress increases, we need to focus even more on relaxing whenever possible, or we’ll swiftly exhaust ourselves. Play, keep your sense of humor, keep in touch with your social support network, and be patient with yourself and others while things are difficult.

Counselor Bonnie Roggenkamp

High School Counselor

Bonnie Roggenkamp
Email Ms. Roggenkamp
360-334-8251

K-8 Counselor

Rebecca Olsen
360-885-xxxx
Book a time to check-in via Zoom or phone

GET IN TOUCH

icon 610A SW Eaton Blvd ,
Battle Ground, WA 98604

icon P.O. Box 200
Battle Ground, WA 98604

icon360-334-8200

icon

Read Our Newsletter