Strengthening Social Skills from a Distance
3/26/20 Hello Soaring Eagles! Each day we hear a lot from our families and on the news about "Social Distancing." These are important rules that the community has put in place to keep us safe during this time. It is important to take the precautions to keep you and your family safe. It is also important to stay connected with others. Many people find it challenging to be separated from the people we typically interact with on a daily basis. It feels different. It feels uncomfortable. It feels stressful.
To help manage these difficult feelings about being apart, try thinking about it in a different way. Instead of thinking about the challenge of "Social Distancing," change your thoughts to think of it as an opportunity to practice staying connected in creative ways. We should continue to keep the physical distance that our community leaders are suggesting. However, let's celebrate this opportunity to connect, interact and be social with our family, friends and others who need us at this difficult time. Today, just practice being Social! You'll love it and you'll make someone else's day better, too!
Stay Connected In a Variety of Ways:
1. Connect with your teacher and classmates during your Distance Learning activities. Your teachers have planned many wonderful activities for you to do each day. When you post your responses, you are connecting with your teacher and showing the hard work you are putting into your school work. There are also many opportunities to post videos on your flipgrid assignments. Seeing your friends' smiling faces is going to brighten your day!
2. Connect with a text, e-mail or make a phone call. Plan time in your day to reach out to family members and friends in a variety of ways. Texting is a fast way to interact and can include more than one other person. Sending pictures and videos is a fun way to see familiar faces from afar. Use the same social rules you do when you are in person. Be kind, listen to others, and take turns talking and sharing.
3. Share jokes, quotes and funny posts. Laughing relieves stress and strengthens our connections with others. Filling your day with positive energy is going to make you feel good.
4. Use Facetime, Zoom or other software to video chat to see the faces of your loved ones and friends. When you can see the person you are talking to, it can make things feel better. It will feel as though there is no distance between you.
5. Plan a virtual game night. You can play games with your friends and family without leaving your living room. Many students connect with Xbox, Play Station or other virtual games. Make sure you are following Internet safety rules and only play these games with your parents' permission.
6. Plan a virtual play date with friends. You can use Skype, Zoom or even Facetime to plan to do an activity with a friend at the same time. Set up the time in advance and then connect while you build Legos, build a fort, go on a treasure/scavenger hunt, share a hobby or interest together.
7. Set up a virtual club with people who have shared interests. Join a book club and read and discuss the same books as your friends. Coordinate with people who enjoy the same interests. You can start an animal club, doodle club, sports club or any type of club about a topic you love. Members can problem-solve, research or simply just talk about their shared interests.
8. Have a Movie Party. Pick a movie or TV show that you and your friends will all enjoy. Plan to watch it and interact and talk about it before, during and after the show. It can be fun to share our reactions and critiques of what we watch together.
9. Write a letter. Writing and sending letters is a wonderful way to show kindness and appreciation. You will enjoy writing a thank-you letter to someone in the community who takes care of others. This is also a great way to show family members and friends that you care. It takes a little extra time and effort to select the stationery you want to use and write a thoughtful message. You can even include artwork with the letter to really brighten someone else's day. This will certainly surprise the recipient. You may even get a surprise letter back!
10. Make an effort to talk to one person outside of your family each day. Think of someone who may be feeling alone during this difficult time. This might be family members who have been separated from you, someone who lives far away, or someone who simply needs a friend. Think of topics you can talk about ahead of time so you can add something positive to this person's day. Then enjoy your time together!