Feelings Are Normal
We are operating in uncharted territory right now and many things are still unknown. Your DSISD Social & Emotional Learning team of mental health professionals, professional counselors and dedicated teachers want you to know that your feelings are valid, no matter what they are.
You might feel scared, confused, overwhelmed, angry, alone, grateful or completely calm. You might feel many things throughout the days or all at once, like being upset that an event was cancelled, but happy that you can do things like wear your PJs all day.
Your feelings are normal; the situation is not.
The Virtual Calming Room is a place for students, families and staff to find tools and strategies for managing emotions and feelings and building our resilience during this pandemic.
We are here to support you!
Disclaimer: The following links are purely for educational purposes and are not intended as psychological interventions or as a substitute for psychological treatment. If you are in need of psychological help, you should seek the consultation of a licensed mental health professional.
Sounds and Music
Audio clips of various instrumental songs or calming sounds that are soothing can be linked from YouTube. Try listening to harp music today and zen flute music tomorrow! In addition to the harp and flute, search for: relaxing guitar, nature music, ocean waves, meditation music or peaceful piano.
Please Reach Out if You Need Support
If things feel unmanageable and you are in need of support, here are some resources including those with 24-hour availability. It's OK to reach out to others for a shoulder to lean on!
- Crisis Text Line 741741
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7
- The Trevor Project (LGBTQ) 24/7
- National Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7
- Alcohol and Drug Hotlines 24/7
To enhance mindfulness, several calming techniques are reviewed, including breathing exercises. Several video clips are divided by age group.
- Intro to Mindfulness (Grades K-2)
- Everyday Mindfulness (older students)
- Relaxed Breathing (Grades K-2)
- Be the Pond-Cosmic Kids
- Calm/Breathe Bubble
- Easy Relaxation for Kids (all ages)
- Mindful Breathing (Grades 3 and up)
Puzzles & Games
Puzzles and games can engage children (adults too!) in a constructive activity. Check out these links:
Live Animal Cameras
Spend a little time with an interesting and/or exotic animal. These live webcams from various zoos and aquariums allow a sneak peek into their world!
- Polar Bear cam
- Penguin cam
- Baboon cam
- African Plains habitat
- Koala cam
- Elephant cam
- Tiger cam
- Sea Otter cam
- Lion cam
- Beluga Whale cam
- Jelly cam
Exercise has positive physical effects that can have a positive impact on mental health as well. Search for links for exercise videos in the areas of cardio workout, dance, fitness routines, and more. These online tools can guide all ages through a fun and structured exercise time that will fly by!
Video clips of various peaceful scenes in nature can be linked from YouTube. Simply viewing waterfalls or the ocean can help tune out anxiety! Ideas to search for include open ocean, Earth from above, Aurora Borealis, virtual forest walk, cosmic relatxtion, snow falling, color kaleidoscope, or waterfalls.
Coloring and Creativity
Doodling, drawing, sketching, coloring ... all of these creative outlets have therapuetic value! Check out these online tools.
Many apps are available for smart phone users that offer mental health support and guidance using many approaches: relaxation/meditation techniques, journaling, methods to overcome sleeplessness, anxiety management, and more. Many apps are free, and some are better suited to older students.