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We can teach our students about stress management, but the coping skills that each of us build over a lifetime take constant practice. That’s where you come in.

Below is one of the social-emotional skills lessons we have conducted at Newport. Help your student practice and refine these skills through discussion and practice at home.

decorative version
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Here’s a recap of what our students learned:

  • First, we helped them assess where their stress comes from. We also talked about how common stress is to all of us.

In fact, stress is a natural part of anything we care about. Even those things that bring us great joy (such as family and friends) can also become a source of stress as the natural elements of life and loss occur. Download assessment form.

Understanding where stress enters our lives helps students learn to manage it.

  • Second, we asked our students to think about their current coping strategies. As you can see on the attached Coping Skills reference sheet, all strategies have pros and cons. It’s important that our students recognize the proper time to use a technique and the downside of their favorite tools so that they use them to best effect.
  • Last, we asked them to circle on the attached list below the tools they use. Then we had the students fold the sheet into three columns and then in half lengthwise. That gave them the six lists noted below.

 

List of coping skills by type
Click to download.

Now that the students have this information, here’s how you can help:

Ideally (and over time) each student should have at least a couple techniques from each of these six sectors. If they select from that range, they should also notice that they have the three types of tools below.

If not, help them expand their toolkit.

From the six sectors, students should have at least a couple coping skills that work in these situations:

  • Distraction or decompression help when stress overwhelms them. We all need to be able to take a break while our chemical and physical response to stress processes through our bodies (20-30 minutes).
  • Tools to focus on the challenge at hand help students tune their attention to the problem-solving, performance, or challenge before them. Help your student learn that stress is not to be feared or controlled. Healthy stress helps our bodies ramp up physically and mentally to meet challenges with responses like increased blood flow.
  • Long-term resilience comes from coping skills that help us nurture our mental health, knowledge, and support networks. If we want our students to rise confidently to challenges, they must work between these occasions to exercise their ability to cope confidently.
The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.