Aset Group Consulting and Counselling Services hosts placement students from graduate schools across Canada and the United States. The graduate placement students play a fundamental role in supporting wellness therapists to provide a holistic, family systems intervention and provide counselling services to individuals and couples in need of subsidized services. Our graduate placements ended abruptly on March 20, 2020 due to COVID-19 and physical distancing measures. The following cohort of students started in May 2020, and they quickly had to adapt to a “lean from home” environment while providing teletherapy. As graduate students, this process may not have caused the impact that it did for elementary and high school students across the nation, but it did create a learning curve they were required to address in a short time.
Now in their 3rd week, our graduate staff Jordanna and Samantha provided a brief summary of how they have coped with the transition.
Tips and Strategies
for students & learners
Keep Your Morning Routine
The act of getting ready in the morning, getting dressed, making your favourite drink and starting your day allows you to get into the headspace for your workday. Although you are not leaving the house, sticking to your routine as if you were heading to the office/school will increase productivity.
Establish a Functional Workspace
Set up a dedicated work/learning environment to partake in your online course or work from home duties. Determine what space lends yourself to greater productivity and the least distractions (no loud noises). Try to stay away from working in your bedroom as it could make you feel less motivated to work.
Structure Your Day as you Would in the Office/Classroom
When you are at home you do not have the same cues to take a break that you would while at the office or at school. Some of these ques may be a coffee break, a meeting, recess, or scheduled periods. Create a schedule that is similar to your work/school day to make sure you are not overworking yourself and taking healthy breaks.
Limit Social Media
Being at home can make it easier to get distracted by social media. Scrolling through your friend’s feed can for a minute can last for an hour. One tip is to logout of all your social media accounts before you start your day.
Communicate with Instructor or Colleagues/Manager
Messages about roles and responsibilities can sometimes get lost in translation when working or studying remotely. Which can make receiving instructions unclear at times. Be sure to connect regularly with your instructor or manager to ask questions. Without being able to walk over to their office, or to a teacher’s desk it can be difficult to ask questions. Ensure you ask questions regularly and schedule meetings to have your questions answered.
Make Time for Social Interaction
Considering the social distancing precautions, many people are feeling isolated and lonely. However, social interaction can still happen while you’re at home. One way to do this while working from home is to set up regular check-ins with your team or manager that allows you to not only provide progress updates, but also sort through any problems or brainstorm ideas. For students, you can also set up video chat calls with your friends using Facetime, Zoom, or other online tools.
Thriving through change is tough, so it is important to practice self-care. Make time to do things you enjoy such as talking to friends, reading, exercising, or anything that makes these new challenges easier to deal with.
Additional Online Resources
If you are seeking alternate resources, the internet has not slept. Here are a few additional reads I have found:
The Government of Canada has produced a website on the Coronavirus Disease. The website provides information about the statistics, your physical health, travel restrictions, and safety. The information on this website is factual, and will help with navigating false news and information.
I was honoured to participate in an online summit hosted by Canadian Wellness 4 Families Webinar. The webinar, Promoting Empathy and Resilience in the Family, identified common myths and strategies associated with parenting, and provided strategies for building resiliency in the family addressing the impact of COVID-19. To connect with the website and other brilliant webinars produced see: Canadian Wellness 4 Families.
In consideration of widespread acknowledgement of the disparities of Black people in COVID-19, and with greater light on human injustices due to anti-Black racism, this document was produced called, Resources for Black Healing and Support for the Greater Toronto Region.
How Parents can Help Children Through Traumatic Events was written to support parents and caregivers to support their children during the current pandemic, and with other life altering experiences. The acclaimed writer uses a child-focused, attachment and resiliency-based approach to supporting children in healthy ways and to reduce complex factors in the future.
We definitely can tell stories about our multiple quarantine experiences when COVID-19 had led to extreme physical distancing measures. I watched this video multiple times to see vignettes on how this family managed: The New Normal In Quarantine