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GRCS Weekly Social Work Support — May 26, 2020

GRCS Weekly Social Work Support

May 26, 2020

Dear Parents and Students, 

I hope this Memorial Weekend brought celebration, relaxation and the needed time to gear up for the final stretch of off-campus learning. Memorial Day is a time in which we remember and honor those who have served our country, and give thanks for their sacrifice. It is a time when we reflect on the memories of those servicemen and women and the impact they had.

As we remembered and celebrated this past Memorial Day, did it look different? When we look back and remember this period of time — this global pandemic and COVID-19 — what will our memories be? Will we remember stress and fear —  or will we remember strength, resilience, and God’s faithfulness? 

Stress is normal, and even helpful, part of our lives. Ashley Cullins with Big Life Journal recently shared an article on 5 Essential Steps to Help Children Cope with Stress (also summarized below in the tip of the week). She references Ian Robertson’s (cognitive neuroscientist and author) research that shares “reasonably low-stress levels can actually build stronger brain function, which makes humans smarter and happier.”

How we learn to cope with the stress we encounter can make a big difference in our ability to move through challenges and hardships — and how we build resilience for future stressful situations. While we cannot control some of the stress that we experience, we can control how we respond to it.

Check out Big Life Journal’s article on stress here to read more in-depth about the steps below and get additional resources!

Quick Tip of the week: Healthy Ways to Cope with Stress

Reframe Stress

Look at stress as a way to learn and grow. When your brain encounters stress, it rewires itself to learn from the experience in order to prepare for next time. Change your mindset from “stress hurts” to “stress helps.” 

Use the Growth Mindset Perspective

Move from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. Use positive affirmations and statements to remember that stress is an opportunity to overcome challenges. 

Lookout for Cognitive Distortions

Challenge distortions such as Catastrophic thinking. Identify the truths about the stressful situation. 

Problem Solve

Valid feelings and emotions. Brainstorm solutions and look at the positive and negative consequences of each solution. Have one, or more, backup solution. 

Use Stress-Management Techniques

Engage in relaxation strategies such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, reading a book, praying, mindfulness, listening to calm music, moving your body, or just being outside!
 

As you practice healthy ways to respond to stress and remember the promise that we have in Christ, I hope moments of joy and happiness flood this challenging and unique time. Years from now as you look back and remember, I hope you will have memories of these life-giving moments along with those of growth and accomplishment.

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.” —2 Thessalonians 3:16

In Christ, 
Grace Boyle (gboyle@grcs.org) & Casey McMahon (cmcmahon@grcs.org)
GRCS Social Workers