Self-care during remote instruction and remote learning

January 19, 2021 | Claudia Stanny

Self-care during remote instruction and remote learning

As we begin another semester of remote instruction, we can learn from past experiences with remote teaching to improve teaching and learning in this new environment. In addition to adapting course structures and assignments, we can improve the quality of the learning experience by paying attention to self-care.

Take a break from Zoom.

  1. Manage screen time and avoid eye strain. Do some eye exercises (“eye yoga”) to give your vision a break. WebMD offers some great eye exercises that help you focus on multiple distances and reduce eye strain.
  2. Break sedentary habits. Get up and move around. Consider creating a standing desk option. If you don’t have a device for elevating your computer, pile some books or a box on your desktop to elevate your computer.

Monitor and manage emotions and stress.

Engage in mindfulness, especially when you are experiencing stress (plenty of sources for stress in 2020!). Chari and Singh (2010) suggest three strategies to destress and experience the moment when events trigger stress. 

  1. Slow down. Give yourself time to process what is going on. We often experience stress as a flood of emotions and need time to understand a situation when a stressful event takes us by surprise. Give yourself time to acknowledge and experience your feelings in the moment. 
  2. “Ground” yourself by paying attention to how your body responds to the stressful event. Notice where stress creates tension in your body. As you observe and acknowledge these physical responses, you may find yourself feeling calmer. Stress responses often concentrate in your upper body. Pay attention to how the lower parts of your body feel in the moment.  
  3. Reflect on your reactions to a stressful circumstance. Rather than responding quickly with defensive actions or trying to affix blame to someone, step back and reflect in concrete, non-judgmental terms on what is going on, how you are responding, and identify things you can do to feel supported or calmer. These actions give a sense of control, which helps you think clearly and manage your responses to the situation. 

 

Resources

Carter, L. (2019). Taking care of YOU while teaching from home. 

Chari, A., & Singh, A. (2010, 4 November). 3 trauma-informed practices for your classroom. Education Week. https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2020/11/05/this-election-is-traumatizing-for-many-students.html

Eye Exercises. https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/eye-exercises#1

01/12/2020 ajc