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Uncomfortable with the New Back-to-School Normal?

5 Tips: Mental Prepping for the New Back-to-School Normal

by Joy S. Go

The new school normal is a game changer, one that has parents taking more active roles as co-educators, and teachers crossing over to video hosting and content-creating. It is no surprise that four months since quarantine started, remote learning (or virtual learning, distance learning) is still very much a hot topic.

With schools now operating in this new arena, how mentally prepared are we to face the next months?

Here's what we need in order to thrive (not just survive) in the coming months.

Tip #1: Accept the changes.

Yes, it's hard.

Yes, it's not something we're used to or ever expected.

Yes, we didn't sign up for this job.

Yes, things might change again.

Adaptability is a vital skill for both individual and organizational survival and success.

The more we resist inevitable changes, the smaller the door we open for pursuing possibilities and solutions, the slower we adapt. We'd want our young to learn this skill, so who else to model it better than us parents and teachers? Pivot now.

Tip#2: Embrace the challenge to learn (it's anti-aging)

Embrace, not just welcome the challenge.

Welcoming means staying in our comfort zones and waiting for it to arrive. Embracing means preparing, welcoming, and approaching the challenge.

Never used Zoom? Not comfortable talking to people on camera? Learn. Several amongst us had never used Zoom or presented material online prior to quarantine and yet some handle these like pros now.

In our company, shifting to remote training was one huge change. Fortunately, the BrainRx international team pivoted right away when COVID hit. This enabled our center in the Philippines to shift our in-person brain training procedures to remote training while still aiming for the same level of quality and effectiveness. We rearranged furniture, changed processes and conducted re-training on procedures and mindsets. Here's how we look now:

Whenever we learn difficult stuff, our brains develop new neural connections and this slows down our own aging process, so let's allow ourselves the physical, mental and emotional space to learn new, hard things.

Tip#3: Try, try, try.

Reflect on needs, do research, come up with plan A, B, C, etc. and just go try things out. If it doesn't work, keep trying. Don't give up.

Courage and hope are our fuel.

If kids are still not focusing at home and we no longer know what to do, seek help. Talk to peers, teachers, and professionals. With a Google search, we can find tips from Johns Hopkins Medicine or learn the common blocks that make it hard for children to focus during home learning.

Tip#4: Be gentle with yourself and with others.

No two persons or brains are built the same--this includes the ability to learn and adapt. Let's be patient and forgiving not only to others but also to ourselves. What's important is for everyone to keep trying bit by bit and to pat each other on the back.

Encouraging and compassionate words, spoken sincerely, are so powerful in these times.

One advice that child psychologist Dr. Lourdes "Honey" Carandang stressed to the parents in a talk we once hosted was: "If you can give your child only one thing, give him hope."

Tip #5: Take care of yourself and your tribe.

Consciously carve time to do things that bring you joy. Look out for and have regular check-ins with your family members and people you're with. Sometimes, one may not be aware that he or she already needs help. Read this article on How To Manage Back-to-School Stress and Anxiety During All This Uncertainty.

Whether you regard being with children 24/7 as bane or boon, having the right mindset and skills will undoubtedly help us navigate the waves better and perhaps even let us enjoy the ride.

Joy S. Go is a co-founder of BrainRx Philippines, a cognitive testing and training company based in Bonifacio Global City. For inquiries, contact / FB: @brainrxph


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Matthew finishes all his exams now!

17-year-old Matthew gets a shout out for demonstrating grit and an excellent approach to his training. He achieved all target goals on his and his mom's list by the end of his first 72 hours of training with us. We're so proud of this teen who's now better equipped for his last year of high school and for university challenges. He shares his experience below--all in his own words! #MyBrainRxstory

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