Guest post by Heather Slee, eLearning Producer at Atomic Learning
The holidays have been over for a while, a big chunk of the country is frozen (and will be for a couple more months at least), you realize you’ll have to start figuring out your taxes pretty soon, the news is full of awfulness, your Facebook feed is full of arguing, and—if you live somewhere similar to where I live—you are having a major vitamin D deficiency right now. (Just writing that sentence made me want to take a nap.)
Basically, it’s that time of year when people feel more terrible, more often.
Keeping that in mind, it seems like an ideal time to talk about socio/emotional health. Working with Dr. Bryn Yahn, a Licensed Psychologist, Atomic Learning has developed several insightful Hoonuit learning modules focused around critical social-emotional health topics, including:
- Living with Depression
It's not uncommon to feel a bit blue once in a while, but if it’s an ongoing, inescapable feeling, it might be time to get help. Yahn’s course, Living with Depression, details the symptoms of depression, types of depression, and steps to take to start feeling better. It's invaluable information to gain an accurate perception of what depression is, but should not be used as a substitue for professional help.
- Test Anxiety
Another "fun" post-holiday winter activity is standardized testing (for a lot of the country). While it’s NBD—Translation: No Big Deal—for some students, for others it can cause major anxiety. Not just butterflies-in-the-stomach, run-of-the-mill nervousness, but serious anxiety, including nausea, stress, plummeting self-esteem, and freezing up completely. In the Overcoming Test Anxiety course, Yahn tackles this topic, including discussion of what it is, as well as providing practical, simple steps students can take to work through this issue.
- Healthy Relationships
While unhealthy relationships aren’t necessarily linked with a depressing winter (sorry, winter sports enthusiasts!), learning what makes a relationship healthy, and unhealthy, is always timely. In the in-depth course, Healthy Relationships, Yahn discusses the building blocks of healthy relationships (both friendship and romantic relationships), as well as the part that’s harder to talk about: unhealthy and abusive relationships. Yahn details what those relationships may look like, what to do if you or a loved one finds themselves in one, and how to deal with feeling left out, being bullied, and peer pressure.
While all three of these topics are directed toward students, they are also useful for parents and educators who need to reach out to family, friends, or the students in their lives.