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Managing Stress During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Dear GA Middle School and Upper School Families,       
As Rich Schellhas shared in his earlier letter, the Counseling Team wishes to share more resources for helping your teens manage possible stress due to the coronavirus. As shown below, there is also a process for your child if they would like to schedule a confidential virtual counseling session on a regularly scheduled Virtual GA day.
Signs of stress, worry, and anxiety may be behavioral, physical, emotional, and/or cognitive. You and your children may experience some of the following symptoms:

  • Increased irritability (anger, arguing)
  • Changes in energy level
  • Crying
  • Excessive worrying
  • Increased withdrawal
  • Blaming others for everything


What else should you know about stress, worry, and anxiety?

  • Thoughts may trigger automatic emotional responses.
  • Anxious thoughts may trigger distressing emotional responses.
  • Examining these thoughts (Are they true? How do you know? Where's your proof?) can help lessen automatic emotional responses like worry and anxiety.
  • Sharing this process with our children can often help them understand and ultimately reduce that automatic (and not conscious) reaction.
  • Remind children to practice mindfulness, take calming breaths, slow their breathing, practice self-care. Physiological manifestations of anxiety (rapid breathing, heart pounding) may create further worry or increase in response to worry, so focusing on reducing those symptoms can also be helpful.

What can you do?

  • Remember to keep things in perspective
  • Monitor/limit news watching and social media
  • Ask for the facts
  • Avoid blaming
  • Stay healthy--eat healthy foods, get enough sleep and exercise, maintain connections with others (even if only electronically)
  • Employ favorite healthy coping strategies such as mindfulness, listening to music, journaling, reading, exercise
  • Practice kindness and emotional generosity

For more information, please check out the following resources:

Helpful apps:


If you have specific concerns about your children, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a member of the GA Counseling Team. In addition, if your child would like to schedule a confidential virtual counseling session on a regularly scheduled Virtual GA day, the process for that is the following:

  • Email the counselor with a request to ‘meet.’
  • The counselor will schedule a day/time and then send a link to a virtual counseling platform called
  • At the assigned time, your child should click the link and will be connected to the video conversation.

Be well,

GA Counseling Staff:

Christina Baumann

Matt Elliser

Andrea Kurtz

Janet Maurer

Amy Rosenbaum