Minding Mental Health during COVID-19

As schools across the country are closing for weeks, months, and some for the rest of the year, school librarians (and other educators) are undoubtedly experiencing waves of emotion. We are sad because we miss our students and colleagues. We are scared because we are worried about the health of those same students and colleagues, as well as our friends and family. We are frustrated because our students are missing out not only on their education, but milestones like graduation and prom. We don’t know when or if we will be able to return to our schools. Meanwhile, there’s no denying that this is a scary time.

Whether or not you regularly grapple with anxiety, your worries are likely to be exacerbated due to the dwindling toilet paper supply, the onslaught of Coronavirus news, and the mounting number of fatalities. It is vital for our mental well-being that we practice using coping skills and recognize our fears and worries.

I recently came across this image from The Counseling Teacher. Its simplicity and power was immediately evident. For any issue you struggle with, think about your circle of control. What can you control about the Coronavirus pandemic? What doesn’t fit inside your circle? Those are things you have to let go of. Focus on you and what you can do to help yourself, friends, family, students, and colleagues while also remaining safe and healthy.

Please note that sharing this image without permission is a violation of copyright. Permission was granted by the creator for use in this post.

What worries are you struggling with? I urge you to make your own circle of control and then concentrate on what’s inside your circle. I will leave you with this graphic from Scriberian that illustrates some great tips for protecting your mental health from BBC.

Permission was granted to use this image by the creator.



Author: Brandi Hartsell

Brandi Hartsell is the school librarian at Halls High School in Knoxville, TN. She was awarded Teacher of the Year at HHS in 2021. Brandi was also recognized alongside colleagues as recipients of the Tennessee Association of School Librarians (TASL) Teacher Collaboration Award in 2019 and 2021. She has served (and continues to serve) in many leadership roles within TASL. Brandi has presented professional development sessions for TASL, Halls High School, and Knox County Schools. Brandi loves sharing ideas and brainstorming…also cats…and true crime. Follow her on Instagram @hhslibrarytn.

Categories: Advocacy/Leadership, Blog Topics, Community/Teacher Collaboration

Tags: , , ,

1 reply

  1. Great article! Loved those images! I think turning off the news for some time is a great strategy. Although we must be aware of what’s happening around us, but continuous access to grim news can affect mental stability, for people already paranoid. It’s worthwhile to instead focus on one day at a time and keep oneself busy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.