COVID-19 Resources for Students

We have gathered a list of resources and guidance about coronavirus to share with parent carers, children & young people and education, health and social care practitioners. This page will be kept under review and new resources added to the categories as they become available. We hope that you find this information useful.

10 Self-Compassion Practices for COVID-19

Many people have asked us how self-compassion practice might help them get through this challenging time. Everyone has been affected to some degree by the coronavirus, perhaps by anxiety about the invisible threat to our communities, loneliness from self-quarantine, economic hardship, or difficulties when we contract the virus ourselves or need to care for sick people.

Below are 10 practices from the Mindful Self-Compassion program that could be helpful, along with brief explanations.

(1) Self-Compassion Break* – The 3 components of self-compassion are a powerful recipe for regulating difficult emotions. The first component – mindfulness – helps us disentangle from what’s bothering us. The second component – common humanity – is an antidote to the loneliness that may come with social distancing. When we recall that we’re not alone no matter what we’re going through, things become more bearable. The third component of self-compassion – self-kindness – is an antidote to fear. Kindness regulates fear through connection and warmth, similar to what we might experience with a dear friend.

(2) Soothing Touch – We are less likely to receive physical expressions of kindness when we are in self-quarantine but we can still comfort ourselves with touch. Don’t be shy about offering yourself a hug, or by gently placing a hand over your heart, when you need it the most. (Just be mindful about touching your face, please.)

(3) Giving and Receiving Compassion* – Although we need to physically distance ourselves from others because of the coronavirus, we don’t need to emotionally distance ourselves. Connection feels good. We can stay in compassionate connection with others by following our breath – breathing compassion in for ourselves and out for others. This can be practiced at home or with others, on the cushion or in caregiving settings.

(4) Being with Difficult Emotions* –Isolation is not natural for human beings. Just being alone with ourselves for an extended period of time usually brings up challenging emotions. Labeling what we’re feeling while we’re feeling it calms the body, finding the emotion in the body anchors the experience, and responding to ourselves with compassion is the connection we’ve probably needed all along.

(5) Soles of the Feet – This practice anchors our awareness in the present moment when we feel emotionally overwhelmed. The pandemic can be re-traumatizing for some people, for example, if feeling all alone or unsafe triggers traumatic memories. When we feel overwhelmed, it may be helpful to anchor our awareness in the sensations of our feet on the floor. We can redirect our attention away from our thoughts to the point of contact between our body and the earth, helping to ground and settle ourselves.

(6) Affectionate Breathing* – Another helpful practice for helping to ground ourselves when we feel overwhelmed is tuning in to the soothing rhythm of the breath. We can allow ourselves to be caressed by the gentle internal rocking motion of the breath in a way that is calming and soothing.

(7) Self-Compassion in Daily Life – We don’t need to practice meditation to experience self-compassion. Simply asking ourselves, “How do I care for myself already?” is a self-compassionate act, and actually doing something nice for oneself is even better. For example, when we’re sequestered in our homes, we can still listen to music, dance, read a book, Skype with friends, or play games with family members.

(8) Compassionate Body Scan* – When we find ourselves scanning for signs of the coronavirus in our own bodies, the body begins to feel like an alien and we need to befriend it. We also need to remain friends with our bodies when they are stricken with the virus because the body is doing the best it can and it needs our support. The Compassionate Body Scan is a way to become more intimate and comfortable with our bodies no matter what condition we may be in.

(9) Core Values – The usual ways that we find meaning in life are likely to be interrupted by social distancing. That doesn’t mean that we have to let go of what is most meaningful to us. If you found meaning by providing financially for your family, perhaps you can still provide for your family – emotionally – until you return to work? If you enjoyed meeting with friends, perhaps you can still meet with them online, maybe even with greater interest and understanding? Remaining connected to our core values and finding ways to stay true to them in the midst of disruption is an act of self-care.

(10) Savoring and Gratitude – Sooner or later, we will all become virus-weary and yearn for more joy in life. Fortunately, joy is close at hand if we give ourselves permission to enjoy the simple things we still have. Savoring a nice meal is a way to do that, or by taking yourself on a Sense and Savor Walk in the fresh air. This practice involves letting yourself fully enjoy and take in what is beautiful or interesting to you – the bark of a tree, bird song, the smell of a flower, seeing the world with fresh eyes. Gratitude is another way of cultivating joy – noticing the small things that enrich our lives that we tend to overlook–running water, morning sunlight, chopping vegetables. The list is endless.

Of course, a single self-compassion practice will not immediately change your life. Self-compassion is learned slowly. The fruit of self-compassion practice is learning how to hold our struggles and ourselves in a loving embrace, just as we are. Self-quarantine can be like a retreat, albeit involuntary, and it’s an excellent time learn the practice of self-compassion.

Thank you for keeping the flame of compassion burning during these anxious times, and please stay safe.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

How schools should respond to pandemics: This resource includes text of state statutes and regulations – as well as noncodified guidance from state health and education agencies – that relate to pandemic planning for schools.

Johns Hopkins University

Mapping 2019-nCoV: Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases mapped by Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering

National School Boards Association

COVID-19: Preparing for Widespread Illness in Your Community – A Legal Guide for School Leaders: This document provides guidance to school boards regarding planning for COVID-19 challenges in their districts. (Created with input from NASN)

Government Guidance

  • Department for Education (DfE) Coronavirus Helpline. The DfE have set up a helpline offering guidance for anyone with education related questions. The number is 0800 046 8687, and lines are open 8am-6pm (Monday – Friday), and 10am – 4pm (Saturday and Sunday).

Families and Disabled Children & Young People

  • Contact – Coronavirus: Information for families with disabled children. A list of information for families with disabled children. Information includes: children with health needs; coping at home; coronavirus, welfare benefits and money. Read here.
  • Disabled Children’s Partnership (DCP) – A wealth of resources for families, covering a range of information, activities and condition specific advice. Read here.
  • Challenging Behaviour Foundation (CBF) – Specific resources for the families of children, young people and adults with severe learning disabilities who display behaviours that challenge. Read here. CBF have produced a schools re-opening resource with information relevant to children and young people with severe learning disabilities. This resource is based on government guidance for England but includes links to guidance for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Read here.
  • Limb Power – Limb Power have created online adaptive fitness sessions for children and young people with limb difference. You can watch the home workouts on Tuesday and Thursday mornings on Limb Power’s Youtube channel. Watch here.
  • Internet Matters – Internet Matters have launched a new website to help to support parents, carers, and young people with additional learning needs to stay safe online. They have created this hub to offer tailored advice on how to connect safely online across a range of social platforms. Read here.

Learning Resources to Support Home Schooling

  • Department for Education: home learning resources for children and young people with SEND. Read here.
  • BBC Bitesize: learning from home. Daily lessons includin videos, quizzes and practice activities for year groups 1-9. View here.
  • BBC – Parents Toolkit: SEND. SEND resources, activities and support to help you and your family during lockdown. Read here.
  • My Tutor – Homeschooling during COVID-19: How One Family is Doing It. Read here.
  • University College London – Homeschooling children with SEND: a series of information resources to help parents, carers and families support pupils with SEND at home during the period of school closures. Read here.
  • Topmarks – educational activities and resources for all school subjects and key stages. Read here.
  • Save the Children: webpage includes family learning activities and guidance on how to talk to children about coronavirus. Read here.

Health practitioners

  • Royal College of Nursing (RCN) clinical guidance for managing coronavirus for those across the health and social care workforce. Read here.
  • Royal College of Paediatrics and Child’s Health (RCPCH)
    • Guidance for clinicians about the shielding of clinically vulnerable children and young people. Read here.
    • Guidance for health professionals working in paediatrics and child health. Read here.
    • PIMS: the COVID-19 linked syndrome affecting children – information for families. Read here.
  • Health Education England information for Allied Health Professionals during the coronavirus outbreak. Read here.
  • Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) COVID-19 advice hub. Read here.
  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) COVID-19 advice. Read here.
  • Royal College of Psychiatrists, guidance for psychiatrists and other healthcare professionals working in mental health settings. Read here.
  • Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT): information, resources and FAQs from the RCOT to support occupational therapists throughout the evolving COVID-19 emergency. Read here.
  • Chartered Society of Physiotherapists – advice for physiotherapists on taking care of mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 outbreak. Read here.
  • NHS England update in regards to Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Autism: responding to COVID-19, 15th March 2020: first of a series of updates to share information with chief executives of mental health trusts and other mental health service providers, including the independent and third sectors, as well as regional teams and local colleagues. Read here.
  • NHS England- Managing capacity and demand within inpatient and community mental health, learning disabilities and autism services for all ages. Published 25th March 2020. Read here.
  • NHS England guidance for providers of community services and how they can release capacity to support COVID-19 preparedness and response, inc. prioritization of services for SEND inc. therapies, community paediatrics and special school nursing- Published 20th March 2020. Read here.
  • NHS England letter: supporting allied health professionals and allied health professional support workers during the COVID-19 epidemic in the UK, 19th March. Read here.

Social Care practitioners

  • Care Act easements: guidance for local authorities. This guidance sets out how Local Authorities can use the new Care Act easements, created under the Coronavirus Act 2020, to ensure the best possible care for people in our society during this exceptional period. Read here.
  • 39 Essex Chambers – Coronavirus Act 2020: Social care and SEND guidance note. Read here.
  • Carers UK – Coronavirus guidance for carers. Read here.
  • Social Work England – Information and advice for social workers, students, employers and course providers. Read here.
  • Local Government Association, ADASS and CPA. Social care provider resilience during covid-19: guidance for commissioners. Read here.
  • Mental Capacity Law and Policy – resources relating to coronavirus and the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Read here.
  • Community Care – Deprivation of liberty: emergency guidance due to help social workers deal with coronavirus impact. Read here.

Education practitioners

  • National Education Union – Coronavirus advice. Read here.
  • National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers – Information and advice for members. Read here.
  • E-bug – e-Bug is a free educational resource for classroom and home use and makes learning about micro-organisms, the spread, prevention and treatment of infection fun and accessible for all teachers and students. They have produced an e-book about classroom bubbles, series of lesson plans, posters and more. Read here.
  • Be Ready – will be providing a free, online, interactive platform for secondary school teachers and pupils that will now feature curriculum content. To request a free platform sign up here. School leaders can have a look at the platform here.
  • Mentally Healthy Schools – A variety of resources that can be used to ensure pupil mental health and wellbeing is being maintained. Read here.