School year ends, but stress does not

Mental health counselor notes range of emotions for students


Sally Bradshaw, Reporter

As the school year wraps up early, the pressures of keeping up with school assignments and deadlines end, but the stress from the coronavirus pandemic won’t necessarily go away.

Mrs. Sarah Ehlich, licensed mental health counselor from Community Health Network, sent an email to the student body highlighting how typical it is to experience a wide range of emotions during the pandemic.

Ehlich wrote, “It will vary for each student, but I think engaging in things that either stimulate your mind in a creative and engaging way, such as art, music, dance, cooking, baking, puzzles,  journaling, as well as calming and relaxation ways, such as mindfulness and meditation, yoga and reading, are very important.”

She also advises students to stay active and organized, and also to continue to connect with their peers, but to do so with social distancing

Some ways Ehlich advises students to deal with their stress include meditating and praying, talking through their emotions and creating a positive environment at home.

I also think seniors will be more adaptable and creative due to these unprecedented circumstances.”

— Mrs. Sarah Ehlich

Although everyone is being affected by the closure of their school, perhaps the most profound effect is on the Class of 2020. Ehlich wrote in an email, “I think seniors will likely experience some ongoing sadness due to the grief and loss of a ‘normal’ senior year; however, I also think seniors will be more adaptable and creative due to these unprecedented circumstances.”

In Ehlich’s email signature, she includes a quote by American-Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross whose words speak to everyone during these difficult times, especially the seniors. Kübler-Ross said, “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

Ehlich wrote in an email, “This is a bizarre time. We have never had to adapt like this before, so any emotion you are feeling is OK and normal. It is also OK if you need to reach out for help and support during this time.”

Ehlich said that she is still available for students who need to talk through any emotional or mental health related issues.