Let me start by saying, I’m one of you. I have three boys that I am now accidentally virtual schooling. My husband and I wrestled with the decision on what to do for our three boys for the 2020-2021 school year. We have an 8th grader in his last year of middle school, a 6th grader in his first year of middle school and a 4th grader who doesn’t do well with a virtual school. We had decided on the in-person school option, but then – just like that – that option vanished. Our school district decided all students will be virtually schooled. Now, just like you, I’m a teacher, principal, lunch lady, guidance counselor, and sanitation engineer – along with mom, wife, doctor and adolescent wellness specialist. Stressful? Uhhmmm, YES!!!
FOUNT is the five keys to wellness and wisdom to help unlock your best. As an adolescent wellness specialist, I use this acronym to teach high school and college-aged youth about the vast subject of wellness. Today we’re going to use it to help us as parents unlock the dos and don’ts of dealing with our days as a virtual schooling supervisor.
F in FOUNT is for Fuel
Give your body the fuel it needs to be its best.
Do: Eat breakfast while you are feeding the kids breakfast. Eat within 2 hours of waking up; it keeps your body in sync with the natural rhythm of your hormones and circadian rhythm. And it provides you energy for the day.
Do Not: Grab a cup of coffee and call it breakfast.
O in FOUNT is for Optimistic
Finding true happiness is vital in becoming your best.
Do: Recognize the reality of the situation. You are not a formally trained teacher, principal, lunch lady, guidance counselor or sanitation engineer – unless you are, of course. Be kind to yourself, lower your expectations, and accept the help of available resources and people.
Do not: Try to be an expert in everything.
U in FOUNT is for Understanding.
Figuring out important things will help you become your best.
Do: Understand that your body’s hormones have a natural rhythm called the circadian rhythm. It works best when it follows the rhythm of the day and night. Set up independent learning times or activity times for your kids. Use that time to work on your projects.
Do Not: Stay up late into the night to work on your projects.
N in FOUNT is for Natural
Protect and heal your body and mind to bring out its best.
Do: Go outside first thing in the morning, at noon, and then again at the end of the virtual school day – and don’t forget to take the kids with you. While you’re out there, do a jumping jack or 2 or 3 or 10. Look at that you! You are getting your Vitamin D and exercise at the same time. Both of which are perfect for stress.
Do Not: Stay hunkered down in your home bunker all day.
Read Next | How to Make Your Home Virtual Learning Ready
T in FOUNT is for Time
Use your daily 24 hours well and wisely to become your best.
Do: Have a set bedtime, preferably before 10 pm, and get your 8 hours in. Start winding down at least 1 hour prior. Write down all your virtual schooling wins and losses for the day and your plans for the next day. If sleeping doesn’t come easy to you, consider taking melatonin. Of course, consult your medical provider first.
Do not: Have a glass of wine before bed.
Yes, it may initially relax you, but later in the night, it will disrupt your sleep patterns and prevent you from having deep, restorative sleep. You’ll wake up feeling tired and not refreshed or restored. Then you’ll reach for several cups of coffee for breakfast.
We are in this together, mommies. I know these are different times. Please remember to be kind to yourself. On Instagram, I have FOUNT related wellness tips every day in stories and on my feed. Follow me, @dr.dnicebeaugelin.
Dr. D-Nice Beaugelin, real name Denise Hunter, MD, is an Adolescent Wellness Specialist. She has been a medical doctor for over 20 years. She is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Lifestyle Medicine and has completed hours of training towards board certification in Functional Medicine. She’s also been a youth leader for over 30 years and a trained youth motivational speaker. Her training in improv and storytelling helps her presentations to be delightfully engaging. Dr. D-Nice also currently serves on the Wake County Public School Student Health Advisory Council (SHAC).