Westfield families, we invite you to listen to Dr. Lori Desautels, Ph.D., as she helps us define what is happening in our brain and develop strategies for self care during this difficult time.

Dr. Lori Desautels shares strategies for parents to use during this difficult time.

Welcome Families and Educators! 

This series of videos will help you to understand the science beneath behaviors and emotions that are affected by adversities much like the pandemic we are all experiencing at this time!  Our brains have an ancient system, the brain-stem that is the grand central station for all of the external and internal experiences we encounter! The brain stem doesn’t tell time and it reacts as if the body feels threatened or unsafe or if an event feels unfamiliar! It immediately makes associations to past events or experiences that may be unconscious and we find ourselves … then feeling anxious, panicky, worried or shut down! These are normal responses and it is so healthy to be aware of them! If there is ongoing unpredictability, our stress response systems will change the regulation set points in lower brain regions!

What can we do?

  • Share your feelings! 
  • Write them down! Take deep breaths with an extended exhale! 
  • Leave an open space for your children to just “be” with you to feel safe with you! Sometimes words are not necessary! Just taking three deep breaths and a short walk can help calm our nervous systems! You will find some resources that may feel helpful and we call these practices, Focused Attention Practices!    

Connections and relationships are very important in this time, so reaching out through the airwaves with a phone call, a face-time, a text, or spending some time with family creating a puzzle, coloring, cooking, reading a book together, or watching a movie… words do not have to be spoken when we are feeling rough! Just being with another, feels soothing at times!   

Below is a wonderful article to share with families!    

Please know during this unprecedented time that we are here for you. If you need help or would like to offer assistance visit: https://www.wellbeingcoalitionwestfield.com/covid-19.

We will get through this together!