I find myself with a lot of anger these days.
Part of it is the world. I’m angry and depressed that the pandemic is still going on, that the Delta variant is proving to be more contagious and troublesome and that we aren’t doing more to stop it. I’m angry that experiences and events are threatened again. I’m angry at all the other anger I see in the world.
I have personal anger too, for all the usual reasons. I’m crabby because of some chronic hip pain, annoyed if my husband doesn’t do the dishes, angry at myself for procrastinating work or home tasks.
It’s not necessarily the most pleasant of states to be in. I keep picturing myself as the little red Anger emotion from Pixar’s “Inside Out,” voiced by comedian Lewis Black: small, red and ready to explode. And if I learned anything from that wonderful movie, I know that containing and suppressing my emotions isn’t a good idea.
So I’ve been working on channeling my anger, allowing myself healthy outlets for the emotion. Focusing on what I can control is a big part of that, including taking my own steps to keep myself and others safe from COVID-19. I’m meditating, seeking positive distractions and trying to get enough sleep. I’m talking about it in therapy, with my friends and family who make up my support system. And most of all, I’m trying to let go of anger at myself.
It’s not easy, but it is certainly more helpful than letting the top of my head blow off like a cartoon.
What experts say about kids sleeping in class
With back-to-school on the horizon, Sara Moniuszko took a look at a part of school getting a lot of attention lately: Students sleeping in class.
You know the image from TV and movies – the delinquent, defiant student slumped over his desk, fast asleep in class. But some teachers today are making waves on social media for letting their students snooze in class, arguing sleeping isn’t always the mark of a lazy, disrespectful student, and instead it could be an indicator of more serious mental health issues at play.
Experts agree sleeping in class doesn’t always stem from laziness, and instead could be a sign something more serious is going on.
“We think about children as happy human beings that are just completing their homework at school and living a happy life, but sometimes we can see that depression can be actually diagnosed or seen in children as small as 5, 6 years old,” says Cynthia Catchings, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist at Talkspace.
Children age 6 to 12 should sleep nine to 12 hours in a 24-hour period, and teenagers should sleep eight to 10 hours, according to The American Academy of Sleep Medicine. But many don’t get that much sleep.
A 2015 analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found about 58% of middle school students didn’t get enough sleep and neither did 73% of high schoolers. Why? Catchings says stress and anxiety may play a role since both can affect sleep.
What can teachers, parents do?
Catchings says the teachers who let their students sleep in class may have the right idea.
“What we see from teachers recently in allowing them to sleep (during) classes is ‘Let me see what the concern is. I can let them sleep. I can always communicate with them or try to investigate what is going on and then help the child,'” she says.
She says the next important step is to involve a parent, counselor or both.
Parents who want to help their kids sleep better can step in to reduce their screen time. Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, psychologist and CEO of Omega Recovery, suggests parents aim to enforce a rule of no screen time – including television – three to four hours before bed.
And lastly, he encourages parents to talk to their kids, especially as some start to transition back to in-person classes this fall.
“Encourage your kids to talk about … what they’re feeling, what their apprehensions are, what their fears are,” he says. Be sure you’re “not just ignoring the issue and putting their backpack on… and sending them off to school without at least having the opportunity to dialogue about that.”
Read Sara’s full story here.
It’s two good dogs for the price of one today.
“This is Braxton on the left and Trip on the right,” says owner Karen Bovard. They are truly adorable, happy brothers. I love them.