The counselors are in!: NDB counselors give their advice on coping with the pandemic

This photo represents how students mental health may feel overwhelmed during this time of social distancing. Photo credit to

This photo represents how students’ mental health may feel overwhelmed during this time of social distancing. Photo credit to

The NDB community has transitioned from their physical campus to their online campus through Zoom calls and emails. It was an unusual transition at first as students and faculty members were getting used to the new setting, but by now everyone has mainly got the gist of things. The Catalyst has interviewed NDB’s counselors on what advice they would like to give to the students on coping during this difficult time of social distancing.

Counselor Allan Gargaritano gives advice to the NDB students on how to cope with mental health struggles. “I think one of the most essential pieces of just getting through this is just keeping a regular routine that you had prior to this pandemic” Gargaritano says. Students should continue doing their basic necessities like brushing their teeth, making their beds, eating meals on time, and maybe even go for a walk. It is good to find ways for students to take their minds off of school, because it is hard to switch off that mode of constantly working. 

Counselor Caitlin Walsh advises students to stick with their daily routine to build structure into their day. Students should take care of themselves simply by washing their face, brushing their teeth, eating breakfast, and putting fresh clothes on. Even though social distancing is difficult, students must hang in there. “We all need the support of our friends and family, so reach out, invite a friend to talk or play a game virtually, write a letter, and find moments of gratitude to hold on to,” Walsh says.

Counselor Veronica Gasco encourages students to create structure in their daily lives by developing a daily schedule with breaks in between to step outside for fresh air. It is good to take time away from their screens after being online for the whole school day. Gasco adds, “It is especially important to stay active during this time. This is not only beneficial to our long-term health, but helps us combat stress, anxiety, and depression.” Students should still find ways to connect to their friends, relatives, and peers virtually.

Counselor Dina Cunha’s message to students is to understand the situation is temporary. “At some point, we will go back to a sense of normalcy. I know that the counseling department is coming up with ways (events such as mindful Mondays, etc) to help students combat the isolation,” Cunha adds. Everyone must continue social distancing in order to come back to a sense of normalcy much faster. 

Associate Head of School for Wellness and Empowerment Michelle Bizeau encourages students to keep their daily routine with keeping up with their daily hygiene, stretching, and moving as much as they can to stay active. “This is a truly unique situation where everyone is confined to one space, so be mindful that your parents and/or siblings are just as stressed as you are. If you feel like you need some space, be honest about it with your family and find a quiet place to decompress,” Bizeau says. It can be hard spending time  with your family 24/7, and it is completely fine to ask for some space from them.

After interviewing NDB counselors, they have given insightful advice for students’ social distancing during this time of difficulty.