How to Cope With Anxiety During The COVID-19 Pandemic

How to Cope With Anxiety During The COVID-19 Pandemic



Feelings of anxiety and fear are normal during a health pandemic. We are all learning daily that this illness coronavirus (COVID-19) has not only affected you and your family but others globally.


Watching television, and social media you may see people in a state of panic. Long lines at grocery stores, and observing empty shelves for our basic needs.


Individuals are willing to do whatever it takes to protect themselves and their families during this health crisis. There are ways that you can cope and ease your anxiety surrounding the coronavirus.

Practicing good self-care, is essential to decrease your level of anxiety, and can help manage your mental health. Taking steps such as eating a balanced diet, getting plenty of sleep, and engaging in activities that are fun. Whether it be binge watching on Netflix or Dancing to your favorite song.


It is known that anxiety may arise during a pandemic. Social self-care can also be a way to cope with your anxiety to ensure that it does not get worse. Social self-care involves having a supportive network of people you can turn to, someone to talk to for guidance or uplifting.


Parents and children who continue facing high levels of anxiety and helplessness should consider seeking professional help. Professional help, can be seeking a licensed therapist or mental health professional that can help manage your emotions and fears.


It is important that families learn  and practice how to manage their anxiety to maintain a healthy lifestyle during these times of uncertainty.



Jackie Sekunda, School Counselor, Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Academy


Mercy’s Minute it to Win: Teacher Challenge 1: Ms. Debbie v. Ms. T

Ms. Debbie v. Ms. T

Have a little bit of cabin fever? The quarantine blues? Are you ready to participate in some fun challenges during the month of May?

You sound perfect for Mercy’s Minute To Win It!

The multi-talented Ms. Altieri shares the rules for our very first challenge in the video below:

Statement by Superintendent of Brooklyn and Queens Catholic Schools Regarding Remainder of 2019-2020 School Year

Statement by Superintendent of Brooklyn and Queens Catholic Schools Regarding Remainder of 2019-2020 School Year

Dr. Thomas Chadzutko, Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Brooklyn, which includes all elementary Catholic academies and schools in Brooklyn and Queens, has issued the following statement following Governor Cuomo’s school closure announcement:

“We just learned of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s decision that all elementary and secondary schools shall remain closed for the duration of the current 2019-2020 school year, as New York continues efforts to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. As such, the Catholic academies and parish schools within the Diocese of Brooklyn, which includes Queens, will remain closed through the end of June. The distance and digital learning platforms in place will serve as the instructional program for our schools for the remainder of this academic year.

I am very proud of our schools and academies, who were successfully able to transition to a distance and digital learning platform almost immediately upon our school buildings being shut down. This would not have been possible without the hard work of our teachers and the leadership of our dedicated principals, who rose to this enormous challenge. Our Catholic schools and academies have continued to provide each of our students with a faith-based academic program, ensuring that they are being challenged to learn every day. Our parents have also contributed immeasurably to the success of this new digital learning environment.

We will be working with our principals and teachers to ensure that our milestone celebrations (graduations, step-up ceremonies, and other achievements) will be honored and recognized. As we have done so far during this pandemic, we will continue to assemble and share resources for our families as we confront this challenging end to the school year.

The Coronavirus statistics indicate that both Brooklyn and Queens have been the hardest-hit areas in New York City and State. As a Catholic school community in the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to pray for everyone’s health and safety. Our faith, love, and hope remain central to all we do now and in the future.”

Principal Newsletter 5.4.20

Thank you for your kind and thoughtful feedback for our Spirit Week Video Montage. Your uplifting words meant the world to the staff. On Friday, Governor Cuomo announced that all schools will be closed for the remainder of the year. We are going to continue to modify and enhance direct teaching to best meet the needs of all our students.
We are going to send out Progress Reports for Grades 1-8 as scheduled. We will begin emailing them from on Thursday, May 7th. All progress reports will be emailed by Friday, May 8th at 3PM. The progress reports will look a bit different this trimester. Teachers will only be providing feedback in a narrative format. There will be no grades posted. If you have any questions, the teachers are more than willing to schedule a time to meet with you to discuss in greater detail.
As a reminder, Futures in Education, has established a Relief Fund to assist families affected by the COVID-19 health crisis in completing their 2019/20 tuition payments.

You are invited to complete this form ONLY if your family has been directly impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis, resulting in a reduction or loss of income, and you are seeking tuition relief for the 2019/2020 academic year. Funding is very limited, and it is critical that we are able to assist those most affected by this crisis. Please only apply if your family has been affected in a way that it will not be possible for you to complete this year’s tuition payments (April-June).

We will work with Futures in Education to assess the overall need and funding received to determine how we may best help our families.  The application will be open from now through May 15, 2020 and may be found at



Parent Article on Healthy Eating

I hope that you and your family are doing well.  We are loving seeing the photos from Spirit Week. It almost feels like we are back together. We are also having Senior Spotlight on our incredible 8th Grade Class. The Class of 2020 have shared their favorite memories and much more! They are posted daily on our Facebook and Instagram pages!
I am attaching an e-book that may be of interest to parents in the younger grades to explain COVID-19 as well as the weekly article from Mrs. Sekunda. This week’s topic is “Healthy Eating”.
In addition there is a great website with resources on grief which may be helpful to a family in need.  It is
I hope you have a great rest of the week.

 Eating Healthy During the Coronavirus Quarantine

With many people being quarantined at home and buying food in bulk right now, experts say it’s important to stock up on foods that have nutritional value.  It’s tempting to snack on your favorite junk food right now, but healthy and mindful eating is vital in the middle of this pandemic.

Remember that even with healthy foods, it’s important to maintain portion control. 

Here is a list of foods that experts recommend adding to your     “coronavirus grocery list”

1. Dried or canned beans and legumes, such as chickpeas or black beans – Beans are a good source of plant based protein and fiber. Be aware of possible high sodium levels in canned beans.

  1. Whole grains, such as rice, quinoa, oats, barley or whole grain bread. Whole grains are a good source of B vitamins, which maintain energy levels, relieve stress and improve cognitive performance.
  2. Pasta, including regular, gluten-free or whole grain, is a good source of protein, antioxidants and B vitamins.
  3. Canned, boxed, or jarred tomatoes are a good source of lycopene (an antioxidant) and vitamin C, which helps keep your immune system running smoothly.
  4. Winter squash, including butternut, acorn or pumpkin squash store surprisingly well, and have varying amounts of potassium and vitamins A and C, depending on the type. Potassium is an electrolyte which will help you and your muscles stay hydrated.6. Potatoes, such as white, red, Yukon gold, russet or sweet, get a bad rap, but they’re actually very healthy, aside from being filling and satisfying.  Potatoes, depending on the type, are a good source of potassium and vitamins A, B and C

    7. Carrots are a good source of vitamins A and C, and can be kept for weeks and used in a variety of snacks and dishes, such as soups and smoothies.

  5. Citruses, such as lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit are bursting with vitamins and antioxidants, and are also main flavor components in dressings, soups, sauces, cakes and crockpot creations.
  6. Fresh fruit with a long shelf life, such as apples and pears are a good source of fiber and can be added to salads or used in baking. Canned applesauce is also rich in vitamin C, but avoid added sugars.
  7. Frozen fruits, like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, peaches and pineapples are packed at peak ripeness and are rich in antioxidants, and make the perfect breakfast items, snacks or additions to smoothies. They can also be used to top yogurts and oatmeal.
  8. Frozen vegetables, such as spinach, cauliflower, broccoli and corn are also packed at their peak, giving you the same nutritious boost of plant nutrients, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits as you get from fresh produce. Avoid frozen foods that are packed in sauces.
  9. Canned fish, like Tuna, Salmon, Sardines and Anchovies, are convenient, rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, and a go-to source of protein. Canned Tuna can be used in many different ways, such as in pasta salads and sandwiches. Sardines can be used in soups, pasta sauces and dips.
  10. Low-sodium soups and broths, such as chicken, beef or veggie broths, are convenient and have a balance of carbohydrates and fiber. Soups that are low in sodium will prevent bloating and reduce the strain on your heart. Broths can also be added to meat recipes, sauces and gravies. 
  11. Olive oil is a great source of healthy far and is very versatile. It can be used to fry up crispy chickpeas, sauté veggies or drizzled on top of breads.
  12. Yogurts, such as Greek yogurt, support a healthy gut and are particularly beneficial. Probiotics, put helpful bacteria back into your gut, which is where the majority of your body’s immune cells live. Look for plain, low fat (2%) yogurts with live active cultures.  These can be topped with fruit, added to smoothies or used as a base in dips. 
  13. Alliums, such as onions, garlic and shallots play a role in many major biological functions such as your immune system, mental health, skin, inflammation response and appetite management. Alliums contain prebiotics, which are just as important for your gut as probiotics.
  14. Ginger is known for its anti-bloat properties to help soothe troubled stomachs. This root lasts a long time in the refrigerator and can also keep in the freezer, which makes it easier to grate. Use ginger in stir fries, slice it to make ginger tea or use it to flavor soups, smoothies and soaked oats. 
  15. Nuts, such as almonds, pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews and pecans are the perfect healthy snack when holed up at home. Nuts provide a source of protein, fiber and vitamin E. They are a great alternative to greasy chips, and can be added to salads, smoothies and baked goods. 
  16. Seeds, such as hemp, pumpkin, sesame, chia, sunflowers or flax add a lot of supplemental nutrients, such as magnesium, which helps boost energy, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are potent anti-inflammatories, and are amongst the most fiber-rich foods. Seeds can be sprinkled over salads, roasted vegetables, oatmeal or can be added to smoothies.
  17. Plant-based milks. Such as almond, oat, soy or coconut milk will last longer than regular milk and can used for things like smoothies, oatmeal, overnight oats, and as a dairy substitute in foods like pancakes, waffles and in baking.

And kids love being included in cooking ! Have kids look up healthy recipes and help with preparing the ingredients, being a part of the process is a fun family activity !

Jackie Sekunda, School Counselor, Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Academy

US Navy Blue Angels and Thunderbirds fly over NYC today – 12pm to 12:40pm

Just in case you have not caught this on the news, the US Navy Blue Angels and Thunderbirds will make a flyover of NYC today between 12 pm and 12:40 pm.

I’m sharing this in case you are interested and happen to be on their route (map attached).  And, it’s yet another reason to be grateful for the gift of a blue sky today!


If you happen to come across any photos or videos of our school children looking up at this amazing sight, please share them with me.