Virtual Room Helps Stressed Students

Virtual Room Helps Stressed Students

Theron Luett, Staff Writer

     With students starting off the year in hybrid, counselors looked for ways to still provide them with resources. They needed something that could allow students to take a break from school, and still respect COVID-19  guidelines. Before the COVID-19 outbreaks, the counselors had a “take a break” room next to their offices. Students could come in and play with fidget toys, or just sit and relax. Then they found the idea for a virtual calming room from other counselors. The room provides multiple de-stressors from coloring pages to visual videos of animals in the wild. “We know with COVID not only our families, but also our staff and students are spending a lot more time at home,” counselor Erica Woods- Schmitz, said. “We had a ‘take a break’ room which has coloring pages and all of that, but in a physical form. So we wanted to be able to replicate that in a virtual form.” 

     There are five categories students can go to in the virtual room. Music & Sounds specializes in audio videos of the ocean, thunderstorms, campfires, white noise and instrumental music. Mindfulness has step-by-step meditation videos to listen along to and focus on yourself. Under Color & Create students can find multiple free coloring pages that can be downloaded on school iPads. The Movement section involves full body stretches, movement breaks and yoga videos to help relax. Finally, under Visual Relaxation there are sensory visual videos, which include visual sand therapy, relaxing ocean videos and videos of wild animals.

     At the bottom of the virtual calming homepage, there are multiple mental health resources listed, such as Please Pass the Love, help resources and mental health apps like “A Friend Asks” which is available on every school iPad. “When we created it, it was because we were in hybrid, and there were some kids who were also 100% online,”  counselor Lisa Boge said. “And we just wanted to give a recourse to students for any time if they needed a mental health break or just needed to use some coping strategies.” 

     This resource is becoming popular as the year goes on and students continue to struggle with the stress of school and the pandemic.“I’m a huge fan of music and nature so Music & Sounds is definitely my favorite category, Brileigh Erickson  ’23 said.”I like the hours of relaxing guitar music and real thunderstorms sounds. I think in General the rooms are well thought out and reduce stressful situations by a good amount. Another category I would recommend would be something to do with animals. They’re extremely calming and could take anyone’s mind off of stressful events.”

     Boge’s favorite part of the calming room are the coloring pages and music. I love the coloring activities,” she said. “There are a lot of different options to utilize and they especially work well on the iPad if you’re just taking a quick brain break from school.” 

     The virtual calming room is an online resourse available to help students take a break from their stressful lives. If you feel overwhelmed or stressed, go to or contact your school counselor at