Fear, uncertainty, and more hiding at home to slow the spread of COVID-19 can prevent families from maintaining a sense of calm. But it’s important to help children feel safe, maintain healthy routines, manage their emotions and behavior, and build resilience. There are many ways to keep a sense of control in order to ease coronavirus anxiety:
What Can We Do
- Try to avoid excessive exposure to media coverage. Constant monitoring of COVID-19 social media updates and feeds can heighten feelings of worry and distress. Consider turning off automatic notifications and taking a break from the news.
- Keeping in touch with friends and family can ease the stress caused by COVID-19. Talking about your concerns and feelings can help you find ways to cope with challenges. Receiving the support and care of others can provide a sense of comfort and stability.
- Uplift your spirits. Do not criticise your behaviour. Just respect yourself, be kind, and patient. You can do what you like for example – painting, dancing, gardening, or cooking.
- Accept the situation and be optimistic about life. Try to battle the illness with the help of your family members.
- Avoid assuming things on your own. Do not make any diagnosis by yourself. See to it that you help your loved one to cope with the problems. Allow them to discuss at their own pace.
- We need to minimise the negative impact it has on our children and explain the facts to them. Discuss the news with them but try and avoid over-exposure to coverage of the virus. Be as truthful as possible.
- Protect your sleep. Good quality, sufficient sleep not only helps to support your immune system but also helps you to better manage stress and regulate emotions.
- Try to eat at regular times and opt for nutritious foods whenever possible.
- Find a place of worship that is streaming or recording services. If prayer is an important part of your life, make time for it.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol, particularly if you have a pre-existing mental health or substance use disorder.
- It is normal to feel overwhelmed, stressed, anxious or upset, among a wide range of other emotional reactions, in the current situation. Give yourself time to notice and express how you are feeling. It could be by writing them down in a journal, talking to others, doing something creative, or practicing meditation.
- Suggest your children draw pictures of ways your family is staying safe. Make a collage and hang it up to remind everyone. Or, build an indoor fort or castle to keep the germs at bay, bringing in favorite stuffed animals or toys.
- Offer extra hugs and say “I love you” more often.
Accept that things are different right now and everyone is adjusting. Prioritize what’s most important and know that it’s okay to let some things go right now.