Does the word pandemic kick up any anxiety in you? Please know that children may also have anxiety, especially when grown ups start to react around them. Here are a few tips to help with mental stability in your home during this time:
Understand the Virus
There are many free websites that strictly share the facts, without having to also sort through politics. While kids need to learn about those facts, please refrain from speaking about death. Instead, check out this free, easy-to-understand, online CoviBook that will help young children understand what is happening or try this booklet geared towards teens: Covid-19 Booklet.
Sit down and make a list with your family or yourself of all the positive to come from being quarantined. Place the list of the refrigerator to be revisited when the negative starts to creep up.
Work on changing your language to be more positive
Instead of “I don’t know how to teach math!” use, “I am going to try my best to learn how to teach math!
Set Personal Boundaries
Everyone has their own ways of recharging (think introvert vs. extrovert). This time will be hard on both due to not having the outlets needed to restore inner peace.
- Extroverts might crave time with others so maybe set up a time via electronics to allow interaction.
- Set up playdates with a family friend
- Go for a walk with friends, while keeping space between individuals
- Set up a “date night” with your partner by ordering food from a local business and setting the kids up with a movie
- Introverts may need time alone, which might be especially challenging in a house full of people, so allow for some quiet time
- If you are working from home, set your child up with something they can do independently
- Schedule “quiet time” for the entire family
- Try to find a quiet moment every hour by taking 10 deep breaths or jumping rope for a minute
Everyone needs it. Parents, your kids may be bouncing off the walls, but typically they may be allowed to release this energy elsewhere so give them and yourself a little grace. Do what you can but you don’t have to be superheroes.
- Check out our posts in the upcoming weeks for ideas to entertain your children
- Have a 10 minute dance party
- Check out online resources like GoNoodle
Think social media and news! Social media tends to seep into thoughts especially when self-doubt is lingering and can increase your anxiety. Try to not compare yourself to other caregivers on social media or become too glued to your phone or TV. Remind yourself of the positives and live in the moment.
- Set time limits for scrolling through social media
- Watch the news when the kids are not present
When you feel you’re going to blow, step away to a space you can do a mindfulness exercise or strategy to overcome that moment:
- Deep breathing
- Grounding 5-4-3-2-1 exercise
- Go for a walk
- Step outside to have a change in scenery
- Pause current activity to return to later
- Exercise/stretch and focus on your body and breathing
- Read a book
- Use a stress ball or fidget to release energy