No doubt you and your family are feeling additional stress and anxiety during these uncertain times. Acknowledging your own stress and that of each of your family members is the first step in managing and decreasing the stress at home.
Although as adults, we may be stressed by different things than our children, our bodies respond to stress in the same way. Kids pick up on our anxiety, so it’s important to manage your own feelings first. Take time to ask your kids about their questions, fears, and anxieties. Help them put into words what they might be feeling. Saying things out loud to a trusted and caring person helps children have a little more control over the situation and their feelings. Use some of these same techniques with yourself and with each person in the family. Then have a discussion together to come up with ways to help the entire family decrease stress in the home.
Take media breaks
Take time away from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
Take care of your body
Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Eat healthy, well-balanced meals and drink plenty of water. Make sure to exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep.
Find ways to stay active during the time you spend indoors. Set a timer to do stretches every hour (from fingertips to toes), dance, or create a play together. Make sure to plan plenty of time outdoors too. Any type of exercise can help your body de-stress and relax. Play backyard games and sports, hide and seek, make an obstacle course, or explore nature.
Connect with others
Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling. Have virtual gatherings with family, friends, and neighbors.
Adjust expectations and be kind to yourself
This time of quarantine and pandemic is new for all of us. No one expected this and most of us were not prepared for this. Anxiety, fear, worry, and grief—these are all NORMAL reactions to abnormal circumstances. Reach out to another trusted person if you need help.
You can find additional resources on our Mental Health page.
- Adapted from Sierra Filucci 3/11/2020
- CDC: How to Protect Yourself & Others
- Coronavirus Resources & Tips for Parents, Children & Others