Between the round-the-clock reports on the coronavirus and having the kids at home, it’s no surprise that meltdowns are taking place. That’s perfectly understandable.
But a few tips from Grant Halliburton Foundation’s Outreach and Education Director Cami Fields might help folks through these challenging times.
Tips for Children And Teenagers:
- Take a break. Our society is inundated by information overload – the COVID-19 outbreak has exacerbated that. Find time in your day to put your phone down and stop consuming news and information about the virus. You need some time away from it to breathe.
- It can be hard to nurture your relationships when you aren’t seeing your peers anymore. This is where the beauty of social media and the internet can be so wonderful! Check on your friends, have a virtual dinner date, chat about what shows you’ve been watching – don’t put your friendships on the backburner; you need each other now more than ever.
- Find joy. During a time of so much uncertainty and stress, find small things that bring you joy. This could be going for a jog, painting, drawing, writing, singing, playing music, doing yoga, making videos, or anything else that you enjoy. These positive outlets cannot be underestimated; sometimes when you least “feel like” doing them, is when you need them the most!
- Speak up. If you are overwhelmed and unsure of how to feel better or stop worrying, talk to a trusted adult about how you’re feeling. Oftentimes, expressing your emotions and talking about how you feel makes you feel better even when the situation or problem hasn’t changed. You don’t have to feel what you feel alone.
- It can be hard to make your sleep a priority. There are countless distractions and barriers to getting good sleep, but it can be a huge factor in your mood, emotional stability, and positive thinking. Start a nighttime routine that you do every night to alert your body that you are about to go to sleep; this can include things like washing your face, drinking a glass of water, doing a 5-minute meditation, putting your phone away, or lowering the lights.
Tips For Adults:
- Create routines. So much is out of control and unpredictable right now. Strive for consistency and predictability where you can in your home.
- Validate feelings. It is easy to try to make someone feel better by saying, “at least…” comments or trying to put a silver lining on things. Sometimes our kids need to be able to express themselves and be validated that what is going on is hard and it is okay to feel what they feel.
- Model healthy stress relief. Show your kids that even when times are hard, you can use positive activities to relieve your stress. Don’t try to hide your worry – be honest with them about how you are feeling but show them positive ways to manage it. More is caught than taught.
- During a time of social distancing and quarantine, it is more important than ever to nurture your connections and have a support system. Don’t underestimate the power of checking in on someone and letting them know you care.
- Self-care. We all know that you must put on your own oxygen mask first before you can help someone else. Don’t expect yourself to do everything for everyone and neglect yourself. Take some “me time,” do something you enjoy, replenish your energy.
* Graphic and photo courtesy of Grant Halliburton Foundation