With everything we are facing in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and all of the uncertainty that comes with it, stress and anxiety levels are on the rise. Our routines have shifted and new priorities have risen to the top of the heap. And then we have the children in our care to consider–how is all of this affecting them?
This week, we wanted to offer some tips and suggestions, as well as some resources and reminders, that may help ease the stress and anxiety everyone is experiencing. This is a great opportunity to develop new skills and pull together as a family to help navigate the weeks and months ahead.
- Be patient with yourself and the children you are caring for. This is new territory for everyone. Mistakes will be made during this adjustment period. Each day is a new opportunity to apply what you’re learning.
- Take every opportunity to spend as much time as you can outside each day. Exercise and fresh air are great for relieving anxiety and improving your mood. Outdoor activity is also an excellent way for kids (and parents) to expend all that energy!
- Replace activities that are currently on hold with new family activities. Each family member gets to choose an activity for their designated day. Host game night, movie night, a day at the park, “virtual” field trips, a new craft idea, cooking “show,” or science experiment.
- Parents and kids all “working” from home? Create individual “office” or “classroom” space where everyone has their own place with their own things to do work, homework and projects.
- Prioritize and take it one task at a time. Your “To Do” list more than likely looks much different than it did even a week ago. Give yourself the permission, time, and space to regroup, rearrange, and come up with a new “To Do” list.
- Maintain the routines you can, and have fun with collectively creating new ones.
- Stay connected. Schedule “virtual” play dates and online visits with loved ones. There are a number of apps that allow family and friends to stay connected.
- Think of ways, as a family, you can reach out to others. Make cards or drawings to send to nursing homes, or help with yard clean-up for an elderly neighbor.
Credit for this article goes to the Coalition for Children, Youth and Families