5 Tips for Managing Coronavirus Anxiety in Kids
The Coronavirus outbreak is causing unprecedented stress for families around the world. Parents are quickly having to adapt to working from home, while also providing childcare. This can lead to added stress, tension, and anxiety. Here are a few quick ways you can help reassure your children and adolescents, as well as maintain your and their mental and emotional health during this unprecedented time.
Remember Peace River Center’s Crisis Line has been expanded to include emotional support during the COVID-19 outbreak. That free service is available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year by calling (863) 519-3744 or toll-free (800) 627-5906.
- Routines are key! During times of uncertainty, a consistent routine helps kids feel safe. It also builds in time for self-care. If old routines are not possible due to COVID-19 restrictions, look for new ways to create structure throughout the day.
- Keep it positive. “No school” might mean something different for parents. Keep your child in the loop with age-appropriate updates they will understand regarding the need for current restrictions and precautions. You might have to talk through why expectations of playdates aren’t a good idea right now. Emphasize that this means more time together with family. Get creative and highlight the opportunities for fun that are available.
- Checking-in helps with consistent communication. Asking vague questions will get you vague answers. Monitoring anxiety, restlessness, confusion, and even curiosity throughout the day helps to monitor if your little ones (or older ones) are feeling overwhelmed.
- Find your support system. You are not alone. Though it may look different now with the current safety precautions, there are still ways to lean on the people around you and to offer support to those you love. Technology is a great way to stay closely connected when you have to stay at least six feet (or farther) apart.
- Model healthy behavior for your child! This means taking care of yourself. Aim to get enough sleep, drink enough water, exercise, all the things you want for your child. They are watching. This also means giving yourself grace when you don’t reach your goal and finding a way to reset and start again.