While sheltering at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, the best way to protect your family’s health and safety is by practicing good hygiene, taking preventive measures such as social distancing, prioritizing immunity, both through healthy food and movement, and by proactively protecting the mental well-being of you and your children. Science has shown that both parents and children are vulnerable to psychiatric distress at times like this.
More than the adults, it is important to be proactive about minimizing stress for children to maintain a healthy mental well-being. I would like to share something which will help you to minimize stress for your kids during the pandemic:
▪ Talk with kids about what they miss the most and what their strengths were before the quarantine to see if there are ways to put them in touch with those things and build on them.
▪ Look for new sources of support -- either through tele-health counseling or increased video chats and phone calls with friends and family.
▪ Get creative. Online art therapy sessions are a great outlet to help the children to be creative and express themselves. Drawing, colouring, and painting are calming activities than can be done by others at home, too.
▪ Take virtual tours of places like aquariums and zoos. If you have access to the internet, these are encouraging, calming, and hopeful for children.
▪ Try not to watch the news in front of children, and limit pandemic-related conversations in front of them.
▪ Encourage children to focus on the present and what’s real, vs. their fears, and discuss or write down five things they are grateful for each day.
More than anything love, care and support from the family is the best therapy.
(My artwork of a quarantined kid looking out of the window depicts her anxiety and stress, while facing something that she never experienced or expected. It also depicts her desire to be the one who she was before quarantine and her thirst to fill her life with what she is missing or lacking today)