The outbreak of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has created a lot of anxiety and uncertainty for all of us, including children and teens.
Get the most credible information you can. Focus on fact-based, helpful information about the virus. Avoid endless social media streams, which can be filled with misinformation, and constant breaking news headlines, which can fuel your concerns. Stay up to date with notices from your child’s school, your state, and your city or town. Anxiety is best contained if you know the guidelines for protecting you and your loved ones, including hand washing, cleaning surfaces, use of sanitizers, whether you or your family need to be in isolation, and what supplies you should have at home in case you are quarantined.
Talk with folks who support you. This could be your partner, a parent, a friend, a spiritual leader, or another trusted adult you can confide in.
Take care of your physical health. Get a good amount of sleep and exercise and use other ways to reduce anxiety, such as meditation, yoga, listening to music, or watching a TV show.
Kids may have all sorts of reactions to the COVID-19. Some may be realistic, while others exaggerated. For example, if grandma is in a nursing home, they may have heard that older adults get sicker than healthier, younger individuals. You need to be capable to acknowledge this valid concern, but can reassure them that grandma has the best medical care to manage the illness.
Control Your Own Anxiety
Many of us are worried about the current condition and living with uncertainty isn’t easy. Yet, anxiety is “contagious.” Your kids will know that you are nervous even if you try to hide it. So how can you keep your cool, despite your own worries?
This outbreak is likely to last a long time, so one conversation won’t be enough. At first, your child’s emotional reactions will outweigh their thoughts and concerns. As the outbreak continues and your kids get new information, they will essential to talk again. Let them know they can come to you at any time with questions or worries.
Help them practice mindfulness
Mindfulness techniques can be very helpful in this kind of condition, where our routines are disrupted and we may feel overwhelmed by frustration and disappointment. Mindfulness teaches us to tune into our emotions in any given moment and experience them without judgment.