Concerns about your children’s health, cabin fever from being isolated, a disrupted routine, and exhaustion from staying at home with kids may add considerable stress in a parent’s life. This can lead to depression and anxiety.
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- Stay connected to the community. Being quarantined, even with family can be isolating. Talk to friends and extended family via phone and facetime.
- Try not to make assumptions.
- Follow reputable sources about the outbreak.
- Be cautious of social media and news stories.
- Talk to your children about this pandemic.
- If you are quarantined, engage in activities that bring you joy, such as reading a book, doing a new art project, reaching out to friends on social media, watching a movie, learning a new language.
- Talk about it.
Visit the following links for more information:
- Is the Coronavirus Impacting Our Mental Health? https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/happiness-is-state-mind/202003/is-the-coronavirus-impacting-our-mental-health
- How to Avoid Passing Anxiety on to Your Kids https://childmind.org/article/how-to-avoid-passing-anxiety-on-to-your-kids/
- Taking Care of Your Mental Health in the Face of Uncertainty https://afsp.org/taking-care-of-your-mental-health-in-the-face-of-uncertainty/
Free psychological support
In order to be a good parent to your child, it’s important to take care of yourself first. Here are resources that can help:
- The Crisis Text Line is a 24/7 service that’s text only. Their website also has support numbers and additional information. Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor. They are there to help. Lifehacker has a list of the top 10 free and affordable services for mental counseling: https://lifehacker.com/top-10-free-and-affordable-mental-health-and-counseling-1788814933
- Many cities have a number to call for free therapy that allows you to consult directly with a counselor. If you aren’t sure what hotline to call, you can call 211.
- It’s also possible that therapy may be covered by your employer or insurance. For more advice on strategies for finding free and affordable therapy, visit https://www.psycom.net/how-to-find-affordable-therapy/
Meditation can reduce stress, help control, anxiety, promote mental health, improve sleep and even help generate kindness. Plus, you can do it anywhere.MIT Medical recommends the following 5 apps to help reduce stress and preserve well-being. Most have free options or include 7-10 day free trials to get started.
- Headspace: Starts with the basics and teaches as it progresses
- Smiling Mind: Not-for-profit app designed by psychologists and educators
- iMindfulness: 3 meditations of different lengths available in English, Danish and Norwegian
- Mindfulness Daily: Helps integrate mindfulness meditation into your daily life
For more information on how Mindfulness can help, visit https://medical.mit.edu/stay-healthy-mit-stress-reduction/mindfulness-apps.