Routines. Having a routine is good for you. Even if work and school schedules have changed, it doesn’t mean your day can’t have a sense of normalcy to it. Get up at the same time in the mornings and get ready for your day as you normally would. Create a schedule for school or work time. You may want to include chores, homework, activities, screen time, and bedtime. Consider adding some family game time or family exercise. A well-paced and thoughtful routine can be reassuring and comforting at any age.
Stay connected. Physical distancing is crucial right now in order to reduce the spread. But that doesn’t mean we need to lose contact with family and friends. We are so fortunate that we live in such a connected world. Technology affords us a way to contact educators, classmates and colleagues. Remember, your children likely miss their school peers; friends and neighbors are just a phone call or social media post away. This may be a time to relax family limits on phone and screen time, maybe just a little!
Limit exposure. While technology gives us a way to stay connected, it can also be overwhelming. Be sure you minimize your exposure to media outlets and avoid sites that may promote fear or panic. Some websites are notorious for providing false or distorted information. Remind yourself that everything they see on television or social media may not be the truth or the whole truth.
Keep talking. Keep open lines of communication with family and friends.
Consider contributing to the community. Many find that the best way to feel better themselves is to focus on the needs of others. Send a note of support to a friend or thanks to first responders or healthcare personnel.
Find support. Remember, these are difficult times and we all need to stay aware of our own physical and mental health. Stay close to personal sources of strength such as loved ones, family traditions and beliefs.
Here are some signs that may indicate that it is time for you to reach out for additional support for yourself or a loved one.
- expressing excessive anger, anxiety, worry or sadness
- significant changes in eating or sleeping patterns
- hyper-vigilance to one’s health or body
- feeling helpless
- difficulty concentrating or attending to tasks
- talking about or hurting self or others
Ask for help. Help is only a phone call away.
- Contact a trusted adult at school. We are all available by email or virtual conferences and phone calls.
- Contact your primary care physician or emotional crisis hotline for your area.
- For additional resources, you can speak to a trained counselor at SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800- 985-5990 or by texting TalkWithUS 66746.