Best Ways to Reduce Stress and Anxiety while Coping with COVID-19
During these uncertain times, it’s no wonder that many students, parents, and teachers are facing anxiety in some way or another. With the news that many schools are out for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 virus, questions arise such as “How will I teach my child/student while at home?” and “What are the best ways to keep them healthy?”. We are all experiencing stress and everyone reacts to it differently, but it’s how we all cope with our anxiety during these turbulent times that will make us a stronger community in the end. Below are a few ways that will help us cope and decrease these stress levels.
- Take breaks from social media/news.
With Facebook and the news at our fingertips, it’s hard not to constantly check and see what is going on in the world. Instead of reaching for the phone or flipping on the TV, go for a walk or read a book instead. Listening to soothing music and meditating can also put your mind at ease.
- Eat a well-balanced diet.
By eating a well-balanced diet and giving your body the proper nutrients, you are helping to keep yourself and your family healthy from day to day. This is especially important now! Minimize the number of trips to your pantry, and choose to snack on fruit and vegetables. Remember, the more colors on your plate, the more vitamins you will eat!
- Keep in contact with loved ones.
Even though keeping in contact with loved ones may look a little different than it has in the past, it is still important for us to keep it up. Calling and video chatting with those we love and just talking to your friends and family about worries and concerns can make a world of difference. Check-in daily and spread positive vibes!
- Continue your daily routine.
Though easier said than done, try and keep your daily routine as you would on any normal day. Wake up the kids, dress them, and feed them a nutritional breakfast. Help them do some school-based activities or ensure they are working on their eLearning lessons. Take advantage of the free educational resources that are available online – museum tours, concerts, and exercise videos. And, don’t forget to enjoy fun and relaxing family time!
- Exercise and get plenty of sleep.
While staying at home, it is easy to choose sitting on the couch over taking a walk. However now, it is more important than ever to get plenty of exercise! By keeping active, you will strengthen your body and improve your mood. This is your chance for a family walk, bike ride, or a friendly game of basketball with your kids. Also, make sure to get plenty of sleep to allow your body to recover. That TV series will be there for you to finish tomorrow…
- Be a role model.
These are unprecedented times for everyone, but for kids and teens, the world is especially confusing right now. They are looking to you to guide, comfort, and to lead them by example! Children take cues from their parents and learn how to react by observing. So set a daily routine, eat well, exercise, and stay positive.
Here are a few resources that you may find helpful in decreasing stress and anxiety for your family as you cope with the COVID-19:
- Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource.
- Child Therapist has published “Coping skills for kids, teens, and adults” resources to help deal with anxiety and stress around Coronavirus (COVID-19). The site also contains resources to help adults talk with kids and teens about the virus.
- The NECSD SEL has created an online toolbox that contains useful information, tools, and resources to support your children in understanding and managing difficult emotions that may arise during this time while remaining active and engaged in social-emotional learning activities.
- Many education companies are offering Free subscriptions due to school closings. This site has a compilation of some amazing educational resources and fun activities (updated several times per day).
- EVERFI is offering Free digital lessons that can be used to support remote learning.
- The Choose Love Enrichment Program™ (CLEP) is available as a no-cost Infant-Toddler and Pre-K through 12th grade. Inspired expert educators joined together and created a social and emotional education program that incorporates the latest advances in neuroscience, mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and positive psychology to provide children the essential life skills that will help them succeed anywhere in the world, and to manage their response to any situation.
- Big Life Journal has created engaging resources that help kids develop growth and resilient mindset so they can face life’s challenges with confidence.
- Kid Yoga videos are giving teachers and parents an incredible tool to help children learn to manage stress.