Helping your kids manage stress and anxiety during COVID-19

The start of the school year has always been an anxious time for our children. Now, more than ever, there is concern and worry about what is (and isn’t) happening for children as the school year gets underway.

The decision to remain virtual for many schools this fall semester has created feelings of great disappointment and grief among children. They are sad about not seeing friends again and grieving the loss of all of the normal, fun experiences usually brought on by a new school year. With sports, clubs, dances, field trips, music, plays, and so much more put on “pause” for the foreseeable future, children might be feeling like there isn’t much to look forward to in the coming months. There is also worry about how well they will learn and retain information from virtual studies, in addition to being devoid of basic human connection and peer socialization as a result of remote learning.

It is important to offer some comfort and reassurance to children who may be overwhelmed by the changes in routine that are bringing so many negative emotions. Here are a few stress busters to help relax and bring about mindfulness during these times:

Have open discussions to let out thoughts and feelings. Bottling up stress and anxiety results in an overwhelming and constant state of nerves and negativity. It is important to hear out their worries and discuss what you and your children can do together to combat these fears and ease their minds.

Keep a constant routine that includes consistent reassurance. Taking classes from home can start to feel like a summer vacation when there is not a lot of schedule and routine. In order to maintain motivation and keep chaos as low as possible, a routine can help kids get into the groove of online schooling. Consistent reassurance that they are doing well during these uncertain times can help with their confidence when days get stressful, and can make them feel as though you are in this together, as a team.

Go outside and release energy. To work, sleep, eat, and play in the same place all day can become old fast. Especially when emotions start shooting up to an all time high. Be sure to take some time to release that pent up energy outside by going for a walk or playing games and sports. It will be good for everyone, not just physically, but mentally by boosting those endorphins, the happy hormone!

Laugh/Be Silly. Between the constant, changing news and all of the schoolwork, it is easy to forget to relax. But taking this one step further will help your kids feel normal again by taking a second to just let loose, act silly, and LAUGH! Throw on a comedy, tell some jokes, make up some silly dance moves, whatever gets your kids minds off their work and brings a smile to their faces! Laughter is more powerful than we realize.

Squeeze and Release It. Playdough and stress balls are great tools to letting out frustrations. If your kids are starting to feel down, anxious, or angry about the things they are missing out on, let them take those frustrations out in a healthy way through play-do or stress balls. It will make all the difference in the world to let out those emotions.

If at any moment, these feelings of stress or anxiety become too much, Oasis is here to help. Request an appointment here.

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