My heart goes out to everyone suffering, small family owned businesses, those who lost their jobs, can’t be home with their kids, financial and childcare difficulties and ALL first responders etc. I’m going to continue sending resources to support emotional health during these tough times.
I am offering FREE group (Emotional Freedom Technique) sessions EVERY Friday to all come together as a community and support eachother in releasing some stress and anxiety and tap some away. Feel free to contact me to join and get Zoom link.
Being proactive, having honest conversations with our children aimed at keeping them informed but not overwhelmed is so needed right now as anxiety and stress is at it’s all time high. Modeling calmness to support our children’s emotional well-being during these unpredictable stressful times is priority and very difficult right now due to world crisis and changes happening daily.
National Association of School Psychologists and Child Mind institute provide great resources to do so, Click Here for guide.
Check in with your kids and allow them permission to feel and express emotions to support their well-being. Maintaining a sense of somewhat of a routine while they’re out of school and your working from home.
I found it a bit difficult as at first as I was to trying to make our schedule Pinterest perfect, realizing that was causing more stress and anxiety in our house. Now we have a simple routine every day to accomplish…Heres a pic of mine, so simple but so effective.
We are also very mindful of practicing and taking deliberate ACTION to take care of our emotional and physical health throughout the day. Listed below is great suggestions.
Here’s a list of great suggestions I wanted to share from Pamela McVeagh-Lally who is a founding partner of the SEL Consulting Collaborative:
Setting Success While At Home Together:
- Stick to a consistent routine daily. Set expectations about getting up, getting dressed, and eating breakfast. (Many schools are finding ways to set up food programs during closures.)
- Limit endless snacking. (We know this will be a tricky one for some of us who have stockpiled granola bars!)
- Create a schedule for each day with your children to break up the time. Include “class time” when they complete school work, dedicated time for play, physical exercise, and emotional and mental health activities (see “Coping Kit“ below for ideas). Though there’s no need for a rigid agenda, all family members can be soothed by a predictable structure.
- Put a limit on social media. Encourage staying connected to friends but not obsessively reading news or discussing the virus online.
- Don’t have the TV on in the background all day. The worry for children will escalate if they repeatedly hear and view adults panicking or reports of deaths.
- For children without their own phones, set up a FaceTime playdate with a friend and let them chat using your phone.
- Dedicate time every afternoon to organizing and cleaning up to keep chaos and germs at bay.
- Talk about and plan for ways in which you’ll deal with family arguments or sibling rivalry. Check out the Family Peace Rose for more.
- Make dinner together.
- Go old school! Have story time, play a board game, or try to learn a new language together during evening family time.
Create a family ‘Coping Kit” to deal with Anxiety
A “Coping Kit” includes practical strategies that empower children to manage difficult feelings productively. Depending on your child’s age and needs, their “Coping Kit” could include:
- This simple feelings wheel to accurately name and acknowledge emotions they may be experiencing. Remember, there are no “bad” emotions it’s ok for them to feel whatever they feel and your job is to help them use strategies to cope.
- Calming breathing techniques and mindfulness activities to reduce stress;
- Yoga,or other movement and stretching activities; Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
- Relaxation techniques like guided imagery or progressive muscle relaxation;
- Fun indoor physical activities and games;
- A private journal or sketchbook where they can express their emotions through writing or drawing;
- For older children, find a social cause to learn more about together and support remotely. Or cultivate compassion by encouraging them to reach out via phone or text to potentially isolated elderly family members, neighbors, or their peers who are home unsupervised; and
- Practical strategies to help maintain their physical health including: 1. Picking out a fidget bracelet, button, or other small wearable item (that can be disinfected daily) to redirect the urge to touch their face. 2. Choosing part of a song they love that is at least 20 seconds long to sing while washing their hands
Give yourself grace, nothing has to be perfect or same daily just being mindful to practice emotional health and making it priority is all you need to help support yourself and kids social emotional wellbeing.
Though we are practicing social distancing, remember to stay in touch with other parents and caregivers to share ideas, seek support, and stay connected! I created a private facebook page called Feeling Centered to help stay connected. Click here to join
I would love for you to share some tips and suggestions what is working for you.