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Health Information For Parents
If you feel stressed about coronavirus, you’re not alone. Coronavirus (COVID-19) has had ripple effects into almost every aspect of our lives. With schools and workplaces closed for now, it’s affected the way we live every day. So much has changed in such a short time.
It’s natural to feel anxiety when we face a crisis, the unknown, or sudden change. It’s a normal reaction to feel the need for safety, certainty, predictability, and control.
Anxiety is a normal emotion and serves as a signal to pay attention so we can protect ourselves. Anxiety alerts us. It prompts us to adapt. But when we’re overwhelmed by anxiety, it sometimes can do more harm than good.
When anxiety becomes overwhelming, we’re less able to rise to a challenge, and sometimes we get stuck.
Here are some tips that can help you cope with anxiety and give you a sense of control even during an uncertain time. Many are simple techniques with proven benefits.
Follow the advice of experts. First, know what to do to avoid the spread of germs. This not only helps keep you safer, it gives you and your kids a sense of control! Follow the expert guidelines for health and safety. Wash your hands well and often. Keep surfaces clean. Stay at home. Keep a safe distance from others. When you do these things, you protect yourself, your family, and your community.
Notice, label, and accept your emotions. When you feel anxious, quietly say to yourself, “OK, there’s my anxiety again.” Just putting a label on what we feel helps reduce our concern.
Accept anxiety as one of your many emotions. Don’t ignore it, fight it, reject it, or be afraid of it. Don’t judge yourself for feeling it. Be kind. Give yourself permission to be human.
Keep it in perspective and notice the good. Don’t let anxiety run the show. It’s one part of your emotional life, but it’s not the whole thing. Leave room to challenge yourself: Is there anything going well? What positive things have happened that make me think this anxious thought might not be accurate?
Direct your attention or practice mindfulness. When you notice anxious thoughts, know that you don’t have to dwell on them. Direct your attention to things that help you feel calm. You can use techniques such as guided imagery (easily found on YouTube or Google Video) or mindfulness practices that help you focus on being in the moment.
Practice breathing. Just pausing to take a breath can calm you in a difficult moment. It can help you pause before you react, and choose how to react. Specifically, “belly breathing” or diaphragmatic breathing is most helpful. Practice for 5–10 minutes a day. Try an app like “Belly Bio” that is free to download.
Reach out to others. Staying in touch with friends and family is good for you and for them. Feeling close to others reduces anxiety, and has been known to boost the immune system. Even though we’re staying home, we can reach out by phone, video chat, or social media. We can feel close, even while we’re apart. Practice physical distancing, but social togetherness.
Practice gratitude. Noticing what we’re grateful for is a powerful remedy to anxiety. Showing gratitude is another way to feel close to others. It benefits your mood and your health. Say a simple heartfelt thank-you. Make a list of what you’re grateful for. Send a letter to someone who’s helped you. Let loved ones know how much they mean to you.
Be awed by nature. Even 5 minutes spent appreciating nature can lower anxiety and blood pressure. It raises emotional well-being. It reminds us we are part of something bigger than ourselves.
Be active. Even though we are staying at home, find ways to be active every day. There are plenty of ways to be active outdoors and still practice social distancing. Exercise relaxes you. It generates hormones that boost the body’s immune system. If you can’t get out, take a fitness class online.
Keep your balance. Calming anxiety doesn’t mean ignoring problems. It’s about finding our balance so we can cope well; so we can help ourselves and each other though this situation. We can find calm and well-being even when we face great uncertainty.
Know when to reach out for help. If your anxiety seems overwhelming — if you’re having trouble sleeping, eating, or interacting in the ways you normally would — get help. Most behavioral health providers are offering telehealth visits during this time and can schedule with new patients. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help during this stressful time!
The coronavirus (COVID-19) is making people sick with flu-like symptoms. Read this article to learn how to protect your family, and to know when to call your doctor.
Your kids are hearing about coronavirus (COVID-19). To make sure they get reliable information, here’s how to talk about it.
All kids to worry at times, and some may worry more than others. But parents can help kids manage worry and tackle everyday problems with ease. Find out how.
Being a kid doesn’t always mean being carefree – even the youngest tots worry. Find out what stresses kids out and how to help them cope.
Anxiety is a normal part of growing up, and all kids experience it. But when it becomes extreme, it can interfere with a child’s overall happiness.
Now that coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading through communities in many countries, the best way to fight this spread is for everyone to practice social distancing. Here’s what that means.
Preparing for coronavirus means being ready to stay home. Here’s how to do that.
We’re learning more about coronavirus (COVID-19) every day. Here are answers to some questions you may have about symptoms, care, and protecting your family.
Here are the 4 best ways everyone (including kids) can help stop coronavirus.
Anyone who is sick â even if they don’t know for sure they have coronavirus (COVID-19) â should stay home unless they need medical care. This helps prevent the illness from spreading to others.
Looking for information about coronavirus (COVID-19)? Find articles and videos that explain what this virus is, how to prepare for it, how to talk to kids about it, and much more.
Did you know that the most important thing you can do to keep from getting sick is to wash your hands? If you don’t wash your hands frequently, you can pick up germs from other sources and then infect yourself.
Washing your hands well and often is the best way to keep from getting sick. Here’s how to teach this all-important habit to your kids.
Optimists see the good in things — and science has discovered that optimists can do better in life. The good news is, even pessimists can be more optimistic. Find out how.
How well we get through a stressful situation depends a lot on us. It’s how we deal with that makes all the difference. Here are some ways to understand and manage stress.
We all get worried or nervous about things. Here are 5 ways to control anxiety.
Washing your hands is the best way to stop germs from spreading. Learn all about the best way to wash your hands in this article for kids.
Everyday stressors have a way of piling up if we don’t keep them in check. Adding these 5 simple actions to your regular routine can help you avoid that “bogged down by stress” feeling.
Anxiety is a natural part of life, and most of us experience it from time to time. But for some people, anxiety can be extreme.
There’s good stress and bad stress. Find out what’s what and learn practical ways to cope in this article.
Have you ever been afraid? Everyone gets scared sometimes. Find out more about fear in this article for kids.
Everyone worries, but would you like to worry less? Find out more in this article for kids.
Everybody gets stressed from time to time. This article for kids has some tips for you to try the next time you’re stressed.
Telehealth is changing health care. Find out how things like video doctor visits can benefit you and your family.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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