Mental Health in the Age of COVID-19: Tips for Self-Care
COVID-19 is constantly making the news everywhere we look. And we’ve all heard the advice from the CDC. Wash your hands for 20 seconds, don’t touch your face, avoid contact with people who are sick. The list goes on. But what about our mental health?
With schools closing and organizations cancelling events, emotions are running high. These kinds of drastic changes and high levels of uncertainty can evoke feelings of anxiety, fear, anger, and concern. So, what can we do to maintain our mental health? And how can we help our kids cope with anxiety in the age of COVID-19?
If we want to help our kids, we first have to help ourselves. Think of oxygen masks on an airplane. When the masks come down, we’ve all been instructed time and time again to put our own mask on first before assisting others. Emotions are no different. Research shows that our own internal states can impact the emotions of others. And it turns out that kids are experts at reading body language. So, even when we’re trying to hide our anxiety about COVID-19 or our fear for loves ones, kids are picking up on all the nonverbals we don’t even realize we’re communicating. And they internalize those observations about our emotions, often becoming anxious and fearful themselves.
But, there’s good news! There are many small things we can do to support our mental health, and all of them can be done while still practicing social distancing.
Limit unnecessary news consumption. It’s good to know what’s happening in the world but constant exposure to the endless stream of breaking news headlines can lead to unnecessary levels of