People all over the world have been quarantining during the past three -four months, naturally many changes have been made. During such a time of uncertainty these changes can be very stressful and scary. Additionally, being away from our loved ones or for some having to be with our loved ones for so long is another thing we’ve had to face.
Mental Health Issues
These factors, and many others like financial insecurity have created a very hard situation, where mental health issues like increased stress, and anxiety have increased. Issues like these cause a decreased in our immune systems along with other physiological problems. Such as increased blood pressure, which are not things we want or need during this global pandemic.
During these trying times parents are going through so many changes. Changes can be hard to accept during normal days but especially hard during a pandemic. Changes can make us feel helpless and like we have no control over what’s happening in our own lives. Parents are likely to experience a wide range of psychological symptoms including including low mood, insomnia, stress, anxiety, anger, irritability, emotional exhaustion, depression and post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSD). One study found 28% of quarantined parents displayed signs of “trauma-related mental health disorders”. These symptoms and feelings are completely normal to go through and feel. However, it’s important for parent to be able to recognise what they’re feeling and get the support and help they need in order to keep their children’s mental health and well-being in check.
Kid’s Mental Health
Just like parents, children are probably going through just as many changes as their parents this can mean they are likely to be experiencing worry, anxiety and fear. Although most schools in the Emirates have just ended, I think it important to realise the structure and stability that was offered during normal school. Studying from a distance has its challenges for both parents and children and will take time to get used to.
Additionally, attending school is important as it allows for social interacting and social support, social interactions are considered a big part of the growth and development of a child. Although the age of the child will play a big role in how things are dealt with and displayed the main issues and feeling are likely to be consistent and similar. This means parents will have to be on high alert if they have children of different ages to watch out for behavioural changes and be able to support them through these times.
I think it’s important to stay positive and find a way to live and cope with such difficulties so I will be including some tips to help parents.
The Best Strategies for Parents to Boost Their Mental Health
– Make time to talk with and discuss. COVID-19 with your children. Depending on the age and the maturity of the child this conversation can be different. Don’t feel pressured to talk about and explain everything to them, instead listen to their question and give simple straightforward answers in order to not overwhelm your child.
– Make time for yourself. This time doesn’t have to be much but do it consistently in order to stay calm and not overwhelm yourself as well. This time can be ten minutes in the morning or half an hour to exercise or a bath before bed.
– Maintain and implement routines. Having a routine can give you and your child control. Create not only a schedule for yourself but make time to sit with your child and ask them what they’d like to include in their schedules.
– Practice self-care. This is for both parents and children. Just like making time for yourself these things can be simple and straightforward but sometimes we forget how important they are. Self-care can be getting enough sleep, staying active, eating healthy, and staying in contact with family and loved ones.
– Limit exposure to news and media. Because so much is unknown about COVID-19 there tends to be so many rumours and false information. Instead of relying on media for updated information find reliable sources such as the CDC and stay up to date with your local news.
Keep calm & stay safe
shaikha – @mindfulness.ae