Coronavirus has put us all into doubt and the constant news about the pandemic is making us feel anxious and stressed. All of this is taking toll on mental health and have increased stress and anxiety levels in children and adults in an unprecedented way. This is the time to do all we can to protect our mental health and the mental health of those we love.
As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, self-isolation or quarantine is one of the key tactics in reducing the infection rates. This lock down period has made families stay within their homes and not having physical contact with those outside. With the school and day-care getting closed, workplaces shutting and most of them working from home, families are experiencing longer days at home.
There are a lot of changes children are experiencing right now. There is disruption of normal activities like the sudden split from friends, including not being able to go to school, the park, play area and seeing the effects of stress on their parents. Children might not find easy to deal with change and some might find it extremely difficult. For parents trying to work from home, their ability to do so will rely on various factors from the age of their children and the nature of their work. The personality of parents and kids will also play a vital role in emotionally preparing kids during the coronavirus quarantine.
Here are few tips on how to help children get through this situation
Above all, take good care of your children’s health and ensure they get into the habit of washing their hands frequently and cover their mouth and nose with bent elbow when they cough or sneeze. Watch out for any symptoms of COVID 19 in your children and reach out to the doctor if required. Ensure child gets good sleep and eats healthy food. Try to be as honest as you can about the current situation and the virus as children thrive on honesty. Thus, creating experiences with mindfulness will ensure children’s emotional and psychological well-being are safeguarded at all times.
Contributed by Dr. Nishal Pinto, Clinical Psychologist, Columbia Asia Hospital Sarjapur Road