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Support during COVID-19

4 Tips for Mental Wellness During Quarantine

With the continued news coverage of the coronavirus, we are able to stay informed of the latest updates and ways we can continue to do our part in helping to stop the spread. Right now, a large focus has been on the importance of social distancing. People are coming up with creative ways to still interact with each other during this time while they cannot be physically in the same location. Virtual game nights with extended family members and neighbors having a picnic dinner on their respective lawns are just a few of these many inspired ideas.  During this time of social distancing, however, many of us have questions. You may find yourself asking how things will proceed with your job, how will distance learning look for my children, and how my family is going to be impacted. Not being able to answer these questions may have you feeling at a loss and not in control. This uncertainty may lead to anxiety which in turn can impact your mental health, and if left unaddressed, could have a ripple effect on many aspects of daily life. If you can relate to this message, we want you to know that you are not alone and we are here for you. At Think Happy Live Healthy, we wanted to share a few tips that you may find helpful during this time and may even find yourself revisiting in the future: Self-Care You are likely aware of some variation of the expression that indicates in order to best help others you must first help yourself. To help combat the anxiety and stress you may currently be feeling, it is especially important to find time during the day to engage in self-care activities. You may find yourself needing to build in more time than you usually would to devote to self-care.  If this was not part of your daily routine before, you may be asking yourself, “How am I going to make time for this now?” For starters, pick something you enjoy doing, choose a consistent time during the day, and devote an amount of time that you feel is reasonable to work into your schedule. Engaging in self-care is telling yourself that you and your mental health are a priority.  Time with Family While increased time with family during social distancing may present its own unique challenges, not all families are able to find themselves in the position where they can be at home more with their loved ones.  It can be helpful to step back and look at the big picture. If during this time you are able to spend more time with your kids, this awareness may help you to not sweat the small stuff. During this time at home, many children and adolescents are experiencing an emotional roller coaster which often is being manifested in their behavior. Small, seemingly inconsequential requests may receive hostile responses from your child.  What they are really needing and looking to adults for is setting the tone and helping them re-establish a sense of security that they are lacking when their daily schedules and future plans are being put on hold. While quality time with family may not include all the entertainment options that it once did before, it is still necessary that social interactions in the home setting continue to take place without electronics present.  Daily Routines  While daily routines may now look vastly different than they did prior to a few months ago, establishing a manageable routine for both yourself and your children will help set the foundation for the rest of the day.  Trying to keep a consistent sleep schedule, meals with family, and time for exercise and self-care are all good things to have as part of your schedule. While certain parts of the day may already be determined for you children (i.e. class time for distance learning), other times you could have flexibility to determine what should be included as part of the routine. It may be helpful to enlist input from your child when creating the schedule. While we know kids will have increased access to technology, incorporating a designated amount of screen time into the schedule could help with ensuring that children do not spend most of their days on devices.  Celebrating Small Achievements  While you may be giving yourself a hard time or thinking that you are not doing enough, we are here to tell you… just keep going! Recognizing and celebrating small achievements for yourself and your kids is crucial each day. Did you get up on time today? Did your kids get exercise? Did your child say “I’m sorry” after exhibiting inappropriate behavior? Showing ourselves kindness and encouragement will help us to show others the same. We are all in this together! Please contact Think Happy Live Healthy at  703-942-9311 or if you are interested in yourself or your child receiving therapy services during this time. We continue to hold teletherapy sessions which are covered by BCBS/Carefirst insurance. 

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