The outbreak of covid-19 has created stress and uncertainty for children, adults and families. For many people, the security and stability that comes from our daily routines and activities has been disrupted or changed. We are stuck between navigating excessive amounts of information while also being left with many unanswered questions. Altogether, this creates a recipe for distress that can be overwhelming to many individuals.
In the face of stress and trauma, we will respond by coping in different ways, some of which will be healthier and more effective than others. During this time, it is important to take steps to maintain our mental health and wellness.
Managing Your Mental Health
Consume Information Critically: Limit researching and reading information about the pandemic, particularly if you’re in a state of heightened emotion. Be mindful about talking and sharing information excessively, especially around children.
Get Proper Sleep, Nutrition & Hydration: Sleep, healthy food and enough water are the basics we need to function and maintain our physiological balance. Set small goals to restore your balance if you feel out of sync.
Develop a Routine: Establish some activities that are fun, productive and meaningful to give your day purpose and structure. Try to keep bedtimes and wake up times consistent.
Connect with Others: This may look different right now due to social distancing, but be creative in connecting with family and friends over the phone, social media and other virtual platforms.
Exercise: Aim to move your body for 30 minutes per day. In choosing exercise options, try to select something that is fun and accessible. Go for a walk, bike ride, learn a new dance, try a Youtube exercise video, etc.
Play: Find time for fun! Children and pets can be helpful teachers in this domain. Allow yourself and your family some time to be creative and silly. Have a dance party, wear costumes, or create a new art project. Play is the way that many children process their experiences, so allow for this important time.
When to Seek Professional Support
Some individuals may require extra support during these challenging times. If you or a family member are experiencing elevated levels of distress and/or struggling to function in your daily activities, it may be worth reaching out to seek some professional support.
How Counselling Can Help You and Your Family
Counsellors and psychologists are professionally trained to support individuals and families experiencing stress, anxiety and trauma. Although treatment is tailored to individual and family needs, counsellors and psychologists can offer specialized skills in the following areas:
- Emotion focused relationship support, including conflict resolution;
- Solution focused approaches to support problem solving;
- Strategies for tolerating distress and crisis;
- Developing mindfulness and relaxation skills;
- Skills to challenge unhelpful (negative or anxious) thinking styles;
At Compass Clinic, we are proud to support our clients during this time and welcome the opportunity to connect with new clients seeking additional support.