Maintaining Your Mental Health While Social Distancing
As we start a new week with our new normal of practicing social distancing you may be experiencing a Monday like you’ve never had before. Many of us are trying to not only work from home, but also care for our children and in some cases provide home schooling.
Here are a few tips to get this week started out on the right foot.
First of all start with a plan. We all do much better with structure. Structure and predictability decreases anxiety for ourselves as well as our children. It can help us navigate this new normal, in more positive ways.
Talk with your partner and your children about what the day will look like. How will we manage working from home? How will we structure home schooling, what limits should we put on screen time? How can we include physical activity in our day? How can we include rewards and self care? Having a discussion early on regarding expectations and including your children when appropriate can cut down on problems throughout the day.
Reassess and make changes necessary day to day as needed. Be flexible and understanding while maintaining some form of structure and predictability.
Make it positive - it’s important to our own mental health, as well as our children’s to be mindful of the way we model this difficult time. Being mindful of our own thoughts and behaviors will make kids feel safe. It’s OK to express your own frustration and worries to age appropriate children during this trying time, however don’t project those worried on your children and expose or bombard them with scary news stories. Reassure them that they will be okay and their family can learn some important lessons about family and faith. Look for the silver lining, like family time, personal and spiritual growth. The way we maneuver the challenges that the coming days will bring can have a lasting positive effect on our children and family.
Stay Connected. Talk about ways you can support others even though you can’t be together. Face-time grandparents and friends. Color or draw pictures and mail to local rest homes or hospitals. Write positive messages on your neighbors side walks with side walk chalk or paint rocks to distribute in yards.
Give yourself and your family grace. Remember that we are all trying to figure this out and we all manage stress in different ways. Look for changes in your child’s behaviors that might be indicators that they’re not managing these adjustments well. Be supportive with one another, check in with your partner, plan one on one time, don’t neglect your relationships, stay connected. Find ways to change your routine and make memories, have family game night, watch a movie with your spouse. Eat dinner outside ,go for family walks where everyone can get fresh air and a have change of scenery. Put on a family talent show. Make a list of “what to do when I feel bored." Think outside the box and have fun.
Take Care of yourself. It’s important to take care of your self while you take care of your family. Neglecting our self can have a way of spilling over onto our family. Practice good stress management. Be active and mindful of eating well balanced meals, journal, pray and communicate your needs to your partner. Remind yourself that we will get through this and in the process some really great lessons can be learned and your family can grow in amazing ways.
We are praying for our clients and community. We know this time of uncertainty is difficult.
We have already seen our communities come together and we are proud to be part of this community.
The clinicians at Reclaim Counseling and Wellness are continuing to provide mental health services via teletherapy, call our office today to schedule an appointment.
Reclaim Counseling & Wellness Team