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COVID-19 AND CHILDREN

If you are struggling with a sense of isolation and anxiety that comes with quarantining during this pandemic, you are not alone.  Your kids are likely dealing with this too.   And we are so glad that you have clicked on this page.  COVID-19 is causing everyone to suffer mentally.  While adults can often cope with increased stress, our children often manifest symptoms of stress that go unnoticed or misinterpreted.

SYMPTOMS

For Adults

COVID-19 can really impact your overall mental health.  According ot he CDC, many adults who have never, or rarely, experienced mental illness now have feelings associated with depression and anxiety such as:

      • Fear and worry about:
        • Your health and the health of your loved ones
        • Your financial situation or job
        • Loss of support services that you rely on
      • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
      • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
      • Worsening of chronic health problems
      • Worsening of mental health conditions
      • Increased substance use (including tobacco and alcohol included)

For Children

Your children are likely having similar worries.  However, children have a more difficult time identifying their feelings.  Anxiety and worry in children can often look like the following:

      • Increased irritability
      • Frustration
      • Silence/ closed off
      • Attention seeking behavior

HOW TO HELP YOUR CHILDREN

In order to help your children you must first help yourself.  Parents play such an important role in helping their children cope with the world around them.  But it isn’t just what you do that makes a difference; it’s how you respond to the world yourself.  Children are keen investigators of feelings.  They pick up on the tone of your voice and your facial expressions.  They likely know something is wrong before you say a word.  In order keep your child’s anxiety at bay, you must first keep yours from overtaking your life.

Control your anxiety first

      • Find a friend or partner that you can talk to about your worries
      • Minimize the amount and type of news you consume in a day
      • Do meaningful things with your free time:
        • Read
        • Listen to music         
        • Learn a new skill
        • Create art/ write
        • Play games/ do puzzles
        • Cook something new

 Help your children tame anxiety

      • Create a healthy routine for them (a visual chart and prizes help!)
        • Get dressed
        • Connect with loved ones (call a grandparent, cousin, etc.)
        • Move your body
        • Practice good hygiene
        • Practice good sleeping habits (strict bedtimes are a good thing!)
      • Stay connected with others
        • Maintain friends and interest groups (by video chat, phone, social media, email)
        • Offer to help others (write cards to essential workers, mow a neighbor’s lawn, bake a special treat for a friend)
        • Connect with a spiritual or religious community
      • When talking with one another, leave your phones and tablets in another room.

HELP IS CLOSER THAN YOU THINK

If you or your children are struggling and need our professional help, we are here.

Please give us a call if you become frustrated with your child’s behavior or if your child’s worrisome behavior increases.

To schedule an appointment call:

434-477-5000 

Walk-in Appointments:

Horizon Wellness Center at Langhorne
2215 Langhorne Rd., Lynchburg

Monday – Friday
8 am – 3:30 pm