When you child has anxiety, everyday life can sometimes be a challenge. In today's Coronavirus changed world, it can be terrifying.
My daughter has extreme anxiety. She's come so far in learning how to deal with it and the triggers that can set her off but these days seem to be a daily barrage of assaults. Her already teetering depression can easily plummet into despair. I knew I had to find a way to help her stay focus and okay, but how?
- Keep Your Place a Safe Place. In our house, we made a "sanitation station" where anyone who was to enter our house had to remove their shoes, put on the slipper we provided, leave their jackets outside, and spray their bags with disinfectant, as well as immediately go in the bathroom and wash their hands. We leave the televisions off. We decided as a family to stay out of public places as much as we can. we check in with each other, often.
- Control what you can. Wash your hands. Remind others to wash theirs. So many things are out of our control, schooling, shopping, and seeing people. It's important to take charge of what we CAN control. Turn off the news. Limit social media. Make short term plans: Tomorrow we'll make pancakes for breakfast, and go for a walk after lunch. Wash your hands and have others wash theirs. Make a menu to plan meals. Take care of each other.
- Stay In Today. A lot of scary things are happening these days, and it's easy for our kids (and ourselves) to think ahead about what COULD happen. Stay in TODAY and be mindful on what's happening today.
- Get outside. Go for a walk! Or do anything outside, really. Spring is starting, so getting a head start on yard work is a good idea, and therapeutic. Not only are you getting stuff done, but the Vitamin D is beneficial to mental health!
- Reach Out To Others Talk to friends on the phone, face time, or text. Tell them it's okay to feel scared or sad or even mad about what' happening, but that your'e there to help them through it.
- Make a Plan With Your Doctors. Isolation and fear can absolutely trigger depression and anxiety, so having a plan with their mental health providers for either telephone of video sessions or a written plan would be helpful. Just knowing that someone else is there to help can be a huge stress relief.
The world isn't ending, but the world as we knew it, is. Meeting the new world head on is scary and challenging, but not impossible.