Written by Dr. Liz Matheis
Featured on DifferentDream.com
Anxiety tamers for a COVID-19 world. Who would have thought, 6 months ago, that a post title like this one would be commonplace? Not me and not today’s guest blogger, Liz Mathies. Yet here she is with 3 simple and practical anxiety tamers for a COVID-19 world.
COVID-19 rocked all of our worlds – and not in a good way. Many of us were already anxious, and this has added a new dimension to our daily life. Nobody wants to feel this tense and scared all the time. Our children, teens and young adults look to us, their parents, as guides for their reactions and interpretations of this pandemic. It’s important that we gain a handle on our reactions and create consistency and predictability for ourselves and our children. These 3 anxiety tamers for a COVID-19 world can help you do so.
#1: Find a Routine and Stick to It
In times like these, it’s very easy to change the routines and general rules about screen time, bedtime, wake time, snacks or whatever else. I urge you to maintain a similar schedule from day to day. Set a wake up time, a time for lunch (perhaps the same as your child’s school schedule), screen time and bedtime. If you can, try to mimic your child’s school schedule by having periods of time during which certain activities will take place.
It’s very easy for our children to be entertained by an iPad, television or computer, but stick to time limits. Create a visual schedule with times or durations for each activity and follow it throughout the day. Build downtime for you as well as your child so you aren’t overwhelmed.
Stick to your new or revised routine so that your child can rely on the familiar amidst the unfamiliar. Making changes takes another element of your child’s life and makes it even rockier. Don’t feel bad and don’t offer too many exceptions or special treats to make this time easier for your child. That can make this situation confusing and anxiety-provoking.