by Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas, Inc.
1. Give Yourself Some Grace
Accept that this is not going to be the most productive time in your life. It is okay if all you do during this time is simply get your family through each day and make sure everyone remains safe and healthy and has their basic needs met.
2. Aim for Routine and Structure
During these uncertain times, some families find it helpful to maintain a daily routine. Develop a schedule that includes time for schoolwork, breaks, eating, and playtime. While structure can be helpful, it’s also important to be flexible and give yourself and your children permission to relax the routine as needed.
3. Talk to Your Children
Take time to speak with your children about the COVID-19 pandemic in developmentally appropriate ways. Reassure your child that it is okay to feel upset and let them know they are safe, protected, and supported.
4. Take Care of Your Body
As hard as it may be, focus on the basics like getting enough sleep, eating fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of water, and getting some exercise each day.
5. Spend Time Outside
If possible, try to spend some time outside every day when the weather permits. Fresh air, nature, and sunshine can boost your mood, and being outside can give everyone a much-needed change in scenery. Going for walks, planning a picnic, or playing a game of tag are all safe options as long as everyone keeps a 6-foot distance from people outside of their household.
6. Find Support
Socialization and self-care are vital in helping reduce stress levels. Schedule calls and video chats with friends, family members, or other parents. If possible, schedule virtual playtime with friends for your child as well or find ways for them to stay connected with their teachers and other school staff virtually.
7. Take News Breaks
It’s easy to get overwhelmed and experience feelings of anxiety and hopelessness when reading or hearing about COVID-19 frequently throughout the day. Try to find the right balance regarding how much news content you need and limiting your exposure to the information you find particularly upsetting. Taking breaks from social media can be helpful too.
8. Look for the Bright Spots
It can be hard to stay positive right now, but take time to acknowledge what is going well for your family and find opportunities to make the best of the situation. You may find that you have more time to connect with family in new and creative ways. Do a project together, plan a family game night, or cook a meal together.
9. Pay Attention to How You Are Feeling
Be mindful of your feelings and recognize when your stress levels are reaching capacity. If you feel frustrated or angry with your child, take a break, walk away, & find a way to calm down. Do not lash out at your child in a way you may regret later.
10. Ask For Help
Many counselors and support groups have transitioned to virtual services to help people cope while staying safe. It is always okay to reach out for help.