The COVID-19 pandemic is a situation that is difficult for all of us. It is hard to know how to process this crisis for ourselves, and also know how to care for our children during this pandemic.
Here are some suggestions for coping with COVID-19 for parents and children:
1. Acknowledge your feelings, don’t judge them. We all have feelings of anxiety, fear, anger, helplessness, loss, grief. Be compassionate toward yourself.
2. Keep a routine which fosters a sense of security and semblance of normalcy for you and your children. Keep bedtimes and waking up times the same, eat meals together. Time for e-learning.
3. Exercise. Get fresh air and keep social distance.
4. Engage your spiritual practice.
5. Find time to be together and time to be alone, as needed.
6. Talk to your children about COVID-19. Listen to their feelings. Note their behavior as behavior communicates but can be confusing to adults.
7. Take several minutes during the day to be present to your children.
8. Breathe. If you engage in a mindfulness or meditation practice, keep going. If you don’t, there are many online apps that can help. Meditation and mindfulness are very helpful tools. Meditation takes many forms — it can be as simple as going for a walk and noticing new sights, smells, sounds. For children, blowing bubbles or singing all have components of breath work.
9. When possible, remember to laugh.
10. Stay connected to others, through Skype, Facetime, phone calls or written notes. We need each other now.