With long periods of uncertainty, it’s important to take control of the moments you can. By diving into long-term projects, finding humor in each day or simply reminding yourself this is temporary, you can capture small moments of control during chaotic times.
This is our third and final blog in a series of mental health wellness tips to help you and your children get through this difficult time. If you’re interested in additional tips, check out our previous blogs that suggest ways to “regain normalcy” and find balance!
Here are suggested mental health tips
- Find something you can control. In moments of uncertainty, control at least one little corner of the world. Organize your bookshelf, purge your closet, put together furniture or group your toys. It helps anchor and ground us.
- Dive into a project. Find something that allows you to take breaks from the outside world. Now’s the time to learn how to play the keyboard, put together a huge jigsaw puzzle, paint a picture, read the Harry Potter series, binge watch an eight-season show or develop a new town in Animal Crossing.
- Engage in movement. Research has shown that repetitive movement (knitting, coloring, painting, clay sculpting, jump roping, etc.) and left-right movement (running, drumming, skating, hopping) can be effective at self-regulating moments of distress.
- Express in the arts. Find something that is creative ― sculpting, drawing, dancing, singing or playing ― and give it your all. It’s an effective way of helping kids to emote and communicate as well!
- Find humor in each day. You can worry about a lot of things. Counteract the anxiety by finding something funny each day: cat videos on YouTube or a stand-up comedy show on Netflix. We all need a little comedic relief every day.
- Ask for help. If you’re having difficulty coping, seek out help. If you’re struggling with teaching your children from home, seek out support groups of fellow home-schoolers, parents and neighbors to feel connected. There’s help and support out there, any time of the day. Although we’re physically distant, we can always connect virtually.
- Take it moment by moment. We don’t know what the world will look like in one day, one week or one month from now. One way to deal with uncertainty is with a strategy called “chunking” ― focusing on a challenge that feels manageable. Take each chunk one at a time and move through the stress in pieces.
- Remind yourself this is temporary. Please take time to remind yourself that although this is a difficult time, it will pass. We will return to feeing free, safe, busy and connected.
- Find the lesson. This pandemic can feel sad and senseless. We need to focus on the possible positive outcomes instead of the negative. What can each of us learn, in both big and small ways? What do we need to change in ourselves, our homes, our communities and our country?