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Emotional care during Covid-19

Compiled by Tiffany Ruffin, PSYD

With so much unknown and constant change happening right now it is easy to feel overwhelmed. We know social connection is essential to happiness and health, which can make this time of social distancing especially difficult.

Looking for ways to feel more in control can help decrease some of this natural anxiety. Mindful breathing, in through your nose and out slowly through your mouth, is one way of increasing a sense of control. Creating and sticking to a routine and schedule can also help increase a sense of control.

Below are some quick tips to help take care of yourself during this time of social distancing.

  • Remember to stay connected.
    • Phone calls, e-mails, texting, video calls, and positive social media.
    • Limit news exposure and conversations focused solely on worries.
  • Intentionally engage in activities you enjoy daily.
    • Reading, music, games, cooking, crafts, podcasts, audiobooks, and tv.
    • Tell yourself "I am doing this to take care of myself" when engaging in these activities.
  • Get movement everyday.
    • Home workouts, yoga, walking outside if weather appropriate and approved to do so.
    • Play some fun music and dance.
  • Gratitude has been shown to have physical and mental health benefits.
    • For 30 days write down three things you are grateful for.
    • Write letters to friends/family expressing gratitude.
  • Free evidence-informed online apps can be found at www.mentalhealthapps.org.

Quick tips for keeping kids entertained while at home

  • Keep a routine and schedule as much as possible.
    • Write it out on a dry erase board, a calendar, or a sheet of paper as a visual reminder.
    • Engage kids in creating the schedule.
  • Creative activities.
    • Dance party, treasure hunt (hiding toys throughout house), build a fort, color, play games, tell stories.
    • Create a family vision board, write letters/draw pictures for seniors in long-term care homes, have everyone in family share gratitude each day.
  • Use online resources.
    • scholastic.com has daily learning activities.
    • Many websites list virtual field trips you can take as a family.

This can be a difficult time for everyone but remembering to take care of yourself can go a long way. It is okay to feel worried and stressed, what is important is what you do with those feelings. Finding ways to feel more in control and to feel connected in ways you can is important during this time of uncertainty.

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