COVID has created its latest disruption in our lives again with the Omicron virus variant wave. We need to be prepared and make sure our loved ones are too to deal with the current scenario. We have compiled a few suggestions from UNICEF for children along with some from us to help you cope with the chaos.
[UNICEF] What are the mental health aspects I should look out for as my child faces another lockdown?
In addition to checking in on your child’s physical health and learning when she goes back to school, you should also keep an eye out for signs of stress and anxiety. COVID-19 may be impacting your child’s mental health, and it’s important to demonstrate that it’s normal to feel overwhelmed at times. When in doubt, empathy and support are the way to go. Remind your children that everyone deserves to be safe, be it school or online. Bullying is always wrong and we should each do our part to spread kindness and support each other.
[UNICEF] How can I gently check-in to see how my child is coping?
It’s important to be calm and proactive in your conversations with children – check in with them to see how they are doing. Their emotions will change regularly and you need to show them that’s okay.
Whether at school or at home, caregivers can engage children in creative activities, such as playing and drawing, to help them express and communicate any negative feelings they may be experiencing in a safe and supportive environment. This helps children find positive ways to express difficult feelings such as anger, fear or sadness.
As children often take their emotional cues from the key adults in their lives – including parents and teachers – it is important that adults manage their own emotions well and remain calm, listen to children’s concerns, speak kindly and reassure them.
Recommendations from WHO that we hope you will find useful.
- Stay informed. Follow the regulations and recommendations your local and national authorities are advising. Keep up-to-date with the latest news from @WHO on social media.
- Maintain a routine. Make new ones or ensure you keep following the ones you have right now.
- Try to go to sleep and wake up at fixed times.
- Maintain good personal hygiene.
- Eat nutritious meals regularly.
- Do your workout, in one form or another.
- Maintain work-life balance if you’re working from home.
- Do things that you really enjoy.
- Reduce newsfeeds. Though it is important to be informed about what’s happening around you, immense news consumption can have harmful effects on your mental health. Instead, make sure you try to get a newsfeed maybe once or twice a day.
- Stay in touch. Only your movements are restricted, stay in touch with people close to you over calls or social media.
- Alcohol and Drugs. Try not to drink alcohol at all, or at least reduce the amount of consumption. Alcohol cannot help you with anxiety or stress. In fact, they can only make it worse. Also, be aware that alcohol and drug use may prevent you from taking sufficient precautions to protect yourself again infection, such as compliance with hand hygiene.
- Screen time. Be aware of how much time you spend in front of laptop and mobile screens. Do take regular breaks from screens.
- Social media. Use your social media accounts to promote positive and hopeful stories. Try to point out or correct misinformation wherever you happen to see it.
- Help others. If able, offer support those who need it, it could even be with food shopping.
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