There have been many changes lately as a result of COVID-19. Schools are closed. Many stores are closed. Kids can’t play outside with their friends. Many parents are working from home, or maybe they are healthcare workers working extra hours or self-isolating away from the rest of the family. It may feel like your normal life has been put on pause. All of these changes can be difficult for children and teens to understand. Many need support to cope, and ways to ward off mood changes and boredom. Below are a list of recommendations that you may find helpful to try in your home with your kids:
1. Stick to a routine/schedule
- It is important to stick to your normal routine when possible, this is especially true for sleep! Don’t stay up late at night and sleep in all day (Here is Maverick showing what an expert he is at sticking to his sleep routine)
- Try to make a plan for your day. Set a wake up time, have breakfast, plan an activity for the morning, lunch, afternoon activities and that will help the day go by more smoothly and with a better idea of what to expect.
2. Play games with your family
3. Read books
4. Practice Self Care
Self-care is so important and helps to lower stress and to cope with anxiety. Practice yoga, take a bath, try a new relaxation tool like deep breathing or visualization
Exercise. Try to get at least half an hour of physical activity every day. You can go for a walk, bike, run, scooter, hop scotch, skipping, or even set up a workout in your yard with difference exercises at different stations (jumping jacks, push ups, lunges)
6. Eat well
7. Learn a new skill
Take the time to learn a new skill. Have you been wanting to try knitting? Make jewelry? Play a new instrument? Magic tricks? Learn a new language? (there are lots of free apps and programs online!)
8. Keep busy
Keep busy with different activities such as arts and crafts, colouring, baking/cooking, puzzles, building forts, listen to music or have a dance party.
9. Keep in touch with your friends
Talk to your friends! Video chat and phone calls are a great idea. We may not be able to see friends in person right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay in touch with your friends. Even play a game with them over video.
Online Resources to Check Out:
- Dr. Strang’s youtube video series for kids (Q&A) https://www.youtube.com/user/nsgov/videos
- Child Mind Institute: https://childmind.org/article/supporting-kids-during-the-covid-19-crisis/
- Anxiety Canada: https://www.anxietycanada.com/articles/talking-to-kids-about-covid-19/