Tips From Our Counselors About Navigating COVID-19 With Your Child

As we think about the impact of the coronavirus on our daily lives, whether directly or indirectly, it's important, now more than ever, to address our needs as adults, as well as our children's needs, in order to maintain a healthy state of mind and body. Here is some helpful advice and a few tips from Scott Gill, Director of Student Services at Rutgers Prep.

For many of us, the uncertainty that surrounds the coronavirus is one of the hardest parts. Although we don't know how exactly we'll be impacted or how bad things will get, there are things we can do to manage our and our children's anxiety and fears. Reinforcing the basics we know and understand will keep us well, such as eating healthy and getting plenty of sleep. Here are some additional tips for helping you and your child practice self-care in the face of the COVID-19:

  1. Stay informed—but don't obsess. It is essential to stay informed about what's happening, but constant monitoring of news can fuel anxiety rather than easing it. Consider limiting your media consumption if you start feeling overwhelmed.
     
  2. Be kind to yourself. Go easy on yourself if you're experiencing more depression or anxiety. You're not alone in your struggles.
     
  3. Maintain a routine as best as you can. Even if you're stuck at home, try to stick to your regular sleep, school, meal, or work schedule. 
     
  4. Take time out for the activities you enjoy. Read a book, play video games, watch tv, or perhaps try a new recipe.
     
  5. Stay connected. Isolation and loneliness can negatively impact our physical health. Make it a priority to stay in touch with friends and family.
     
  6. Focus on the things you can control. If you feel yourself getting caught up in fear of what might happen, shift your focus to something you can control.
     
  7. Get outside. Sunshine and fresh air will do you good. Even a walk around your neighborhood can make you feel better. 
     
  8. Find ways to exercise. Staying active will help you release anxiety, relieve stress, and manage your mood. While you can't go to the gym, you can still bike or walk or lift weights at home.
     
  9. Practice mindfulness. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation and yoga can bring you back to reduce your stress levels.
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