This year has been unpredictable. COVID-19 has created and will continue to create uncertainty which can amplify anxiety and elevate feelings. Earlier this year, I encouraged families to begin the school year with a fresh perspective. As we continue to manage our mental health in this COVID-10 era, here is a brief reminder of some mental health strategies that we can use as we finish out the school year:
- Keep an open dialogue. You may not have the answer for your child, but if you can keep the conversation going it will help with anxious feelings and thoughts. It is important that your child feels comfortable talking to you about their fears and worries.
- Limit television coverage, social media and news exposure. It can be alarming and there is a lot of misinformation. If you have an older child that researches on their own, discuss what they’ve seen or heard so you have an understanding of what they have been exposed to.
- You may feel elevated or anxious yourself. A key thing to remember is that anxiety feeds anxiety. It is important to talk to your child with confidence and not avoidance. The more you avoid the topic the more fearful your child may become.
- Doing calming strategies together is important. They will help you and your child return to baseline. Your child will feel more comfortable and confident if they see their caregiver engaging in these strategies. It is an activity that can become a habit and family focused.
“At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.” — Jane D. Hull
About The Author: Katie Thormodsgaard, MSW, LICSW
Katie holds a Master's degree in social work from the University of St. Thomas/St. Catherine in St. Paul, MN. She is the Director of Therapy Services at Academy of Whole Learning.
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