COVID-19 has put a damper on everybody’s life plans!
This darn virus will continue to affect our lives for years to come. We must pay back the loans we get to stay afloat. We will continue to grieve the loss of family members who succumbed to the virus. They will be dearly missed for years. Our idea of peace and safety will drastically change.
Not only has a fear of getting the virus increased our stress levels, but a whole host of other unforeseen problems contributes to increased stress. Stress wreaks havoc on our bodies, emotions, relationships, and behaviors.
According to the Mayo Clinic, stress causes headaches, muscle aches, chest pain, fatigue, change in sex drive, stomach upset, and sleep problems. We may experience more anxiety, sleeplessness, lack of motivation, irritability or anger, sadness or depression. We may overeat or under eat, have angry outbursts, misuse drugs, and alcohol, use tobacco, socially isolate, and stop exercising. These feelings and behaviors set us up for chronic illnesses!
Twenty Effects of Stress on the Body - Mayo Clinic
While adults may readily discuss the feelings they are experiencing, it is important to check in with teens and make sure that they are doing well. Social isolation can be difficult for them to handle, and they will suffer the same symptoms from stress that you suffer.
You may feel that things are spinning out of control, that’s because this disease is out of control, and no one has an answer. Your feelings are correct, but they don't need to overwhelm you and your family.
These 10 strategies will lower your family’s level of stress!
Be kind to yourself, and to your teen. Pay attention to how you talk to yourself and your teen. Soften your voice. Avoid making judgmental statements to yourself about yourself or to your teen about themselves.
Practice acceptance of the situation. Acknowledge that this is a stressful time and instead of running from the stress, make plans to eliminate as much of the stress as you can.
Relax. Nothing is going to cause this situation to end any faster, accept responsible behavior and good self-care behavior.
Join your teen on their video game. Forget the adult stuff for a minute. Play their game, laugh and giggle.
Relax the schedule, but don’t completely discard your schedule. If they aren't in school right now, there is no need to get everybody up at 5:00 am. However, some similarities of the old schedule will give them a sense of balance in the face of this out of control situation.
It’s good for teens and small children to be helpful during this time. Let them help with chores. Teach them new life skills while school isn't a distraction.
Start a hobby or do something creative together. Whether it’s cooking, sewing, painting, reading, or making a short video together, this is an excellent time to feed the creative side of everybody.
Laugh, a lot. There is nothing as important as your family’s well being.
Go outside. Nature is still beautiful, so you and your teen can gear up and go for a walk.
Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Talk nonjudgmentally. Encourage them to express themselves without labeling, preaching, fussing and parenting. Just have simple conversations about nothing. This is a great time to discuss the family’s spiritual and cultural values.
COVID-19 will end! We will emerge from our personal cocoons stronger, happier and better, if we take care of ourselves. If you are overwhelmed with what is going on around you and need more support. We are willing to help!
Join our private Facebook group, schedule an appointment, or take our short parenting assessment.
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