By Dr Priya Kaul
This long-running pandemic has made all of us anxious and stressed. Adults and children alike are facing many mental issues, anxiety being one of the most common. The pandemic has brought with it uncertainty and the sense of a bleak future that cannot be deciphered. Children are struggling to understand their surroundings. Things like lockdown, no school, no exams and such routinely done activities have suddenly come to a stop. It is hard for them to comprehend such changes at a delicate age.
We can assist in their mental wellbeing during these Covid times and ensure they are feeling safe and happy.
Encourage conversations: Let kids have the space to say what they feel
Let them talk about what’s on their minds to relieve themselves of the burden. Help them understand and name their feelings so they can better comprehend their reality. Give them your attention and time so they do not feel neglected and lonely. Children should not be left to their own devices as it might foster negativity. Let them talk to their friends and schoolmates so they can have an outlet to express themselves without having to rely on you completely. It will also help them see that they are not alone in the way they feel and that the situation is more or less the same for all.
Keep them informed
In such anxiety-filled times, it is important to keep children informed of things that happen. Children can easily feel betrayed and hold their emotions back as they process their surroundings. Our natural reaction as adults is to shield children from bad news but sharing this news with least impact can help them process the information. It also makes them feel like they are being treated as adults, which directly affects their self-esteem.
Maintain a routine
Online classes and educational activities are vital. Design a schedule together with your children so they have a productive day. Don’t disturb the family routine because a pandemic has hit. A sense of normal can be established by making minimum changes in your routine pre-pandemic. Fun activities and fitness can be added to the routine so all in the family including children are well taken care of. Include healthy meals and involve kids in the decision-making process so they feel like a part of the system.
Ultimately, it is important for you to take care of yourself as well as the children to look forward to a better tomorrow.
(The writer is a spiritual healer and life coach)