It is okay, and healthy, for children to understand that the world they live in has changed, but they need to feel safe. Here is how to help them with stress.
Many times teens experience anxiety in ways that we may pass off as “being a teen.” Teens may experience debilitating anxiety and not know that those physiological symptoms are in fact anxiety; so they may not alert you to their symptoms. Anxiety is treatable. We can help.
Practice self-compassion by acknowledging your guilt and giving it a name. Or call it what the world has tagged it—survivor’s guilt (i.e., pandemic guilt, coronavirus guilt, thriver guilt). This will help you to take the pressure off yourself.
Use preventive measures to ward off the virus, and then file your worries away. The more you worry, the more it can eat away at your mental health and your immune system. Remember, you are okay right now.
Has worry about the future ever stopped you from sleeping well? Has worry ever affected productivity in your day? Has worry ever altered your mood? Our human brains are tuned into knowing that life has many unknowns and challenges, and we naturally want to make sure “everything will be okay”. So, ridding ourselves completely of worry may never happen. The good news is there are techniques that you can adopt to help you stop worrying about the future.
It may be tough for your child to talk about scary events and circumstances that happen in the world, but encourage your child to reach out to individuals that they trust and love, especially you, when they feel upset or fearful. This helps your child release feelings before they expand out of proportion. It also helps to clear any misconceptions your child may have before it becomes full-blown fear.