Movement restrictions play a massive role in curtailing the spread of the virus. It’s true. Without stay-at-home orders and social distancing measures in place, an infectious disease such as COVID-19 would spread like wildfire all over America. And that can surely make a worsening scenario even worst. To note, there are over 500,000 Americans who have fallen to the virus as of late February 2021. That number is more than the American casualties in the two world wars.
However, movement restrictions are a bane for mental health. When you are forced to stay within the confines of your home for months on end, something’s got to give. Not only does such a restrictive scenario invite boredom, but it also is bound to test your mental health. Already, experts point out that suicide rates are up during the COVID-19 times in America.
Fortunately, there are ways you can boost your family’s overall mental health. With expert advice, you help foster mental wellness for your kids. Right off the bat, know that strengthening your own mental health is central to improving every aspect of your life. Your family, first and foremost.
Mental Health for A More Productive You
It’s a vicious cycle. As the pandemic injected new life stressors into corporate America, workers are starting to feel mental pain. Depression has tripled in the United States since the virus hit the town, a study by JAMA reveals. One in every four adults reports depression symptoms.
All that mental stress piling up can lead to poor coping mechanisms for millions of unemployed people. When that happens, getting a job can be an uphill climb. For starters, take note that a personality test for applicants not only check if a person is fit for the job, but it also looks into possible behavior problems that the applicant may bring into work.
In short, your chances of getting work dims if you have mental health issues. So dealing with it is a must.
WHO details that you should acknowledge that feelings of anguish (sad, confused, scared) are normal. You should not take it all in, however. Talking to your inner circle, people you can trust can go a long way in dealing with negative emotions. Call them your support mechanism. If you feel you need to talk to an expert, connecting with a slew of government helplines should be spot on.
Additionally, you should maintain an active lifestyle. Exercise can benefit your body, fight heart disease and other life-threatening health issues. Even better, it can boost your mental health. Doing regular exercise, means you’re giving your brain’s reward centers a low-dose of dopamine, relieving depression in the process. A similar effect happens when you do yoga and other deep-breathing exercises.
Strengthening Your Kids
Take note that your state of mind can greatly affect your kids. So, if you have dealt with mental health issues, you should be in a better position to help your kids develop resilience as well.
Children are your mirrors. They react to the things you say and the way you say it. If you are calm, your children will be too. So remain calm when dealing with your children.
You should reassure them. Let them know that it’s perfectly alright to feel upset. An excellent way to do this is to share with them how you yourself felt terrible about it all. But you learned to cope with it.
To boot, meet the topic head-on. Discuss COVID-19 and its effects on the community. That we have changed our daily routines can trigger worry in children. They can be anxious about what’s going to happen to their family, to their friends. Know that certain words can be instrumental to help you guide the discussion for children to cope best. Here’s a link from CDC to help you get started.
Don’t start the blame game; language that blames others can lead to unnecessary stigma. Instead, let your children know that you are someone they can talk to when they feel like it.
A good way to minimize children’s fears is to minimize input about the virus. Avoid watching news of daily tallies of death and infections. Children may not be able to wrap their head around it causing untimely anxiety. In this regard, limiting TV screen time is wise.
Another great coping mechanism for the family is finding time together. For one, research has linked a bevy of great outcomes with family meals, for instance. Not only are we talking about better grades but even tougher issues: lower chances of teen pregnancy and higher chances of college.
Plus, there’s health in all the family dining too. It has been associated with healthier diets and better family relations. Great conversations encourage everyone to gel. And despite the virus, more people find family dining the highs of their day, a survey says. It’s about time you enjoy one.