BY Constance Ndeleko
Currently, the world has been on a stand still with the ongoing pandemic of the COVID-19 leaving most wondering what next for our children, how can we ensure our children don’t have a mental break down?
With the uncertainty of the pandemic, it leads to an unyielding feel of being left behind especially on children. It worries them about their normalcy; their social being- where social distancing is a priority to curb the menace, it means their play time is cut short and limited, their movement is kinda upheld. So how can we create a relief to these children?
Mental health refers to our cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being – it is all about how we think, feel, and behave. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.
A mental illness, or mental health disorder, is defined as patterns or changes in thinking, feeling or behaving that cause distress or disrupt a person’s ability to function.
we need to come up with a clearer narrative of informing children what Corona is, what it means to social distance themselves and how they can protect themselves from this yet to be found vaccines nor cure pandemic.
- Recognize that your anxiety is completely normal: “Your anxiety is going to help you make the decisions that you need to be making right now — not spending time with other people or in large groups, washing your hands and not touching your face.” Those feelings are helping to keep not only you safe, but others too. This is “also how we take care of members of our community. We think about the people around us, too.”
- Create distractions: it’s very helpful to divide the problem into two categories: things I can do something about, and then things I can do nothing about,
- Find new ways to connect with your friends:If you want to spend time with friends while you’re practicing social distancing, social media is a great way to connect.
- Focus on you: Focusing on yourself and finding ways to use your new-found time is a productive way to look after your mental health
The WHO released advice on protecting your mental health during the corona-virus outbreak:
- Avoiding reading, listening and watching information that could make you feel anxious and distressful.
- Seek information mainly to take practical steps to prepare your plans and protect yourself or loved ones.
- seek information updates at specific times.
The fear of being out of control and unable to tolerate uncertainty are common characteristics of many anxiety disorders. So it’s understandable that many individuals or children with pre-existing anxiety are facing challenges at the moment.
“A lot of anxiety is rooted in worrying about the unknown and waiting for something to happen – coronavirus is that on a macro scale,” agrees Rosie Weatherley, spokesperson for mental health charity Mind.
It is important to guide our children on the most important measure to take to protect their sanity: take breaks from social and mainstream media, engage them in practical activities within that can drift their minds off the topic, create a schedule for them of the items that them can pre-occupy themselves, actively engage yourself in their activities so they don’t feel left out.
With the current situation it is important we take precaution on protecting our children from mental illness as well create a preventing measure from escalating issues that are already in existences.
It is all about striking a balance and creating an accommodating space for the changes that are already ahead of us and leverage on coping mechanism that can help us out of this disastrous epidemic.
Some of the suggested techniques to reduce anxiety is: APPLE TECHNIQUE:
- Acknowledge: Notice and acknowledge the uncertainty as it comes to mind.
- Pause: Don’t react as you normally do. Don’t react at all. Pause and breathe.
- Pull back: Tell yourself this is just the worry talking, and this apparent need for certainty is not helpful and not necessary. It is only a thought or feeling. Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are not statements or facts.
- Let go: Let go of the thought or feeling. It will pass. You don’t have to respond to them. You might imagine them floating away in a bubble or cloud.
- Explore: Explore the present moment, because right now, in this moment, all is well. Notice your breathing and the sensations of your breathing. Notice the ground beneath you. Look around and notice what you see, what you hear, what you can touch, what you can smell. Right now. Then shift your focus of attention to something else – on what you need to do, on what you were doing before you noticed the worry, or do something else – mindfully with your full attention.
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mtotonews .
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel: http://youtube.com/mtotonewstv
Mtoto News is a Digital Online platform of news, information, and resources that aims at making a significant change in the lives of children by making them visible. Read mtotonews.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook @mtotonewsblog