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By: Grandview Kids — March 26, 2020

It’s been nearly two weeks since schools closed and the uncertainty of the unknown continues to create a great sense of discomfort in our lives. Grandview Kids Social Worker Stephanie Kirwin has some thoughts to share in hopes of helping to manage the stress you are feeling.

You may be finding some days more challenging than others to manage the stress you are feeling, to stay positive and optimistic. This is okay. It is okay to feel sad and angry, to feel stressed and worried. Let yourself be present with those feelings. Letting yourself feel and be with your thoughts, away from social media and distractions can be very therapeutic and healthy. It helps you to move through them.

Things to think about (from the Canadian Psychological Association):

  • “People are strong and resilient, and generally have the skills they need to cope with the stressors they will face in a lifetime.
  • Not everyone reacts to the same event in the same way and not everyone shows their distress in the same way.
  • The ways in which children and communities cope and react to a stressor are influenced by how they see parents, caregivers and community leaders cope and react.”

Strategies that might help:

  • Stay informed and regularly disconnect from news stories; try to only check for updates 1-2 times a day
  • Try to keep some sort of routine and structure in your day, such as getting yourself and kids dressed, sitting for meals as a family
  • Build some scheduled activities in your day, outdoor time, yoga or dance videos with the kids
  • Go outside and pay attention to all your senses: feeling the sun on your face, watching the tops of trees move in the wind, smelling the coming of spring
  • Try to let go of things you can’t control and focus on the things you can control such as practicing safe hand hygiene and physical distancing with your family, reminding yourself that you are doing something
  • Reach out for help. On days when worried thoughts become difficult to manage, reach out to those you trust or a mental health professional. This is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength.

Information adapted from the following websites, view for further reading:

https://cpa.ca/new-covid-19-factsheet/ 

https://hbr.org/2020/03/that-discomfort-youre-feeling-is-grief 

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