Post the Covid-19 outbreak, mental wellness-related concerns have intensified at an appalling rate. Among children, stress and panic attacks, were reported to be on the rise in comparison to the pre-pandemic period. These unprecedented times can affect children emotionally and mentally. The cut off from society due to the lockdown has taken a toll on not just adults but children as well.
Mr. Shivang Mathur, Motivational Speaker, told HerZindagi that "COVID-19 is complex for parents to understand, let alone the children who have no idea what just struck them. There are bound to be some changes in their behaviour and mood after going through a rough couple of months. To a certain extent, the mental health of the children can b affected, especially those who are weak emotionally."
We can expect the children to be in:
- Low energy or chronic exhaustion
- Lack of interest or loss of concentration
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Fearful thoughts regarding the pandemic
How Should You Deal With It?
First, we should put it out in the open and reckon how important it is to acknowledge for ourselves that feeling overwhelmed, fearful, or stressed in the current circumstance is quite understandable. We must make it a point, so the situation does not get the best of us. Therefore, to help cheer up. Mathur says that "parents need to take an active initiative to aid their children and set free from the shackles of sadness and gloom."
Here are some steps suggested by Mathur that may help:
Talk To Your Children
The lockdown has kept most of us away from our friends and family, which may have been disturbing as well. This is where parents must make sure that the children are in contact with their peers and family via phone or the internet. Open up with them, so that they can share with you any fear or anxiety that they might be experiencing. They must be as anxious as you are, but by sharing your thoughts you will definitely make the both of you feel much lighter and supported.
Ask Your Children To Practice Self-Care
Keeping yourself fit is very important, especially amid the pandemic. Parents need to make sure that the children are involved in a physical workout, are using breathing techniques/ meditation to relieve stress, maintaining good eating habits with enough nutrients, and practicing good sleeping habits. These are all self-care practices that help children deal with the stress they have built during the lockdown period.
Try And Get Your Children Back Into The Groove
Even though the children are stuck at home, living a monotonous life, try and get them back to the normal routine they had before the coronavirus. The sooner they get back on track, the better it is for them. This will help normality slip back into their life. Indulging in their routine will act as a distraction for them, keeping them occupied.
Ask The Children To Cut Back On-Screen Time
It is high time now; we need to start detoxing, stop that binge-watching routine and console/mobile gaming during the lockdown. Constantly staring into your laptops or mobiles has had an effect not desired by anyone. So, instead, step out into the balcony or your terrace and stretch your body, try working out and giving your body the time, it is in want for.
Get Professional Help
After working on all options available to assimilate back into some form of socialising but still you find your children giving in to anxiety and panic, it may be time to discuss it with a mental health expert. We need to be aware of emotional and behavioral changes in ourselves and loved ones and not be afraid to ask for help if troubles persist.
The goal here for the parents is to normalize and calm the emotions of the children to make them more manageable and not get hyper themselves. Parents and children should get creative together bonding among themselves to spend memorable moments. Keeping the children busy and assuring them the tide will turn and the normalcy will return.
Stay tuned to HerZindagi for more on mental health issues with expert inputs.