Supporting Your Children and Yourself during the COVID-19 Pandemic

by kimberley Taylor

We’re all feeling it. The tension in the air, the buzz of uncertainty. We are all impacted by this virus in many ways and in different ways. Maybe you have lost your job, maybe you are feeling worried about paying your bills, your mortgage, your debits.  It’s a strange time in our lives and it can be a hard time for our children too. Whether they say it out loud or not, most children pick up on the emotions of their parents. They feel the stress like we do. What we aim for is managing these feelings, and our own feelings, before they escalate into anxiety or depression.  It’s not just one thing that will ease these feelings. Usually it’s a combination of a few things that can put our minds at ease, and the minds of the little people in our lives. Here are some simple tips that you can share with your child to direct you and your child towards positive mental health during this difficult period.

  1. Look at the facts – choose one source of media for your facts. Try to avoid social media and you tube that may be giving you and your children incorrect or exaggerated information.  The Australian Psychological Society recommends The Australian Government’s Health Alert
  2. Keep Active – Scheduling in times during the day for exercise is a great way to keep some sort of routine happening at home and can bring everyone together for a bit of light relief. Remember some of the games you used to play as a child and teach them to your children. Elastics, 50/50, Murder in the Dark, What’s the time Mr Wolf, Simon says, Hopscotch….you might be able to come up with some more! 
  3. Create the fun at home – What do you miss doing? Can you create it at home? Movie night with popcorn, Easter craft, home beauty masks and nail salon, bubble baths with calming music playing, cooking class or biscuit decorating, backyard or trampoline picnic or try cleaning out the old wading pool shell and fill with warm water and bubbles or toys
  4. Eating well – this is one area where it is easy to fall off the wagon at times like these. Love yourself enough to nurture your body with what it needs. Fruit and vegies are always top of the list, try chopping up a plate of fruit and vegie sticks (combined) for morning tea and eat it together. Cut down on the white foods and carbs a little if you are less active than normal and when the craving for chocolate hits try to aim for as dark as you can tolerate! (hint 85% and above is ideal)
  5. Breathe – I know, it sounds simple but if you stop for a minute and concentrate on your breathing you may realise that you haven’t taken a deep breath in a while.  Mindfulness apps such as the ‘Smiling Mind’ can help to teach you and your children how to recognise how you are feeling and ‘bring you back to the breath’. Smiling Mind has also just released a new program called Thriving Inside, specific for providing calming techniques for self-isolation
  6. Herbal Tea – many children love herbal tea and it is a wonderful way to introduce them to herbal medicine. Why not make a cup or pot of tea together? Most of us will have chamomile tea in the house which is known for its calming and digestive properties. The tea bags can also be put in a child’s bath to infuse along with Epsom salts or some rose petals.  Licorice tea has a sweet taste that children often really enjoy and it makes for a wonderful adrenal tonic to promote calming when under long term stress.

If you would like any more information please feel free to call us on 035977 0117 at the Peninsula Herbal Dispensary. There is a qualified naturopath ready to answer your calls and offer you support and solutions Monday through to Saturday. We are also available for Zoom consultations for both acute and chronic health issues. 

Look after yourself, Kimberley x

For further information or to book a consultation with Kimberley contact the clinic on 035977 0117 or visit the website www.peninsulaherbaldispensary.com.au to book online. 

This article is intended to be informational only and represents the opinion of the author. It is not intended to be used as medical advice and does not take the place of advice from a qualified health care practitioner in a clinical setting. Please check with your healthcare practitioner before embarking upon any of the treatments discussed.