The counseling specialist Ms. Priya conducted a workshop on Adapting to Covid19 – the changes brought by the pandemic on 28th march 2020 via a zoom call. 

This session focused on providing strategies to parents on managing the many changes they were handling due to the pandemic. COVID-19 has made its impact felt around the globe, be it as an individual, family or globally.

There are some things we can control and some things we cannot, let’s focus on the things we can

Feelings:

In these unexpected times, it’s only natural that we would be experiencing a buffet of feelings and emotions – It is okay to feel the things we are feeling. it is important that we recognize them, acknowledge them and hold space for them. The more we deny or push them away, the more they’ll grapple for our attention – migraines, gastric issues, difficulty sleeping, etc.

Adults can use art  – like drawing a jar or heart and filling it up with colors that show different emotions – as a way of helping the child express how they feel

Thoughts:

On average we have somewhere between 60000- 80000 thoughts a day. That’s at least 3000 thoughts an hour. All kinds of thoughts pop into our head – healthy, unhealthy, helpful, unkind, intrusive  – we have the power to choose the thought we pay attention to – we can choose thoughts that are helpful, calm and factual. We can choose to be proactive instead of constantly worrying.

Actions:

Mindfulness -is the art of being in the present, here and now, being intentional and aware of the thoughts in our mind, think of thoughts like a blue sky full of clouds, simply observe without judging or analyzing the thought. Use your breathing as a means to ground yourself – the mindful movement on youtube has many guided meditations that can be helpful, bee breathing – breathe in through your nose and as you breathe out exhale with the buzzing sound.

Grounding – using your senses to be mindful ex: touch – children using playdough or slime, eyes – spot 5 things around you that are orange in color, smell – citrus fruits or scented candles.

Worry window – allocate specific time to worry about things – these worries are valid too, assigning a time will ensure that you are not constantly worrying – imagine a box and drop your worries into them – address these worries at the allotted time – avoid keeping your worry window close to bedtime.

Limit exposure to constant news – this can have a very negative impact on your mental health.

Spirituality and gratitude practices – many individuals find praying helpful, being grateful creates an atmosphere of abundance as opposed to scarcity – grateful that my family is safe, grateful that we have technology that’s keeping our children engaged

Routines: The quarantine has hit our daily schedules and now we’re stuck trying to adapt – remember the best way to adapt is by providing new structure – our brain loves routines – as much as we may not – so sleep regularly, assign a designated spot for work, do a warm-up activity to signal the start of your day and a cool down to signal the end of the working day ex; shutting down the laptop. Take breaks!,  While making a schedule for your child ensure that it is realistic – there’s a pandemic in the background – kindly avoid pushing productivity – instead of a healthy balance of academics, fun and gadget time.

Engage: bring out the old board games, coloring, singing, dancing, cataloging quarantine days – use your creativity to keep the children engaged and active.

Self-care: juggling so many roles is not easy, you are doing the best you can be kind and gentle to yourself – take that break, drink green tea, but that face mask on. Quality family time can be as simple as doing the dishes together, cuddling/ hugging before going to bed.

Hygge: danish word – pronounced hoo-gah – it stands for feeling cozy and safe. Since we are indoors, it’s important that our space be tidy and clutter-free, free from judgment and unkindness. We can add a little outdoors to our homes by lighting scented candles, building a blanket fort for our kids, using fairy lights, playing outdoor sounds like birds chirping, etc.

These are difficult times, but this too shall pass, although apart we will get through this together!

Stay safe.

Posted by Ekya

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