I have to be honest. As a mom, wife, speech therapist, and just plain human being, this Covid-19 situation has increased my anxiety tenfold.
While I am not a mental health professional, I know it is always good to have a network of people you can lean on. This can include spouses, loved ones, or friends; but bonus points if one of those individuals is also a professional with experience handling the situation you are personally dealing with. In comes my friend Myriam Sanchez, licensed therapist and owner of Your Family Wellness Village. She was kind enough to share 3 tips on how we can relieve some of the anxiety that may come our way during these trying times:
Focus on what you can and cannot control. Most of what we can control is ourselves and our reactions to what's going on.
Limit your time on social media and on TV and instead, increase your time engaging in productive values-based activities.
Breath in and breathe out. Slowy. Repeat 10x as often as needed. Breathing is a go-to technique to slow down your body, thoughts, and nervous system. Your anxiety decreases and you regain more logical sense.
Bonus tip! Share your worries with others! Most likely, you're not the only one having these thoughts and worries and sharing it with others who will listen will make you feel normal and validated. When we don't share, our minds amplify it to make worries and anxiety worse because we stay in our head instead of externalizing the worry.
So, what are ‘productive, values-based activities? For me, as a Christian, I find comfort in reading my Bible, taking quiet time, or just reflecting on the promises found in the Word. I also find taking a walk with my dog around the block, sitting outside in fresh air, or even watching a movie to help me calm my nerves. Whatever your beliefs, there are plenty of activities we can find to help us take care of our mental health, even when the world around us seems to be crashing in.
Try these activities:
Read a book (check if your local library has electronic rentals through apps like Libby)
Take a walk (around the block, with the dog, or with a family member)
Also try out these ideas:
Learn a language (I like DuoLingo which makes it fun and easy)
Talk to a friend or family member using FaceTime
Learn a new skill like the piano. (I have been meaning to try Simply Piano to regain my childhood piano skills!)
Exercise (do a video, go for a jog, jump rope even!)
Play video games
Remember, a healthy, relaxed adult is what our children (especially those with communication difficulties) need in order to keep their little worlds from falling in as well. While parenting requires us to think outside of ourselves, we have to try to not get lost in the jumble of stress that surrounds us as that will pour over to our little ones at home.
Stay tuned for Covid-19, You don’t scare me! (Part 2: Children) to learn how their lives can be affected and what we can do to help foster stability, good communication skills, and even some speech therapy ideas that can be done at home if your child cannot go to therapy due to social distancing.
To find out more about Myriam Sanchez and Your Family Wellness Village located in Downer’s Grove, IL, check out the website: www.yourfamilywellnessvillage.com
Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”