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Helping children cope with coronavirus-related anxiety and fear

Posted at 11:21 AM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 18:28:20-04

NEW YORK — For nearly two months, households have been pushed to the brink. Parents and caregivers are managing careers, or worrying about job security, home schooling, and trying to keep their family safe and prepared during this global pandemic.

Through this time of stress, anxiety and fear, physiologists urge everyone be mindful that we are all being affected by this event. Regardless of one's status, the most important possession we all should preserve during this time is our mental health.

Niro Feliciano is a mother of four and a therapist, now working from home, and while she's dealing with an endless to-do list, she admits her children are also being hit just as hard by the anxiety and fear of whats happening outside their four walls. She's noticed her son has had a loss of appetite and hasn't been eating as much.

Dr. Jennifer Jackson, a New Jersey Clinical Psychologist points out, children may not realize they're reacting to stress, and parents may not realize their reactions are causing it. To help parents manage stress, Jackson recommends keeping a daily routine for yourself and your family. Routines make you feel secure and like you are somewhat in control of what happens next.

Niro has incorporated boundaries and finding time for rest and self care throughout her day, like exercising, taking walks and taking a bath. Doctors across the board recommend using this down time to address your mental health, so you are prepared and even stronger for the road ahead as we recover from this pandemic.

Resources:

If you're looking for professional help during this time, both doctors PIX11 spoke to mentioned seeing a rise in tele-therapy, which is virtual counseling that is now being covered by more insurance providers. There are also apps you can use to practice mindfulness and meditation. For more information, visit the CDC website's mental-health section.