In the midst of the fear and uncertainty we are experiencing with COVID-19, I wanted to offer some brief, even basic/practical ideas for managing your own anxiety, as well as your children’s. In many ways, how we manage our own anxiety will transfer to how we are able (or not) to appropriately care for others, including our children.
a. The Center for Disease Control – https://www.cdc.gov/
b. The World Health Organization – https://www.who.int/
c. The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress – https://www.cstsonline.org/
Catastrophizing is blowing something way out of proportion by imagining or entertaining a situation is worse than it actually is (e.g. “This virus is going to last forever.”).
Overgeneralization is using extreme words (e.g. always, never, nothing, etc.) that are inaccurate, which only leads to increased anxiety (e.g. “There is nothing we can do about this, we are powerless.”).
The solution is to recognize the negative thought in each scenario and to replace it with a more adaptive, accurate statement (e.g. “Dealing with this situation has been stressful. The virus may take several weeks to run its course, and there is in fact, much that we can do to reduce its impact. Here are some things we can do…”).
Get outside – plan an outdoor get together with a few others. Get out to local greenspaces (if possible) for fresh air (walks, bike rides, etc.) and recreation. Use this time to draw the family closer together.
Get rest – use some of the time away from your many commitments to get the extra rest that you and your family desperately need.
Eat well – watch for extreme caffeine intake, sugar intake and its effects on anxiety and mood.
Laugh, play, have fun – this need not be a time filled with only doom and gloom. Use levity, humor and fun activities to lighten yourself and your family, which will reduce everyone’s anxiety.
The Gospel Coalition – helpful, COVID-19-related resources from an historical, biblical and medical perspective https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/
Ligonier Ministries – https://www.ligonier.org/ – currently offers free group learning and all teaching series are free to stream
Crossway – https://www.crossway.org/ – offering extensive free resources including ESV Digital Bible Resources