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Dealing with the Coronavirus 

Your children will be looking to the important adults in their life for guidance and comfort.  Children and teens react, in part, on what they see from the adults around them. When parents and caregivers deal with the COVID-19 calmly and confidently, they can provide the best support for their children.  It is important to look after yourself so you an look after your children and offer them guidance during this stressful time.

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations.  How you as an adult respond to this situation depends on many things including your background, your health and wellbeing, and whether you are suffering from e.g. anxiety and depression, your temperament and the community you live, work and socialise in.

Things you can do to support yourself and reduce your stress:

  1. Be prepared, seek the facts from reputable sources. Parents can be more reassuring to their children if they are better prepared and if they share the same information.

  2. If you have a partner or spouse, have a discussion on how you can both work from home while your children are also home from school.  Be realistic about the hours you can work and consider working in shifts, taking turns to supervise and play with your children.  If you don’t consider this, your children might feel ignored and might then have challenging behaviours.

  3. If you both continue to work outside of the home, discuss the possibility of working part time so that you can take turns looking after your children.

  4. Set aside time to chat and listen to your partner or spouse in private away from your children.

  5. Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.

  6. Find other ways other than face-to-face, to connect with others.  Talk with people you trust about how you are feeling.

  7. Pay attention to the “hygiene factors” e.g. ensure you have sufficient sleep, sufficient water intake, nutritious food and exercise. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink as alcohol can increase your feelings of anxiety.

  8. Take time to unwind by doing things you enjoy e.g. reading a book, joining an online yoga class, gardening.

  9. If you have a pre-existing mental health condition continue with your treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms – discuss an action in advance with your GP, Psychologist or Psychiatrist in the event that this happens.

If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression or anxiety; or you feel you want to harm yourself or others call:

  • Lifeline 13 11 14

  • Suicide call back service 1300 659 467 

  • Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636

  • Your GP

  • MindSpot Clinic 1800 61 4434

  • Headspace (for 12 – 25 year olds) 1800 650 890

  • Kids Helpline (5 – 25 year olds) 1800 55 1800

Other articles that might interest you:

The signs and symptoms of anxiety in children.

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