Activities to deal with stress and anxiety during Covid times
Created by Shikha Batra Updated on Jul 24, 2020
As COVID-19 PANDEMIC continues to prevail and expand across the globe, there are many uncertainties in our minds. But one thing which is certain in the current scenario is that the outbreak will have a profound impact on the psychosocial well-being of people across ages especially children as they being the most vulnerable are the worst affected.
Lockdown, restriction of movement, closure of schools which are preventing children from access to learning and limiting their interactions with peers, inability to go outside and play due to social distancing, constrained access to socialization which are all critical to their well-being and development have all been affected due to COVID-19.
Under these circumstances, it is natural for children to feel stress, anxiety, worry, frustration and grief. Fear and anxiety about their own health and the health of their loved ones can be overwhelming for them and cause strong emotions. Also, this has increased their exposure to social media and digital platforms for seeking different kinds of information which may not be factually true causing further stress and anxiety.
COVID-19 has also made it quite challenging for parents and caregivers to keep their children productively engaged. This video is an effort to explain some activities to keep our children actively engaged and manage anxiety and stress among children.
1. We need to follow the LISTEN, COMFORT AND REASSURE approach with children to deal with stressful events like COVID-19. Listening to our children, we can give children the opportunities to talk about what they are feeling. Encourage them to share concerns and ask questions by telling stories, singing with them or by playing games with them we can comfort them and calm them down. Praising them frequently for their strengths also helps.
Reassuring them by letting them know that you are prepared to keep them safe. Also, provide them with correct information through valid sources.
2. Let children be online and stay connected with friends but we need to discuss with them rules of staying safe online.
3. We can use the Coronavirus Reward stickers as cut-outs and initiate conversations about positive and healthy behaviors to fight the virus for a 7-11-year-old child. We can use these stickers as positive reinforcements for the following safe and hygienic practices and not giving in to fear and anxiety.
4. We can share with them how frontline workers like the health workers and the scientists are working to stop the outbreak and keep the community safe. The three drawings that have been shared in the description which children can color and discussions can be held around them.
5. Parents and caregivers can share the Infographic poster and worksheet (based on it) explaining Symptomatology, Contagion and Prevention of COVID-19 which is shared in the description. We can talk about “DO THE FIVE” and help stop coronavirus from spreading by following these 5 basic steps.
6. We can engage children through storytelling activities to address their anxiety, loneliness and help them cope up with stress and anxiety. They can create their own storyboard by weaving short stories on issues pertaining to this pandemic.
7. To enhance their sense of identity and self-image they can talk about 5 things they like about themselves, their strengths and what can make them a better and stronger person. This will help them realize their strengths far outweigh their weaknesses.
8. We can make children talk about things that make them feel good by preparing a list of the books they want to read, indoor activities they want to do, healthy food they would like to eat, things they always wanted to explore and exercises they can do indoors.
9. At the end of each day, take a minute to think about the day. Tell your child about one positive or fun thing they did.
Remember hiding reality and keeping secrets do not protect our children . Talking to them does. So, always be willing to talk to your child!
Check out this manual for parents and caregivers as a support for children during Covid 19.
Top Education and Learning Blogs
Top Education and Learning Talks
Top Education and Learning question