Updated: Jul 13, 2020
Since the outbreak of coronavirus, the life of millions of people around the world is adversely affected. Effects of lockdown on children's emotional well being have been alarming. With many countries opting for a complete lockdown our kids are also bearing the brunt of staying locked up in the house all the time. The current scenario has taken a toll on their physical health as well as emotional and mental well being.
With our own stress managing the house with no regular income pouring in for some, limited availability of food and utility stock, and the uncertainty of the situation to end, we feel drained all the time.
So, it is important to take care of yourself before you tend to a cranky, irritated, and angry child. Here are a few measures to ensure that you stay healthy and fit to deal with your kid’s emotional outburst.
Take Care of Your Emotional Well Being
Follow a routine
Everyone is at home so it is difficult to start and end the day as before. But if you are the one in the family who is doing major household chores like cooking, cleaning, laundry, then it is advisable to follow your old routine. Staying in a routine relaxes the mind and helps us prepare for unforeseen situations. Waking up early can play to your advantage. You can complete most of the tasks while other members are asleep. This extra morning time will also help you to plan the day.
If you are not an early riser then plan the next day a night before, especially the meals menu as it is time-consuming.
List Your Priorities to Manage the Effects of Lockdown
While you plan your day list down your priorities. It will sort out your mind’s battle to rush to finish all tasks in a day. There are things that can be done the next day. And there are others that can be delegated. Be wise enough to know that and smart enough to implement. If you are single-handedly doing all the chores then don’t forget to pat yourself for finishing even half of the things on the list for the day.
Meditate and Exercise are Healthy Practice
If little things make you anxious or you feel emotionally low, it is best to meditate. All you have to do is set a time for yourself every day for 20 minutes. Put on some soothing music, sit or lie down, close your eyes, and concentrate on your breathing. Meditation is therapeutic. Make it a habit to meditate even after the lockdown is over.
Yoga or aerobics is yet another way to relieve stress. There are a lot of YouTube channels you can follow for simple yoga poses or learn aerobics. The point is to stay healthy and fit.
Eat Well and Timely for Physical Health and Emotional Well Being
When your stomach is full you won’t get edgy. Make sure not to skip breakfast as it is the most important meal of the day. Include healthy food in your diet like, oats, suji, poha, fruits, eggs. Drink lots of water and stay hydrated.
Schedule your Work From Home Time: When everyone’s at home, and also working from home, not managing your time is the sure-shot recipe for disaster. Talk to other family members and let them know what time of the day you will be unavailable. Also, make sure that every member of the house takes on some responsibility for house chores. Those ways you are assured that the work will be carried even in your absence.
Time-Out to Lower the Effects of Lockdown on Your Emotional Well Being
Whenever you feel overwhelmed or disturbed, it is good to take a break. Take a time-out from housework doing only the essentials. Pamper yourself with your favorite book and coffee or binge-watch your Netflix series. Don’t shy away from telling others how you feel. We all are entitled to some ‘me’ time.
Talk to Your Friends And Share Your Worries
There is always that one friend who will be readily available for you at any time of the day or night. Count on them to pull you back to senses when nothing seems to go the way it should.
The times are trying and it is okay to feel sad, upset, or even cry at times. But if you get someone to listen to your rant or a shoulder to cry on, the pain becomes bearable. You can also be one such friend to someone who needs a little push. Surviving in a lockdown is not easy for anyone but a little compassion goes a long way.
Sleeping Well is Good for Emotional Well Being
Catch up on your sleep whenever you need to. Even the best of best needs to be well-rested before taking on another new day. So, don’t compromise on your sleep.
Now that you are physically, emotionally, and mentally sorted it’s time to understand the little humans in the house. Children are born with their own understanding of the world around them. As they grow old they learn to decipher feelings and emotions. But they may still not be equipped to express their feelings.
Anger, frustration, tantrums, throwing things, nail-biting, thumb-sucking are a few ways they show their fears or emotions.
Staying in the house without attending school, without meeting their friends, missing their playtime, birthday parties, outings, and now vacations too are too much baggage on small shoulders. They might not have dreamt even in their wildest dreams they would have to go through times like such.
Two words of advice – Be Patient.
As a parent, it is common to shout at our children, scold them, and ground them for their mistakes. It is still in vogue to teach them good behavior but with a slight twist in the old ways. Understand that they are as much in shock as we are. But we have our coping mechanisms up and running; they are still learning.
Understanding Your Child's Needs to Minimise the Effects of Lockdown on Children’s Emotional Well Being
Every child will react differently to situations like the one we are facing today. Some kids will take less time to settle while with others you have to start over again each day. But in neither case, it would be easier.
There are certain steps you can take to ensure that your child opens up about his feelings with you. Spoil them with love and hugs frequently, more so when they deserve it the least. Their grumpiness is a cry for help. Help them by just being there and listening without judging or advising. Let them know you understand.
What Can You Do To Help Your Child to Reduce the Effects of Lockdown on Children's Emotional Well Being?
Follow a Routine: Children love to follow a routine. It helps them know what to expect next. They don’t get overwhelmed. But any sudden change in their daily activities agitates them. And when there’s not much they can do staying at home, it is rather essential to keep them in a routine.
All schools are running virtual classes now. So from 8 am to 12.30 pm is spent studying and learning online. The rest of the day can be planned accordingly depending upon the activities you have in mind to keep them engaged.
Make a Timetable to Build a Routine and Lessen the Effects of Lockdown on Children's Emotional Well Being
Sit with your child and frame a timetable. Agree on a time they will spend to study and finish their homework every day. Sche