• Playful Healing

COVID-19 Dos & Don'ts

Updated: Apr 11


Brittany Arnold-Hutslar, LMHCA, NCC

Dos:


1. Do follow the order as best as you can- This teaches kids a lot about responsibility to others and our communities. If you can, follow the orders and help your kids know that it is all going to be OK. Help them understand that isolating at home can be fun is about safety for your family and for others.


2. Do remember to enjoy your time- This is not about entertaining them all the time. It is about cooking dinner together, enjoying the sunshine by using chalk to color your driveway, or have a family sleep-over in your living room. Enjoy a family movie night, make pizza from scratch, or just laugh around the kitchen table. Reconnect with your family and create memories. Remember some day your children will look back and tell their kids about that time about the pandemic they lived through.


3. Do connect with others through technology- Use Facetime, Skype, or Google Duo to check-in with friends or relatives. Don’t forget to let your kiddos call up their friends too.


4. Do advocate with your employers and children’s school- Realize that there is a lot about this none of us really knows how to do. What that means is that people need to learn what works and what does not. Employers and schools need something to go off of when they are setting expectations during this time. Maybe that means your special needs kiddo cannot complete all the work that others do or maybe you need to work untraditional hours to help you adjust to your kids being home. Whatever you do, be honorable with your work. If you ask to work untraditional hours, then commit to it and do it. As your child’s teacher for help if they need it not just because you do not want to do it. Remember we are setting standards that will affect others in the future and how businesses and schools deal with this kind of thing in the future.


5. Do remember this is only temporary- We are not going to live like this forever. This will end and when it does we will go back to “normal” life. Keep this in mind when you are losing your mind or need time alone. Take a deep breath and realize this too will pass.


Don’ts:


1. Don’t miss opportunities for talking with your family- you have time to get to know each other and learn new things about your family members. Talk to each other. Learn something new together. Or work on a project you need to get done around the house.


2. Don’t ignore your fears or worries- The reality is that this is going to be weird for your kids too. Talk about your feelings openly and freely. This helps the whole family know that they can share their feelings with you not only now, but in the future too.


3. Don’t miss the opportunity to get some things done- You know all those projects you have been needing to do around the house? Now is your time. Get your kiddos in on the act and work together to complete your goal.


4. Don’t keep doing something because that is what you think you have to do- I am going to repeat myself here: No one knows how to do this social distancing and stay home business. We have never lived through this kind of pandemic before so there is no “right” way to do this. Learn and share your knowledge with others! Ask for help if you need it and talk about something that works for you on social media or with friends. We can help others but we can also teach future generations ways to handle these kinds of events.


5. Don’t forget that those in your community may be afraid- realize that while you and your family may not be at all worried, the elderly or immune compromised are probably afraid. If you know your neighbors fall into one of these categories, offer to pick up groceries for them or leave them a care package on the porch. Remember to use good hygiene practices if you are leaving something for them!


Most important of all- Do reach out for help if you need it. Don’t suffer through this time, contact a mental health counselor in your state or area. Remember that many of them are working via telehealth, videoconferencing technology and they can help you and your family cope. Not only does this model good behavior/ choices, but it also supports mental wellness within your family.

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