The last few weeks and months naturally and understandably have caused mental stress, including feelings of uncertainty and helplessness. In this situation, we can improve our mental coping, and that of those around us.
Coping with uncertainty may generate preoccupation with threatening scenarios, with concerns and even with a sense of loss of control. While we do not have control everything happens with regard to the Coronavirus, we do have a great degree of control over our own personal and familial safety by complying with the guidance and focusing on our routine and the activities that bring us pleasure and a sense of well-being.
There are ways to promote feelings of control and competence:
When to seek professional help?
Powerful emotional responses are normal reactions to a situation of crisis or significant stress. They usually tend to dissipate after several weeks, during which children and adults resume routine and normal activities. Should those emotional responses persist beyond two weeks or worsen, and significantly impair children or parents' capacity to function, you should consider seeking professional help.
For assistance and consultation on mental coping with the issue of Coronavirus:
Ministry of Health Helpline for stress and mental health support: 1800-250-025
We want to increase our capacity to cope with this stress and thereby improve our resilience.
In order to decrease the uncertainty, we need to provide children with information that is both relevant and appropriate to their developmental stage. We need to improve the children's sense of competence by keeping a routine and encouraging them to engage in activities.
Parents constitute the most important source of support for their children in times of crisis. Therefore, it is important to remain vigilant to the children's signs of stress, and provide them with support and security.
Family in Isolation
Should your family be required to remain in isolation:
Example for a timetable:
07:00-09:00: Morning routine, including breakfast and physical exercise
09:00-13:00: Work/studies including break for physical exercise
14:00-17:00: Continuation of work/studies including a break
17:00-19:00: Leisure activity, including communicating with family and friends
20:00-23:00: Leisure activity
For further reading on the following topics:
• Strategies for isolation
• Healthy routine for children
• Keep active
• Healthy nutrition
• Time to relax - including phone numbers and links for assistance and counselling in mental health
Physical activity, even such that you can do on your own without leaving the house or even your room, helps alleviate stress, preserve and strengthen muscles and bones, and serves as a wonderful way to spend time away from the screens.
Children and Youth
Fruit and vegetable tag – Spread pictures of fruits and vegetables, or plastic models of fruits and vegetables, around the room. Provide the participants with baskets. The goal is to collect as many fruits and vegetables as possible within a time limit. You can use different methods for collecting fruits and vegetables such as: jumping on the right leg, frog leaps, sprinting, crab walks etc.
It is recommended that we take care of ourselves and eat healthy nutrition that invigorates the body even when staying in home isolation. It is important that also during isolation there will be a variety of healthy options at home, to allow us to maintain our routine to the best of our ability and not to increase the harm that may result from unhealthy eating.
Principles of Healthy Nutrition
The general guidelines for healthy nutrition in general, relevant also during home isolation:
If you're not isolated alone, you can make cooking a quality family time, for example by cooking and eating together. Try our Efashribari recipes – for easy to make and warm meals that make dinners a family experience that can make a change for the better.
Buying Healthy Food
When in isolation you can shop on the internet and order a delivery, or ask a family member/friend/neighbor for help. Grocery shopping should include healthy and nutritious products such as:
You may use the healthy grocery list for reference.
During these challenging times, when the level of anxiety is higher than ever, it is crucial to de-stress and to increase a sense of calm and happiness, and to augment the immune system.
Recommendations for maintaining your emotional health during the isolation: