Iowa River Valley Early Childhood Area
ensuring success in children age 0-5 in hardin and marshall county, iowa
Managing Stress During a Pandemic
Written by Carrie Kube, IRVECA Director
While we would all like to wave the white flag and claim victory against COVID-19, as Iowans we aren’t to that point yet. In times of voluntary quarantine and self-isolation, stress can and will build. Here are some ideas to help lower your stress during this uncertain time.
Meet Up Virtually
The new craze in virtual meet-ups has been around awhile. Using FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, or any virtual messenger app, host meet-up, and playdates. This will help you feel connected to those you can’t be near.
Make “Me” Time A Priority
A little “me” time is so important no matter what age your children are. Wake up early and enjoy a quiet cup of coffee or tea, have an uninterrupted conversation with your spouse, or do whatever gives you a few moments of zen time to relax and unwind. It is also a great idea to schedule a little “me” time for everyone during the day.
While schedules and routines are important, there is no need to run your home like a school with bells and class periods. Keep your family’s morning, mealtime, and bedtime routines consistent. Set goals for the rest of the day, but don’t be upset when they don’t happen as planned. Focus on those positive and happy moments that occurred during the day.
Social distancing doesn’t require you to stay in your home 24 hours per day. If the weather is nice, get outside and play! Or just read a book on your porch while your kids play. Either way, your whole family will benefit from busting out of your home and burning some energy. Just yesterday, my kids broke out in a Nerf gun war and a spontaneous water gunfight. The laughter in their voices and the joy in their hearts was so good for the soul...mine included!
Social Distance From Social Media
While we think that browsing social media can be relaxing, some studies suggest that it can create more panic about COVID-19 by the constant sharing of news and information. Likewise, continual exposure to the news of COVID-19 can cause fear, worry, and stress, especially in children.
Pass The Time Together
Break out the board games and puzzles. Games such as Twister, UNO, CandyLand, Apples To Apples, Guess Who?, and Life offer opportunities to bond as a family and provide hidden learning opportunities. Puzzles are also great for engaging the brain. This is also a great time to try new recipes, do at-home science experiments, or do crafts.
We know that this new “normal” can and will be stressful. There are going to be days that are better than others. Embrace the good days, and wipe away the bad ones. Remember...it takes rain and sunshine to make a rainbow.
Iowa River Valley Early Childhood Area Director
Disclosure: Carrie Kube is a Director for the Iowa River Valley Early Childhood Area Board. All thoughts and opinions expressed are that of the author and not the Board and/or its community partners.