At Dr. Jill’s Foot Pads, we are hoping all of our patients are taking the necessary steps to avoid the virus and stay physically healthy. But what about emotional health? This time of pandemic can create stress and anxiety for adults and children. The good news is that this is an area you can actually have control over. Below are some suggestions that will help.
- Stick to a Schedule—although many adults are not going into the office and children are home from school, it is still beneficial to maintain a routine. Endless hours of free time, hanging out all day in pajamas and mindlessly flipping through television stations can increase depression and fuel scary thoughts. Try to get up at the same time each day (at least Monday-Friday). Eat meals at regular times. Set a schedule for doing schoolwork or office work. Try to keep as much normalcy as possible—for instance, if you usually walk your children to the bus in the morning, take a quick walk around the neighborhood with them before settling into work.
- Get Enough Sleep—insomnia is linked to depression and with all there is to worry about it’s no wonder sleeping well may prove difficult. Be sure your family engages in some physically active pursuits such as working in the yard, exercising, etc. This will improve sleep quality. Have a wind down routine—reading, warm shower, prayers, etc. that signals time for sleep. Strive for 8 hours nightly.
- Plan for Positive Activities—be sure your schedule includes time for connecting with family and friends that you are no longer able to see. Phone calls and even better, options that allow you to see the person as well such as Zoom, What’s App and Facetime, will be grounding and make everyone feel better.
- Maintain Personal Care—making sure children are brushing their teeth, bathing on schedule, changing into clean clothes, combing hair, etc. will help improve everyone’s mood. Ditto for making beds and staying on track with keeping bedrooms and common living areas clean and organized.
Making these efforts will have a twofold benefit. First, it will improve emotional health during this challenging time and second, it will help everyone be ready to smoothly transition back to regular school, work and life routines when the virus passes—which it will!