We’re all being asked to keep safe during the coronavirus outbreak by staying at home and washing our hands. While these simple actions are the best way to protect ourselves, it’s easy for children to feel unsettled by all the changes taking place. The activities below can help support your child’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.
This breathing exercise helps quieten anxious thoughts. Practise it together with your child, and talk about when it might be useful to breathe like this.
Repeat this as many times as you like until you feel calmer.
When we worry, we often imagine all the bad things that might happen. This exercise helps us stay present by remembering safe or comforting thoughts.
Ask your child to name or write down:
Practising the circle of control can help limit which thoughts become worries.
Ask your child to draw a circle on a piece of paper. Inside the circle, write down the “things I can control”. For example:
Outside the circle, write down the “things I can’t control.” For example:
The activities above are useful tools for relieving anxious feelings. But it’s just as important to let your child know you are ready to listen and support them.
Give eye contact, nod without interrupting, and then acknowledge their feelings. For instance, “I can see why you’re worried.” Sitting down together with a problem can lighten the load.
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