For most of us, one of the hardest things about the measures we’re
having to take to contain the spread of COVID-19 is social distancing.
Human beings are sociable creatures; we thrive on connections, and
physical connection through touch (which is why massage is so vital).
While we can’t do much about the physical distance that this virus
has put between us all, there are things that we can do to maintain
our emotional connections.
Reach Out to People Virtually
At least this has happened now, rather than in a time when we
weren’t as virtually connected. We have so many options at our
fingertips; we can use FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, House Party,
WhatsApp – or go old school and call people up, send emails and
texts. Don’t forget to make the time to connect with other people, to
give and receive support.
Kids also need to talk to each other and stay in touch with their
friends, so try and organize virtual playdates and give the older kids
some freedom to chat with their school buddies. Time seems to go a
lot slower when you’re younger and with no social interaction, teens
especially may get lonely.
The Kids Will Act Up – Give Them A Break
It’s not just the adults of the family who are struggling to get their
heads around what’s happening. Children, who may be used to
having a regular daily and weekly routine, will feel shaken up by the
changes to their day – they rely on having their normal routines
created by other people, it makes them feel secure and safe knowing
Kids may display signs of anxiety. They could become withdrawn as
they start to worry or misbehave just for attention. They may even
start to experience nightmares, difficulty sleeping, start pushing
parental limits, or some may experience meltdowns. This is not the
time to start imposing behavioral plans or consequences. Deal with
each episode or issue as it crops up, be there for your children and
show understanding. Keep talking and make it known that you are
there for your children’s worries and questions.
Thrive on Safety and Attachment
It’s going to be hard not to get wrapped up in unusual work
commitments, home schooling responsibilities, keeping the house as
clean as possible and watching the news reports…but there is
security in attachment and communication. Children will feel scared
and in unpredictable situations, they need extra reassurance from
their care givers. Focus on strengthening emotional connections
with the kids – hugs and physical touch, playing, reading feel good
books and giving verbal reassurances that you are there for them no
Help Other People
There are so many ways that we can support our friends, family and
neighbors at the moment, and every kindness adds to a feeling of
‘we’re in this together’. If you have neighbors needing help, offer to
grocery shop, check in with any elderly neighbors on the phone and
ask if they need anything, pick up people’s medication for them from
the drugstore. Just offer a helping hand or a listening ear to anyone
who needs a friendly chat.
Reach Out for Help Yourself
You can’t do everything yourself, and in order to help others and be
there for the kids, you need to make sure that you’re OK too. Check
in with your therapist, if you have one, virtually. Follow massage and
self-care tips from your massage and skincare therapists. Don’t
forget to keep your own medications up to date.
If you are having difficulty coping, ask for help. There are mental
health experts waiting to help people through these unprecedented
times and they can provide support and advice if you’re feeling the
pressure. Turn to your children’s teachers for help with home
schooling, and don’t be afraid to ask for advice if you’re tasked with
schooling child with special challenges. There are plenty of online
support groups being set up to help home-schoolers, parents, and
neighborhoods to stay connected. We may have to remain
physically distant, but we can always connect virtually.
Stay in touch and stay safe …