Help your child relieve emotional strain with these helpful tips

By Erika Rivera 7 May 2020

We all know that stress is a natural emotional response to pressure or demanding circumstances. Still, too much of it can put a person in a fight or flight mode that can trigger hormones that can raise unhealthy symptoms.

Below are three helpful tips you can implement with your child if you notice emotional strain or tension in response to the Coronavirus:

Breathe deeply:

When a person is stressed, he or she is most likely also experiencing the debilitating symptoms of anxiety, which can include fast heart rate, worry, fear, and trembling, to name a few. Learning how to breathe deeply can help lessen the symptoms. Below are a few helpful videos that can teach your child how to calm down and breathe deeply.

From Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood:
Daniel Learns to Be Calm on the Trolley
Calming Down Strategy Song

From Esme and Roy:
Practice Belly Breathing

Turn off the FireHOSE

Stress can feel like you are taking an overwhelming amount of pressure to the face, kind of like a big FireHOSE. Try using the last four letters of the word to make an acronym that allows you to ask your children questions that can help turn down the hose.

H: Am I hungry?

It's easy for a child to experience a mood change when he or she is hungry because our blood sugar levels drop when we haven't eaten. Make sure you're asking your children if they are hungry and offering snacks in between activities to ensure they're fueling on enough food to keep them emotionally stable.

O: Am I overstimulated?

The overwhelming amount of news and safety practices we have to teach our children can frustrate their emotional state. Take your kids out for a walk in the park, breathe fresh air, and step away from the daily rules and directions so that they could recharge and feel a little bit of normality in their life.

S: Do I need to get some sleep?

When children are sleepy, it's extremely hard for them to function and have a productive day. Ensuring that they are getting enough sleep can help their emotional well-being so that it's easier for them to face adversity and life's demands a lot easier.

E: Do I need to exercise?

Exercise can transform your mood when you're feeling down or burned out because it positively stimulates your brain to improve focus and cognition. Expose your children to fun outdoor activities where they can move their bodies and involve yourself too. You and your kids will feel a lot more fresh, productive, and ready for your tasks.

Always be present and available for your children

Research shows that it's always easier for a child to face life's challenges when they have someone compassionate they can turn to for comfort. Make sure that you are always that person! And reassure them that adverse circumstances don't last when people are working together to make things better. It's also a great idea to recap what you've been doing to stay safe during the Coronavirus outbreak, like enforcing cleaning habits, wearing a mask when in public places, and practicing social distancing. A quick reminder of these actions can work to bring comfort and ease.