As you are aware, COVID-19 is a new type of Coronavirus that continues to spread across Colorado. Public Health officials are asking individuals and families to stay at home to reduce exposure to COVID-19, but staying home, limiting social contact, and dealing with limited resources can have an impact on mental health and increase stress. Here are some ways that can you can manage stress in these challenging times:
- Contact the Behavioral Health Team at Every Child Pediatrics at 303-360-8111. Behavioral Health Providers at Every Child Pediatrics are here to help and provide phone-based and video-chat services for your children and family during this stressful time.
- Contact the Colorado Crisis Services. Reach out for free, confidential, 24/7 support. Call 1-844-493-TALK (8255) or Text the word “TALK” to 38255.
Additionally, it can be difficult to know how to talk to your kids about COVID-19. Here are a few guidelines when talking to kids about COVID-19:
- Be Honest. Tell the truth. It’s important for children of all ages to hear the truth real facts about what is going on. Educate yourself on COVID-19 and try to give your children accurate information.
- Check-in. Take time every day to check-in with your child. Ask what questions they have about COVID-19. Ask them what they have heard from the news, social media, friends, and family then provide them with correct information. Ask them how they feel and let them know that their feelings are OK.
- Take Care. It is important for children to know that they can take actions to keep themselves and their community safe. For instance, engage your children in hand-washing, eating healthy, and social-distancing (giving others’ “space” or staying 6-feet from another person). All of these behaviors are ways that kids can control their own health. Remind them that you are taking care of them and keeping them safe too!
- Deep breathing can reduce stress and anxiety and help us cope with fears and challenges. Take a few moments every day to focus on taking deep breaths in and out. You can also check out one of these free apps to help you reduce stress.
- Set a family routine or schedule and stick to it! It’s important to establish family routines in times of stress, especially when children are out of school. Try making a schedule for each day so your family knows what to expect. Stick to regular bedtimes, wake up in the morning and get dressed for the day, schedule some “school time” for learning activities (maybe 30 minutes of independent reading), schedule other fun activities, screen time, and outdoor time.
- Get outside. One way to stay physically and emotionally healthy in these times is to encourage outside play and exercise. Try going for a family walk, ride bikes in your apartments’ parking lot, go for a rock hunt – whatever the activity, try to get outside for 15 minutes every day.
- One way that we can keep ourselves healthy is by making sure we are getting enough sleep. It can be difficult to
- Limit screen time. There is so much news on social media about COVID-19; try limiting your family’s news intake to once per day.
- Reach Out. Behavioral Health Providers at Every Child Pediatrics are here to help. Maybe you’re noticing that your child is more stressed, angry, or worried? Maybe your teenager needs someone to talk to about the stress of not being in school? Maybe you need help talking to your child about COVID-19? Maybe you have experienced loss or death of a loved one? Whatever you may be experiencing, it’s ok to ask for help.
You can also check out these helpful resources:
Aurora Mental Health Center: Walk-in-Services Provided at 791 Chambers Rd, (303) 617-2300
Mental Health Center of Denver: (303) 504-7900
Jefferson Center: (303) 425-0300
Community Reach Center: Arazeli Melendez (720) 508-8406