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Counselling Corner: Managing Stress

 

Managing Stress       

We are in unprecedented times.  And with unprecedented times can come a lot of stress. Employment challenges, whether its lay-offs, working from home or putting yourself at risk serving others, there is stress. Struggles to find child-care and supporting your children’s education at home are the new reality which also adds stress to parents and children alike. Financial pressures and news about COVID-19 everwhere you look.  STRESS - STRESS - STRESS!

Focusing on things we can’t control can leave us feeling overwhelmed. Here are some strategies that can help:

1. Focus on what you are still in control of. We are all in control of the choices we make to help curve the spread of COVID-19. We can practice self-distancing, we can keep our children home (even if they feel like we are bad parents in doing so), we can limit outings to essential needs like grocery shopping, and we can practice good hygiene. All of these are strategies that empower us to be part of the solution in stopping the spread of this virus.

2. We can choose what we spend our time doing. Do you really need to spend hours online to keep updated on the minute to minute changes across the world? It can be easy to loose ourself in the moment as we look for answers. Choose to limit your exposure to the news to an update at the end of the day instead of play by play action all day long. When you are keeping yourself informed of the crisis be mindful of your children and how news may be impacting them.

3. Re-frame the current situation. We can focus on the negative or we can choose to look at the positives. While the world takes a pause we can spend more time with our families.  We can enjoy the down time from rushing to and from sports practices to teach our children to cook or bake, play board games and read to our kids. Take this opportunity to connect and have fun as a family. Create positive memories your children will look back on when they remember the COVID-19 outbreak.

4. Stay connected! In a time of social distancing and self-isolation it can feel a bit lonely. Stay in touch with family and friends by phone or social media. Encourage your children to mail letters to Grandparents or cousins. Join a local Facebook group that is working to help others in need.

5. It’s ok not to be ok. We are all experiencing stress and we are all in this together. Reach out to family or friends if you need support. It is not a sign of weakness! We all need a little extra support now and then so don’t be afraid to ask! Need to talk to someone outside of family and friends? The supports below are also available to anyone needing support!

Calgary Distress Center (24 hours): 403-266-4357

Calgary Distress Center Web Chat (3pm-10pm): www.distresscenter.com

Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868

Kids Help Phone Text: Text CONNECT to 686868

Have questions or concerns I can help with? Are you worried about the impact this is having on your child? Send me an email at thielea@fsd38.ab.ca and I can help support you!

Looking for fun science activities to do with your kids? See: www.mkewithkids.com/post/here-are-two-weeks-worth-of-fun-and-easy-science-experiments

And because laughter always helps: