By now, we all know that our world isn’t going back to our usual normal.
We aren’t going places with large groups of people, church has not physically been open, and we have been home with our immediate family.
Have you noticed you have been more anxious lately? Do you lose your temper quicker than normal? Have you taken stock of your own mental health?
This may be the time to do it.
In the weeks since the pandemic has hit, I have found myself losing my temper more easily. I become annoyed by things that I am usually very patient about. I have lost interest in things that I am normally very excited about. All of these things have led me to the conclusion that I am grieving loss and I feel overwhelmed by the information that we get. I decided that I would start trying to better understand my own feelings and how I wanted to move forward.
According to the CDC, if we are experiencing any of the following symptoms, we could be in distress:
- Feelings of numbness, disbelief, anxiety or fear.
- Changes in appetite, energy, and activity levels.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Difficulty sleeping or nightmares and upsetting thoughts and images.
- Physical reactions, such as headaches, body pains, stomach problems, and skin rashes.
- Worsening of chronic health problems.
- Anger or short-temper.
- Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.
Since May was Mental Health Awareness Month, there has been increased conversation about mental health. There are a good amount of resources available on the web. The CDC page is particularly helpful if you have a child who is struggling as well. The helpful links at the bottom of the page are great for helping children cope.
My almost 8 year-old has had multiple break-downs about not being able to go to school or see his friends. We have tried many things to help him emotionally. We set up weekly FaceTime calls with some of his friends and his teacher decided to do a meet-up on Google with some of his classmates. He draws pictures and has a weekly competition with his cousin over what they draw.
These are all things that are not necessary for my middle son. My almost 6-year-old just wants to be cuddled more and to watch some television at night with me in bed. When I think about my own emotional and mental health, seeing how differently my own children respond reminds me that my feelings are normal and my coping mechanisms won’t be the same.
What are some of your coping mechanisms for yourself and for your kids?