CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WICS/WCCU) — Home is where you can find most people during the COVID-19 outbreak as government officials ask everyone to stay home if they can, but how is that impacting their stress levels?
Marilee Johnson is a licensed clinical professional counselor and has tips on how you can fight those feelings.
She has seen many people with these issues in her office over the last few weeks in the Champaign-Urbana area.
“I’m already seeing it set in parents, and kids are pretty stressed,” Johnson said.
She recommends creating a schedule that can help get everyone in the home on the same page, feeling as if you were at school or work.
“Do something outside, be sure to put some chores in there, right?” Johnson said. “Kids still need some responsibility and some structure.”
Limiting screen time may help as well, as too much screen time can increase anxiety.
“Kids can build up adrenaline when they’re doing screen time, especially video games, and that adrenaline builds up and becomes irritability and anger, and so kids need a break from that,” Johnson said.
Timers work well to help with keeping you on task and limiting certain things during the day. If you are schooling from home, it can give your kids a chance to take a break and do a sensory activity.
“Then, the parent isn’t saying when things are happening,” Johnson said. “The timer gets to say it and that can create a little less conflict.”
Parents need time for themselves as well, as they may be taking on a new role during this time of uncertainty.
“If you can take just even 15 minutes as a parent to do something you enjoy, that can help reduce your stress as a parent,” Johnson said.
As a family, it’s good to do things together, between games, walks, yoga, anything positive to pass the time.
Each family is different and will learn how to find their groove together at home.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty and none of us knows really what’s going to happen, but we don’t know and we can’t live there,” Johnson said. “That creates too much anxiety, so pull back and live in the moment.”
Some are saying they have been painting, going on bike rides, and taking walks when it’s nice out.
by Taylor Deckert