The coronavirus pandemic is affecting people around the world. And even those who are in quarantine are taking a considerable toll on themselves, not physically, but mentally. Families are out of their usual routine. And are forced to adjust to the “new normal” – working at home and even homeschooling, making our kids feel anxious and isolated. But before we can take care of our child’s mental health, we need to start with ourselves. 

Here is how we, parents, can take care of ourselves while in quarantine.

Follow A Schedule

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The coronavirus pandemic has taken us out of our usual routine, locking us in our homes for safety measures. Because of this, we lost our sense of control of our lives, making us anxious and stressed most of the time. So what you need to do to regain that control is to have a schedule. Create a new routine that you and your family can follow every day. Set aside a time for working, hanging out with your kids, exercising, and even having just a free time to relax.

This quarantine schedule does not have to be on the dot and uptight. Allow for some flexibility and contingencies. Do not let this routine be another source of your anxiety. Follow your schedule, but do not be afraid to veer away from it when you need some downtime for yourself.

Be Physically Active

Before, staying at home means relaxing and getting away from the usual problem of your daily life. Now, staying at home is a mandatory practice to keep yourself and your family safe, blurring the lines of work, school, and relaxation. So, it may be tempting to forgo working and just relax all day, but that will do you more harm than good. Mainly since lack of physical activity contributes to other health issues like weight gain and heart diseases.

So while in quarantine, find time to work out for at least 150 minutes per week. Besides keeping you physically healthy, it can also help you mentally as exercising improves your move and boosts your energy.

Eat Healthily

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Another essential health tip to remember is to eat healthily. As much as possible, avoid binging on unhealthy snacks like soda and salted chips when binge-watching your favorite shows. There is a science behind avoiding these foods and having better moods. And now more than ever, you will need to be mentally and emotionally healthy to better deal with these unstable times.

So, be sure to incorporate foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in your diet and have instant mood boosts at every meal.

Have Enough Sleep

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One of the things that you should also include in your schedule is the time for sleeping and the time for waking up. Research shows that having enough sleep can improve your mood and decrease your risk of anxiety and depression. Jade Wu Ph.D., also shares, “getting enough sleep is important for your health and happiness.” She adds “Keeping a consistent wake-up time will help you to get on the same page with your body, and to have just the right amount of that sweet, innocent sleep.”

So when it’s near your bedtime, put your phones away, tuck yourself in bed, and get ready to fall asleep right on schedule. 

Minimize Screen Time

Both the internet and the television are full of negative news about the pandemic. And continuously exposing ourselves to these can increase our anxiety. Researches have also reported that exposure to negative news fuels our natural negativity bias. It is making us pay more attention to the threatening events around us, which ultimately makes us more depressed and anxious.

It is essential to be informed about current events while in quarantine. But it is also necessary to know when enough is enough and when to turn off your TVs and get out of social media to find peace in yourself.

Communicate Your Feelings

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Lastly, do not forget to communicate your feelings. Yes, you are a parent, and you need to be reliable for your children, but you are also a human being. So, whenever you feel overwhelmed with emotions, reach out to your partner or a trusted friend, and tell them about it. Keeping negative feelings may put you on edge and unable to take care of your children. 

Never wait for your emotional cup to be full. When you don’t feel okay, tell someone about it.

One important thing to note: our children feel our anxiety. So before we can fully assist our children in dealing with their mental health while in quarantine, we must mentally and emotionally ready to do it. Start taking care of yourselves to help your kids cope with this pandemic.

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The 2019 Mental Illness Conference revealed that teletherapy is the next big thing now. With the emergence of COVID-19 and social distancing, it is getting more challenging to have a physical meeting with your therapists. Some people might feel a bit hesitant to try this new approach. With this in mind, listed below are some of the top benefits you can get if you engage with teletherapy.

More Accessible

As mentioned above, it’s a little bit challenging to set an appointment with your therapist physically. Simultaneously, some individuals living in rural areas find it challenging to travel just for this service. Teletherapy eliminates the distance barrier so that therapy is accessible to everyone everywhere.

Privacy

Some people do not engage with therapists because they’re scared of being judged. They do not want other people to see them enter a therapist’s clinic. With the emergence of teletherapy, you don’t have to worry about this issue. Since everything is online, you will be able to eliminate all the awkwardness of seeking the therapist’s services.

Reduced Wait Times

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If you line up at a therapist’s office, there’s a significant chance that you will have to wait for your turn. Some sessions will inevitably extend, so you have to sit at the lounge for a longer time. With teletherapy, this won’t be a problem anymore. Add to this the reduced time of battling with traffic going and returning from your session.

More Comfortable

Believe it or not, several people feel a bit anxious when sitting in the waiting room of the clinic. They have to process their emotion of meeting a new person and pouring their feelings to him or her. This scenario makes them a little bit stressed. If you’re one of these people, you don’t have to worry about experiencing this. Teletherapy alleviates the anxiety since they’re processing everything in the comfort of their own homes.

Streamlines Communications

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One of the most vital benefits that teletherapy brings to the table is streamlined communications. All records are available on one platform. Also, patients can access their files online, view their charting program, and receive appointment notifications. They can even pay digitally!

Teletherapy brings a new perspective and frontier, and with its growth, the future looks brighter.

 

Although COVID-19 has been devastating for everyone, but are you aware that its adverse effects have impacted teenagers more than adults? A lot of people think that it’s because they miss their high school friends or that they won’t be able to attend their proms anymore, or that they won’t be able to celebrate their graduation. However, it’s more than this. Experts revealed that there is a science behind this.

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“Teenagers and college students have amplified innate, developmental motivations that make them hard to isolate at home. The hormonal changes that come with puberty conspire with adolescent social dynamics to make them highly attuned to social status and peer group,” shares Christine L. Carter, Ph.D., a sociologist and author of Raising Happiness, The Sweet Spot, and The New Adolescence.

If you are a parent wondering how you can handle your teenager with anxiety, do not worry too much. Listed below are some of the most effective coping strategies for teenagers with anxiety amid COVID-19.

Normalize Anxiety

Anxiety is normal, whether in a global pandemic or not. However, not all adolescents, and even adults, know this face. Research shows that teenagers fear the presence of anxiety, and they think so lowly of themselves. What you can do as a parent is to send a message to your children that healthy stress has its purpose.

You must emphasize to them that feeling anxious right now makes sense. Assure your teenagers that they are posing the right reaction to whatever’s happening in the whole world amid the coronavirus. Once they know this, they’ll feel more relaxed and feel more comfortable with expressing their feelings.

Create Distractions

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Whenever individuals consult with their psychologists, these experts help them divide their problems into two categories — issues that I can do something about and concerns that there’s nothing I can do. The pandemic falls on the second.

Since we can’t do something about it as of now, then one of the best ways to manage our anxiety is to create distractions for ourselves. As a parent, it’s your job to spearhead activities for your young adult. You may opt to watch movies with them, recommend books they can read for the day, set up family board game nights, and other household tutorial activities.

Understand Their Frustration Over Their Social Lives

Teenagers value friendship so much. Bonding with their peers is something they treasure in their daily lives. Therefore, if your child keeps on sulking about not seeing their friends or being stuck with their annoying siblings, don’t get frustrated. Instead, talk to them directly and calmly.

First and foremost, acknowledge what they’re feeling. Tell your children that it’s understandable that they are feeling this way. Then once you have assured them that you’re okay with talking about this topic, wait for them to open up. Your job is to listen to what they are feeling for them to be able to release the anxiety that they are feeling. The most critical part of this talk is to come to a compromise on how you can ease the situation and make their stress more bearable for them.

Recommend Ways On How They Can Connect With Friends

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With the emergence of the digital era, it’s not that hard to look for ways to connect with friends. There are various social media platforms they can use to talk to them. However, you have to recommend as well that they need to look for ways to put these platforms to good use.

For one, a lot of teenagers nowadays join several Tik-Tok challenges promoting safety in this pandemic. An example of this is the #safehands challenge, where users take videos of themselves doing proper handwashing in the most creative ways. Connecting with their friends through these causes will keep them preoccupied, thus, lowering their anxiety.

Encourage Healthy Habits

There is a high chance that teens will live an unhealthy lifestyle during this stressful time. Losing their healthy habits will only increase one’s anxiety levels. As a parent, it is your role to promote and sustain your child’s health practice. Make sure to establish new routines that will revolve around eating correctly, sleeping adequately, exercising regularly, and engaging in social activities.

Raising teenagers in this crisis might be challenging. However, if you apply the tips above, rest assured that your teen’s anxiety will slowly disappear. Just keep your efforts consistent, and everything will follow.

The 2017 Mental Illness Summit tackled the different strategies dedicated to safeguarding mental health. One of these is coming up with the best diet that can be of help in addressing depression. According to a study in 2017, individuals with moderate-to-severe depression improved their situation upon following a more healthful diet for three months. 

Read on to know what food to eat and avoid when you have depression. 

EAT: Dark Leafy Green Vegetables

Experts revealed that the healthiest food out there in the market is the dark leafy green vegetables – no contest. This list includes Kale, Spinach, Swiss chard, and the like. Eating this will help boost your immune system and provide anticancer effects. It also addresses brain inflammation, a condition linked to depression. 

DO NOT EAT: Sugar

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If you’re a fan of cookies and chocolates, then you might not like what you’ll read. Professionals advise people with depression to avoid taking in sweets, as desserts only lead to multiple mood swings. Your mood will most likely go up and down (mostly down!) several times a day. Experiencing this might only lead to anxiety. 

EAT: Walnuts

Walnuts are known for being one of the richest in omega-3 fatty acids. Numerous studies have proven how this particular fatty acid reduces depression symptoms by supporting brain function. 

DO NOT EAT: Soda

Aside from contributing to a spike in your blood sugar, regular soda does not provide any nutrition to your body. At the same time, some researches supported the link between sugar-sweetened drinks, such as soda, to depression. Therefore, if you are craving for that bubbly fix and seltzer water, try shifting your attention to sparkling water instead. 

EAT: Berries

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Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries, are known for its cell-repairing antioxidants. A study by the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine showed that patients who are mentally-ill but got treatment with these antioxidants for two years received a lower depression score. 

DO NOT EAT: Ketchup

Yes, ketchup is usually from tomatoes, right? Unknown to many, however, is that it also contains lots of sugar – 4 grams per teaspoon, to be exact. These artificial sweeteners are a no-no to those with depression since it leads to unusual mood spikes. 

The sad reality is that only a few people talk about their mental health issues. Up to this moment, there are still many individuals who prefer to keep their problems within themselves. This is why the suicide rate has gone up in recent years. When a particular person fails to keep his emotions in check or to talk to others about the things that bother him, there is a high possibility that the same person will commit suicide. Because of this, it is essential for you to watch out for the signs indicating that a loved one is about to take his own life.

 

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Staying in a relationship or marriage is always a choice. With all the temptations and doubts in this material world, keeping a marriage becomes challenging. Some couples struggle in saving their marital union because of infidelity, domestic violence, and other matrimonial woes. Nowadays, cheating has become apparent and prevalent in many marriages. This is why you have to be extra careful when it comes to your married life.

 

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Do you want to move on from a broken marriage? Are you struggling to survive the breakup or divorce? Are you having difficulty handling custody issues with your former husband? If your answer is yes, then this article is perfect for you. In this write-up, we are going to list down some of the tips that you could use so that you can learn how to let go of an old flame.

 

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A recent study shows that people who are in a relationship, especially those who have received the sacrament of matrimony, are happier compared to those who are still single. There are many reasons for this conclusion, one of which is that married couples have already attained a high level of satisfaction. They experience bliss because they get to wake up with the people they love every single day. Because of this, some experts have concluded that marriage is good for a person’s mental health.

 

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If there is one thing that needs your full attention today, it is improving your psychological well-being. With all the current things happening in your life right now, you sometimes forget the significance of caring for your mental health. You have so many tasks to complete every day to the point that you have forgotten how to nourish yourself with the right amount of vitamins and even good vibes. Take note that failure to focus on your mental condition could have adverse effects on your life, career, and relationships with others.

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When it comes to finding a psychiatrist to help you deal with a mental condition, the one thing you need to know is the importance of building confidence and trust towards the health doctor. There is a necessity to look for the best medical professional in your community so that there would be ease in the treatment process. Take note that the secret or key to a successful recovery from a mental illness is to work closely with the psychiatrist. For this to become possible, it is essential to find a doctor whom you can be comfortable with. “The foundation of therapy is based on the relationship you build with your therapist. When seeking someone out it’s important you feel comfortable with them,” says Elana Schechtman-Gil LMFT.

 

 

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Here are some of the essential skills you need to look out for:

Intelligent

An excellent psychiatrist is one who knows what he is doing. He must be considered as an outstanding professional in the medical community. Take note that there can be many complications in your mental condition. As such, the knowledge of a health doctor is significant in creating an effective treatment plan. Make sure to look at the medical background of the doctor before consulting.

 

Authoritative

As much as possible, find a doctor who has authority over your person. Keep in mind that you need a professional who could make you undergo several processes. Having a mental condition can bring a lot of emotional disturbances in your life. There could be times when you may lose hope. Because of this, the assistance of an authoritative psychiatrist may come in handy.

 

Empathetic

A great doctor is someone who does not only see you as a patient but also a friend. He needs to be understanding and patient about what you are going through. He must be gentle in handling your case. You deserve a psychiatrist who could go to extra lengths to make you feel safe and comfortable. Avoid dealing with incompetent and impatient psychiatrist.

 

Effective

Another essential skill that a psychiatrist must have is that he must be competent in all professional dealings. He must know how to address each case with precision properly. Mental health illnesses may vary from one person to another. Because of this, one treatment plan cannot be made applicable to two different patients. Therefore, you must choose a doctor who provides the right diagnosis and treatment for your condition. Julie Simon, PsyD once stated, “I view therapy as a collaborative, dynamic, and individualized process. I have a warm and engaging style and am flexible in adapting therapy to meet your needs and goals.”

 

Respectful

A psychiatrist must also know how to respect personal boundaries. He must be a person with proven integrity. Most importantly, this doctor must know how to handle confidentiality matters. Take note that communications made between you and the doctor must be kept private at all times. This means that he is not allowed to divulge any information or data without your consent. Otherwise, he can be subjected to a civil or administrative case. “A good therapist should be open and willing to understand your concerns. If your counselor doesn’t take your concerns seriously or is unwilling to accept feedback, then it’s probably in your best interest to consult with another therapist about it.” Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC said.

 

 

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Remind yourself of the skills listed above. Be sure to create a checklist of the skills to look for before hiring a psychiatrist. Do not rush into choosing the doctor who will handle your case. It takes patience before you could find the right doctor for you. Once you find the perfect health professional, everything will be worth it.