10 Tips for Stress Management and Better Mental Health
Stress management tips for families & individuals.
- Listen to your kids and answer their questions honestly
One of the best ways we can manage fear is with honest, reliable information. Parents can be that source of truth for their kids. Listen to your kids to answer their questions and listen to their worries and fears.
- Include kids and teens in decision making
Give your kids activities they can do to help the family and include them in decision-making. Kids need to feel they are good at things, so watch for things they do well and praise them for it.
- Help adolescents and teens to maintain relationships
Teens need good, strong relationships with other adults and their peers. Help them to safely stay connected with others using video chats and other creative methods.
- Focus on the things within your control
Create a daily routine with tasks you can complete. Do things to make your environment feel safe, like meditation or wrapping up in a big blanket – something that offers comfort.
- Connect with others
Social distancing is about physical distance, not human distance. Human connection is one way we enhance our well-being. Use technology to connect with others, to talk and listen.
- Limit news intake
Limit the amount of news you consume, including on social media. Give yourself a certain time in the day when you can consume news to try to reduce the amount of news you consume.
- Seek out reliable information sources
We know that too much news can feel overwhelming. At the same time, delineating what is reliable information can add stress. Go to reliable information sources like the CDC or the state’s coronavirus website for accurate, reliable, and timely information.
- Be kind to yourself
Don’t punish yourself for not completing a task or staying in bed longer than you planned. Celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may seem.
- Listen to others and seek out those who will listen to you
As we deal with isolation in varying extremes, talking about it and being heard can help us to feel less alone. Use technology and other creative methods for human connection while adhering to appropriate social distancing.
- Access mental health resources
Whether you have a serious mental health condition or are feeling high levels of stress and anxiety for the first time – there are others in your similar situation and there is support, regardless of your age or personal situation. (Resources recommended by panelists are listed below.)
I’m grateful to the professionals who shared their expertise with us, including, Dr. Travis Mickelson, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist with the University of Utah School of Medicine, Taryn Hiatt with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Rob Wesemann with the National Alliance on Mental Illness.