Caring for your family
For many, family can be a great source of comfort. With current social restrictions, this can mean being together more than usual as a family group and needing to find ways to entertain each other (or not) and manage each other’s coping styles. Following are some thoughts and resources on being in this situation:
Children are faced with their own uncertainties including changes in the way they learn, isolation from friends and the loss of extracurricular activities. It’s important to keep a structure and rhythm through routines for exercise, learning, fun and a set bedtime. Signs of anxiety in children may include; misbehaving more than usual, trouble concentrating or struggling to sleep.
Resources to assist them to understand COVID-19 and the situation:
- The Red Cross: Defusing family tension and conflict during the COVID-19 pandemic
- The Kids Helpline allows for calls, email and webchat. “While Kids Helpline counsellors can't provide health or medical advice, we can provide emotional support anytime and for any reason. In a time of high uncertainty, a little bit of support can make a big difference!”
- Sydney Children's Hospital Network: Managing COVID-19 Anxiety
- UNICEF's 6 ways parents can support their kids through the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak
Teenagers are used to a certain level of freedom, often longing for independence, and now must spend a much greater time with family members in the home. The strategies recommended for teenagers in managing change and anxiety are similar for those recommended for adults.
The following links provide a range of self-management strategies for teenagers:
- UNICEF's How teenagers can protect their mental health during Coronavirus (COVID-19): 6 strategies for teens facing a new (temporary) normal - tips to assist teenagers with their feelings of anxiety
- Headspace.org.au is a well known national Youth Mental Health Foundation and have a site How to cope with stress related to Corona virus (COVID-19) that includes tools and additional links specifically for young people during COVID-19. A Headspace Medication and Sleep app is highly recommended
- REACHOUT suggests 10 ways to take care of yourself during Coronavirus that include staying active, chatting with mates and taking a break from the news
The pandemic travel restrictions and self-isolation may cause particular challenges for older Australians, who may miss regular contact with family, friends or community groups. Below you will find information to support older Australians to stay connected and manage in this time.
- My Aged Care provides information and support for older Australians
- The Australian Red Cross provides a number of tips including Tech and other solutions for staying connected with elderly friends and family in the COVID-19 era
- Health.gov.au provides information on Self-isolation (self-quarantine)
- The online resource The Aged Care Guide provides information on how to self-isolate and tips to not get bored indoors