As Illinois families enter their first week of self-isolation, the need for finding balance during periods of uncertainty is crucial for a family’s mental, physical, and emotional well-being. New information and the introduction of policies and procedures at the state and federal level leave individuals bombarded by information overload, but also anxious regarding the full impact of COVID-19 on their families and in their communities.
The well-being of our families is of our utmost concern and the Counseling Care team is here to help. The key to good mental health during this period of isolation is to properly manage stress, both as individuals and as a family unit. It is common for foster children to have suffered trauma. Caregivers need to be mindful and be prepared to ease fears and help the child work through the episode. Parents can help ease fears and limit triggers by using age-appropriate language to discuss COVID-19 and how it is impacting their community. Let the youth know they are safe, and this moment in time will eventually pass.
Caregivers should be mindful that during this time youth can express fear or react to stress in different ways:
- Excessive worry or sadness
- Behavioral regression
- “Acting out”
- Unexplained body pain (i.e., stomach, headache)
During this time the Counseling and Care team is available for consultation both in-person and over the phone. Hoyleton’s therapists and counselors are here to help families find creative solutions to behaviors and promote mental well-being for all. With the proper tools and support, families can thrive during stressful times. For more information on services provided at this time, please visit us online at http://forwardbyhoyleton.org/programs/counseling-care/or call the Counseling and Care team at 618.688.4744.
Maintaining Your Mental Health and Well-Being During Isolation
- Keep a schedule/routine
- It is important to maintain a routine to provide a sense of normalcy. Take care of your basic hygiene (shower, brush teeth, and change out of your PJs). Start each day as you would have prior to isolation protocols.
- Stay healthy
- Eat a balanced diet. Be mindful not to “eat” because of boredom.
- Exercise and fresh air
- If you have a backyard, enjoy it. Run around. Play ball/games with your family.
- If not, open the windows to allow for fresh air. Or, position a comfy chair by the window to have access to sunlight and fresh air.
- Meditate and practice mindfulness to reduce stress and anxiety.
- Learn something new
- Use this time to engage in your favorite hobby or learn a new skill.
- Engage the senses
- Read a new book. Try a puzzle. Cook a new meal. Make art. Listen to a new podcast. Chat with a friend.
Control and Prevention (CDC) (2020 March 14). Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Retrieved from:
World Health Organization (2020 March 12). Mental Health and Psychosocial Considerations During COVID-19 Outbreak. Retrieved from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/mental-health-considerations.pdf?sfvrsn=6d3578af_2