Featured Image for Mental Health Awareness Month: Has social distancing caused chaos in YOUR household?

Mental Health Awareness Month: Has social distancing caused chaos in YOUR household?

Thursday, May 14, 2020

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, our typical routines have been completely turned upside down. We’d think that without commutes, errands, practices, events etc that we should have MORE time, but instead we may feel totally disorganized and distressed.

It is more important than ever to establish a schedule that helps to balance work, school, and home life for all members of your family.

Let’s freshen up the ‘old’ family routines as well as create some new ones!

  • Create a visual agenda – Creating a visual schedule for your child makes it easier for them to follow along. When everyone is home indefinitely, understanding more concretely which hours of the day are for “learning” rather than “fun” can help decrease anxiety and give children a sense of order. End the school and work day with some self care/decompress time – There are some Mindfulness, Resilience resources available for you and fun activity resources for the kids! Finally, strive to maintain a consistent bedtime and wake up schedule.Fatigue can increase stress and irritability which increase potential for other negative behaviors.
  • Be creative and have some fun setting up defined spaces in the home for ‘school work’, for ‘play’, for mom/dad’s ‘office’This sets boundaries that everyone in the house understands.Remember to intentionally separate yourself from the school work and work space at the end of the day either by moving equipment to the side if it is a shared space so it brings that part of your day to an end.
  • Maintain communication with your partner and your child’s teacher to decide how much time each of you will dedicate each day/alternating days to assist your child with homework. In order to help support your child’s learning, make sure to keep communication open with your child’s teacher. When your teacher is not available, your child will lean on you for school support. Through the teacher’s help, you can develop a long-term plan for implementing techniques or working toward goals at home. Here are some other helpful distance learning resources.
  • Celebrate Success (Big or Small) – Not every day is going to go according to schedule and that is OK!Learn how positively energize /reinforce the moments your child DOES follow something on the schedule.Bergen’s Promise offers virtual parent workshops on the Nurtured Heart Approach which decreases the need for discipline, addresses acting out behaviors, improves family dynamics…all benefits during social isolation and beyond!If you are interested in attending a free virtual Nurtured Heart Parent Workshop, please indicate your interest through our website at https://www.bergenspromise.org/contact
  • If your child is in crisis – Let us Help! Social distancing can create a feeling of isolation from friends and support systems. For children and youth with behavior disorders or mental health diagnoses, COVID-19 may heighten their anxiety and distress. Call the Children’s System of Careat 1-877-652-7624, 24/7. There are free Mobile Response services that can provide safe, real-time emergency counseling and therapies.Your Bergen County System Partners like Bergen’s Promise, Children’s Mobile Response (CarePlus) and the Family Support Organization of Bergen County are here for YOUR family!

We encourage you to review more Parent/Caregiver Support resources and coping tips (video, articles) regarding establishing routines on our dedicated COVID resource page.

See all the helpful resources for families we’re adding daily to our Bergen Resourcenet page titled “Resources to Maintain Wellbeing and Balance in CoVID-19 times”. 

Follow the BergenResourceNet FaceBook for upcoming webinars, groups, events!