October Health Tips and National Observations
Here’s some news you can use for October 2020!
Balancing Work and Kids Going Back to School
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic makes it a school year like no other. Parents have had to make difficult decisions about whether to send their children back to school in person, enroll in virtual learning or opt for a combination of the two. Whether students are learning in a classroom or virtually, parents may find themselves having to balance work responsibilities with virtual learning or child care responsibilities at the same time.
Parents face a unique set of challenges as they attempt to balance the needs of their children—especially schooling—with their own concerns about work, finances and health. This article explores how to navigate pandemic stress and uncertainty, and how to build resilience throughout the school year.
Checking In With Your Children
Children may be experiencing stress and uncertainty this school year due to the pandemic, and parents should monitor their children for signs of anxiety or distress. Be on the lookout for changes in your child’s behavior and mood, or physical symptoms, such as:
- Increased defiance or irritability
- Disturbances in sleep
- Loss of appetite
- Lack of concentration
- Less energy
- Sadness or crying
- Nausea, muscle tension or dizziness
- Refusal to go to school or engage in virtual schoolwork
If your child or others in the home are showing any of these signs, they may have anxiety about their schooling situation or COVID-19 in general. Children are resilient, but it’s still important to pay attention to signs of anxiety during this time—and seek professional support if any warning signs persist.
You can be a positive role model for your child by practicing self-care. Be sure to get plenty of sleep, exercise and eat well to be fully charged to take on the day. If your children are doing any virtual or at-home learning, it’s also important to stay socially connected with others and stay physically active.
Coping With Stress and Uncertainty
Everyone’s situation is different. If you’ve chosen virtual learning or a hybrid model, you will likely take on the role of teacher at some point. And even if your kids are going to their school every day, there may be times when your child will have to be at home. For example, if a student or teacher tests positive for COVID-19, the entire class may be quarantined and pushed to virtual learning.
Read more (PDF)
Combating Pandemic Fatigue
An unintentional phenomenon is on the rise—pandemic fatigue. People are tired of staying at home. People want to be the social creatures they inherently are. People want their “normal” back.
This collective fatigue is making some people—consciously or unconsciously—disregard pandemic guidance such as social distancing and mask wearing. Others may be reaching a mental health breaking point.
Alarming data from a U.S. Census Bureau survey revealed the psychological toll taken by the pandemic. American adults were asked typical mental health screening questions. Twenty-four percent showed clinically significant symptoms of major depressive disorder, and 30% showed symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.
Those rates were higher among younger adults (ages 18 to 29), women and people making less than $25,000 a year.
Read more (PDF)