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Anxiety during COVID-19

Many kids and adolescents have seen an increase in anxiety symptoms throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The decrease of social interaction, lack of normal routines and other changes throughout the pandemic have been linked to the increase in anxiety. If your children have been experiencing heightened anxiety, you are not alone! Many children and parents have reported troubles sleeping and increase in fears and separation anxiety.

Here are some of the many symptoms of anxiety:

· Recurring fears or worries about routine parts of everyday life

· Trouble sleeping

· Trouble concentrating

· Physical complaints like stomachache, headache or fatigue

· Avoidance of social situations

· Fear of leaving home

· Fear of separation from a loved one

Here are some strategies at helping your child's anxiety:

· Predictable routines

· Sufficient sleep

· Nutritious food

· Low caffeine intake for teens

· Social Support

· Physical Activity

· Meditation & Mindfulness (Smiling Mind, Calm & Headspace apps for iPhone and Android)

· Mightier (emotional regulation video game)

· Positive Penguins app to teach children about their emotions

· Journaling feelings

· “Worry” jar– write down worries and throw them in a jar, read them 1-2 months later to realize that most fears are no longer a worry

· Finding enjoyable activities as a positive outlet such as drawing, listening to music, reading, writing or sports

This is a difficult time for all of us and even for the young children that do not know exactly what is going on in the world they are still aware of the differences in our daily lives which can cause anxiety. It is important to talk to your kids about their concerns and help keep daily routines as much as possible. Please call us today if you are concerned about worsening symptoms of anxiety!

The AAP has a great section on COVID-19 including tips for anxiety and stress during difficult times. Check it out here!

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