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Stress and Anxiety Management - Coronavirus



Advice for Parents on Ways to

Manage Anxiety and Stress

During the Coronavirus Outbreak Stress and Coping


The outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emo-tions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.


Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations


How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and the community you live in.


For Parents


Children and teens react, in part, on what they see from the adults around them. When parents and caregivers deal with the COVID-19 calmly and confi-dently, they can provide the best support for their children. Parents can be more reassuring to others around them, especially children, if they are better prepared.


Not all children and teens respond to stress in the same way. Some common changes to watch for include:


  • Excessive crying or irritation in younger children
  • Returning to behaviours they have outgrown (for example, toileting acci-dents or bedwetting)
  • Excessive worry or sadness
  • Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits
  • Irritability and “acting out” behaviour’s in teens
  • Avoiding school work
  • Difficulty with attention and concentration
  • Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past
  • Unexplained headaches or body pain



There are many things you can do to support your child


  • Take time to talk with your child or teen about the COVID-19 outbreak. Answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child or teen can understand.
  • Reassure your child or teen that they are safe. Let them know it is ok if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you.
  • Limit your family’s exposure to news coverage of the event, including so-cial media. Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be fright-ened about something they do not understand.
  • Try to keep up with regular routines. Whilst schools are closed, create a schedule for learning activities and relaxing or fun activities.
  • Be a role model.  Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well. Connect with your friends and family members.


If there is any novelty to staying home, it will likely wear off quickly. Your children may not like their new setup, but you can assure them that millions of children around the world are in the same boat. Assure them, too, that you are there to support them.


Discussing that there are many “normal” emotional responses to a crisis, including fear, confusion, anger, guilt, shame, humiliation, grief, and sorrow. Children may feel these at different times, and that’s okay. Remind them that others, including their teachers and parents, may be feeling some of that. It’s a good time for self-compassion and compassion for others—a lesson that will hopefully stick with them long after this particular crisis has passed.



🐶Dave the Dog is Worried about Coronavirus🐶


A nurse has written a book to help children feeling worried about the coronavirus outbreak.


Molly Watts, an intensive care nurse at Southampton Children's Hospital, wrote the online picture book Dave the Dog Is Worried About Coronavirus after a nightshift last week.


The free book has been downloaded 15,000 times and some schools have shared the link with parents.

Ms Watts said she wanted to give children "information without fear".


Click here order to access her book if you would like to share it with your children.