How are you today?

As we go through week 2 and get ready for week 3 of the national quarantine, you will notice three major things.

One, there will be an overwhelming feeling about the current situation with COVID19 because of too much information.

Two, our children’s excitement of being at home will start to fade.

Three, you and your children will start showing signs of increased stress levels. For you, it could be things like shouting at your children for the smallest mistakes, getting angry quickly or any other expression that happens when you are stressed. For the children, their stress can be evidenced by things like deliberately pushing the boundaries you have set, failing to complete the work you have given, going outside when you have expressly told them not to or getting confused when executing instructions you have given. Sometimes, they might neglect simple roles such as making the bed and cleaning up. They can also try to deal with their stress levels by watching too much TV or online content.

Here is some supportive advice you can apply to effectively manage the stress levels:

Show children you understand their frustration for not socializing or being in school. Tell them interesting stories of your childhood to show them that you have also experienced difficult and uncertain moments

Reassure the children that though things appear severe, they will get better over time. We just need to be patient, hopeful and full of faith that GOD will heal our land.

Get the children to access interesting online content that will not only entertain them but will increase their general knowledge as well.

As children seek to know more about the Corona Virus, they eavesdrop on our conversations. Be careful not to be an alarmist, even when the information is accurate. The shocking information remains in the child’s mind for a very long time. This could easily make them think that nothing can salvage the situation and that life is over.

Reduce the attention you are paying to the impact of COVID19. If every 30 minutes you are looking for an update on what is going on in the world or right here in Kenya, you will soon start experiencing information overload. This interferes with your ability to apply your mind to more manageable things.

Remember, living a fulfilling life means spending more time and attention on what you can control and less time on what you cannot control. (If you were to convert the time you are spending on Corona Virus to cash, would you spend as much?)

Apart from the effects of catching the virus, the other damage we may experience from all this is increased stress levels. We have control over both and exercise of that control lies fully on us.

Follow the recommendations given to avoid catching the virus, eat foods that boost your immunity, and work at reducing your stress levels and those of your children.

Tomorrow holds a bright future for all of us and we need to be strong and healthy mentally, physically, and emotionally to make the most of it.

Wishing you all the best

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