When COVID Strikes…

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Times have been tough this last year, we can all agree on that. Our daily schedules have now been switched to finishing all of our tasks from the comfort of our own homes, but this can be rough because our daily physical activity and social interactions can be limited by this. Social gatherings have been restricted to a minimum and that lack of social interaction can take a toll on mental health. Meeting up with friends has always been a great way to get out of the house and have a good laugh; however, now we have to find new ways to gather virtually. Gathering virtually whether, on Zoom, face time, or any other video conferencing platform does not create the same environment as an in-person activity. With being quarantined at home for the safety of our communities, school on zoom, and spending countless hours on Tik Tok, we can all say that we have developed some new relationships with electronic devices during this pandemic. One unhealthy relationship that I have experienced since quarantine began in March of 2020 is that I am spending a large amount of my time on my phone.

According to the U.S, National Library of Medicine, if we are experiencing too much screen it can:
  • Make it hard for your child to sleep at night
  • Raise your child's risk for attention problems, anxiety, and depression
  • Raise your child's risk for gaining too much weight (obesity)
While technology is definitely useful, it is important to recognize when the amount of screen time you are experiencing is unhealthy. Take small steps toward utilizing your screens less. A few steps you could take are: removing TVs from bedrooms, not watching TV while eating meals, or setting a time each night that your family will stop screen time. You could also decrease your screen time by substituting screen time with another activity. A simple walk with friends is a great form of physical activity and another way to safely social distance while still being around people. Another great way to improve mental health capacity is to try to practice being more positive. You can take the steps to lead a more positive lifestyle by learning to practice mindfulness, kindness, and gratitude. There is no exact date when COVID will end, but by being present in the moment, we learn more and realize the smaller important details in our lives. So remember to try something new every day and wear that mask too!