Life hasn’t been the same for any of us for many months now. As we continue to try and adapt our lives to safely deal with this novel coronavirus, it has taken its toll on many, both financially and emotionally.
Kids have been hit particularly hard during this time. At first, many might have thought the idea of no school was “awesome!” But as the weeks rolled on, and they found themselves away from their friends and their routine disrupted, many kids began to feel depressed and anxious about the future.
Summer vacation is supposed to be a time of fun and freedom, but with many states still in lock-down mode and masks still being mandated, this summer isn’t filled with the same kind of fun and freedom as usual.
How can you help your kids deal with the stress and anxiety at this time?
You can get them involved in creative expressive therapies. These therapies, such as art therapy, music therapy, dance therapy, and drama therapy, to name a few, have been successfully applied in psychotherapy and counseling for more than 70 years.
Creative expressive therapies are valuable in helping people of all ages navigate stress and anxiety but work particularly well with children and teens. One of the biggest benefits of expressive therapies is that they calm the nervous system. When we are focused on creating something, our focus shifts away from the very thing we are worried about and ruminating on. Once this shift has occurred, we also have more access to the rest of our brain and our thoughts and emotions stored there.
But the real reason expressive therapy is so good for kids and teens is that it allows them to express themselves in a nonverbal way. Ask a young child how they are feeling about things and they are liable to give you a shrug. But give them some markers and paper and all of their thoughts and feelings will come flowing out onto that paper.
There are a variety of creative expressive therapies that your child may find very helpful during this time. If you’d like to explore any of these options, please get in touch with me. I would be more than happy to discuss how I may be able to help your child or teen cope with the anxiety they are going through because of the coronavirus.