How to deal with anxieties around Covid-19

This article was first published in August 2020

Child psychologist Laverne Antrobus explains different ways you can address any anxieties you or your child might be having about the coronavirus pandemic.

Laverne's tips

  • Look for changes in behaviour in your child - perhaps they are more clingy or more tearful, that might indicate anxieties.
  • Watch how they play - they might not have the words to tell you if they're worried.
  • Reassure your child that they can always talk to you, their teacher, or another trusted adult, like their grandparents.
  • Use the start of school to get back into routines (like bedtimes or mealtimes) that were lost as a result of the pandemic.
  • Organise a 'play-date' for you and your child, if they can't see their friends. Let them be in charge of what you do for the day.
  • Be mindful of the conversations you're having in front of your child, to avoid passing on your own anxieties.
  • If they are worried about people getting sick, let them know that everyone is doing everything they can to stop the spread.
  • Don't feel guilty if you're feeling anxious yourself.
  • Try and limit social media when you feel that you're using it too much.
  • Get out and try to have some time to yourself.
  • Chat to your friends and share your worries with them.
  • If you find yourself worrying more than normal, consider talking to your GP.

Laverne Antrobus is a Child Psychologist at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.

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