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Teens and COVID-19

March 22, 2020 at 6:52 pm · · Comments Off on Teens and COVID-19

Teens and COVID-19

Taking care of your family:
The threat of illness can be particularly upsetting to children and teens. Children and teens react, in part,
to what they see from the adults around them. When parents and caregivers deal with the COVID-19
calmly and confidently, they can provide the best support for their children.
There are many things you can do to support your child or teen
• Give them the opportunity to talk about their concerns about the outbreak, tell them the truth,
reassure them, and let them know they can count on you.
• Let them know it is ok if they feel upset or scared and talk to them about ways to cope with their
• Limit your family’s exposure to news coverage of the event, including social media.
• Try to keep up with regular routines to the extent possible. If schools are closed, create a schedule for
learning activities and relaxing or fun activities; if organized activities are cancelled, try to engage in
the activity (or an adaptation of the activity) at home.
If you notice that your child or teen’s behaviour has changed significantly, discuss the situation with

Behavioural changes (listed below) may suggest a need to contact a regulated health care professional for additional help:
• Excessive crying or irritation in younger children
• Returning to behaviors they have outgrown (for example, toileting accidents or bedwetting)
• Changes in sleeping patterns (too much or too little) or appetite (eating too much or too little)
• Excessive worry or sadness
• Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits
• Irritability and “acting out” behaviors in teens
• Poor school performance or avoiding school
• Difficulty with attention and concentration
• Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past
• Unexplained headaches or body pain
• Use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

( 2020 Canadian Psychological Association)

Additional Resources:

Children’s Booklet on Covid-19

Bermuda Government:

World Health Organization:

US Centers for Disease Control:

nCOV and Stress

Dealing with the Fear of the Unpredictable


Coping With Life Transitions

August 10, 2017 at 4:12 pm · · Comments Off on Coping With Life Transitions

Coping With Life Transitions

I decided to make this topic my first blog since I am in a transition at the moment. A few months ago I handed in my resignation from a really comfortable, job with great security. The hours were great and parking was free! But I yearned for something new. I was thrilled about my new adventure, new prospects, and greater independence. But I forgot about the unknown. Well, needless to say, all has not been as smooth as I anticipated.

Eventually, we all will transverse through life transitions. How do we manage them? It might be leaving high school to attend college, starting employment, changing jobs, getting engaged, losing a partner, having a baby, getting a license, losing a parent, developing an illness. Transitions might be imposed on us, such as redundancy or can be by choice or opportunity, like a job overseas. Whatever the circumstances, the transition is likely to stimulate anxiety, worry, and insecurities as we are forced to break out of our patterns.

A person dealing with a major change might develop symptoms of depression, anxiety, fatigue, headaches, sleep disturbance, appetite changes, or misuse drugs and alcohol. Stressful events can impede our normal coping style and make it difficult or impossible to deal with new circumstances.

To reduce the development of stress reactive symptoms one might investigate the upcoming change. This can alleviate stress of the unknown as you become well-informed of the situation. Maintaining a balanced mind and body through proper diet, sleep and exercise can assist in mediating life changes. Allowing the mind to rejuvenate by relaxing, leisure and fun can help buffer stressful periods. Don’t make multiple transitions at once. This will allow adequate adjustment and lessen stress during the honeymoon phase. Reach out to friends and family for support. Persistent symptoms of stress due to major transitions can benefit from therapeutic intervention.

Discussing your concerns, fears and uncertainty with a therapist around issues of marriage, illness, job loss or approaching middle age can offer relief and clarity. This is done in a supportive, nonjudgmental and impartial environment. When life changes prove overwhelming and lead to symptoms of stress, anxiety, or depression, a therapist can help provide coping strategies developed to improve ones’ general well-being.

In time, that new life transition won’t feel as daunting; instead it will bring new opportunities, new ways of being with new patterns to embrace. Perhaps there will be opportunities to experiment with being more assertive, autonomous and creative.

Transitions can be viewed as tossing off the old while not yet conquering the new. Remember to be patient. There will be periods of doubt and rethinking if it was a good decision to resign, move or change directions. The second guessing is a natural process. When we are out of our comfort zone; our imaginations may get the best of us. Don’t let it trap you from moving away from your past and into your future. Remain calm, explore your options, and seek assistance if warranted. Keep in mind, you have made transitions before. This is no different. You have the skills to move forward toward new beginnings.

By Dr. Kauliss P. Simmons-Lanthier