The pandemic has changed so much about our lives and how we live it. Many adults in the US have experienced either loss, sickness, confinement, disruption in work and daily life or all of the above. What has that done for our mental health as a nation? How will the youngest among us deal with these issues when they are not yet mature enough to describe the pain, anxiety or sadness they may be experiencing? Concerning data suggests that many children may have developed new anxieties or depression with the disruption of the pandemic. From a rise in teen eating disorders to babies riddled with separation anxiety from not meeting any strangers for the last 18 months, many different types of mental health issues can arise at all ages.
This helpful visualization from the team at AAA State of Play Commercial Playgrounds shows 26 ways you can help support your child's mental health during the pandemic. Number 5 on the chart says to encourage outdoor play because along with the benefits of immune-building vitamin D, getting outdoors and being in nature can immediately reduce anxiety and stress. If you have a teenager in the house, making sure they are being well informed about complex issues surrounding the pandemic, keeping them involved in family conversations and monitoring their social media use can help too.