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Mental Health Awareness Month: Tips for Kids During Stressful Times

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Just because kids don’t bear the same responsibilities as adults, that doesn’t mean that they don’t feel scared or anxious during stressful times. Because May is Mental Health Month, we’ve come up with a list of mental health tips for kids during stressful times. These tips can help both you and your child get through crises and times of uncertainty.

  1. Talk Openly About Feelings
    1. One of the biggest mental health tips for kids is keeping the channels of communication open.
  2. Follow A Routine
    1. Kids thrive when they are following a routine. When things happen that upend their everyday lives, it can add to the stress and uncertainty they’re already feeling.
  3. Keep Things Simple
    1. In times of crisis, it’s important to be open and honest with kids. But you need to do it in a way that they can easily comprehend.
  4. Teach Them Healthy Ways to Manage Stress
    1. Even if you create the ideal environment for your child, they will experience stress from time to time. And as they grow up, they will experience new things to stress about. So when they’re young it’s a good idea to teach them how to deal with their stress in healthy ways.
  5. Limit Their Exposure to News Coverage
    1. Another one of the best mental health tips for kids during a stressful time is to limit their exposure to news and media coverage.
  6. Make Time for Play
    1. One of the best things you can do for your child’s mental health is to make sure they get time to play. They need time to express their creativity, use their imaginations, and focus on fun things.
  7. Get Them Moving
    1. When carving out time for play, make sure some of that time is dedicated to physical activity. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children over six get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day.
  8. Watch Out For Signs of Trouble
    1. One useful way to help your child with mental health is to learn the signs of mental distress. Difficulty controlling emotions, avoidance of normal activities, withdrawing from relationships with friends and family, difficulty keeping up with responsibilities, erratic behavior or outbursts of anger, continuous sad mood, or changes in eating or weight loss may all be signs it’s time to get professional help.