Scientists have advice about how to hug during the COVID-19 outbreak. According to the New York Times, “Not only do we miss hugs, we need them. Physical affection reduces stress by calming our sympathetic nervous system, which, during times of worry, releases damaging stress hormones into our bodies.”
Being cooped up inside is hard. So in our living rooms, bedrooms and basements, kids are turning to fort-building to create safe havens as the Covid-19 world feels out of their control.
There are lots of reasons why sleep has become more difficult for your children, but three main ones come to mind: schedule changes, lack of physical activity, and higher levels of anxiety. Our schedules are no longer as consistent as they were. Bedtimes and rise times are often a moving target when there’s no school bus coming. And, homeschooling while juggling work and other responsibilities can make it hard to find the time to help your kids get the kind of physical activity that can help them sleep well at night. Finally, your children may be picking up on your own anxiety and may be asking for a bit more help than is typical to get to sleep at night. What can we do about these issues?
For the first time in my children’s lives, they are not being rushed to put on shoes or get out the door. There are no scheduled piano lessons or gymnastics classes for which we cannot be late. No standardized tests. No carpools or playdates or summer day-camps that we frantically booked months in advance.