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Let’s talk about the coronavirus and how your mental health as a little or as a Caregiver could be impacted.

We are currently in the middle of a worldwide pandemic where the novel coronavirus is infecting thousands and has a mortality rate of approximately 3.8% at the time of this posting. It’s an illness that has a somewhat lengthy duration so it has the potential to disrupt typical daily activities.

During this time of outbreak it’s normal to feel anxious, and not only littles may struggle to feel safe when out and about. Learn below how many littles and many Caregivers may feel and why so that you can better understand and support friends, loved ones, and community acquaintances. It’s important that we care for ourselves and one another during this time.

How Caregivers May Feel
Many Caregivers generally feel pressured to never display vulnerability, worry, fear, or even illness. Many who have hid these normal, natural parts of themselves away may further internalize their concerns. Caregivers may feel extra pressure to appear confident and like a superhero. Additional stress may come when trying to comfort worried or ill loved ones, including littles who may be emotionally demanding for reassurance. This could lead to Caregiver burnout, depression, distancing, or excessive stress. This could be exasperated by taking care of others who are vulnerable to the illness. The potential to become paranoid of contacting the illness, accidentally spreading the illness, or not being able to combat the illness when a loved one is suffering can be high and lead to mental health decline.
Caregivers should practice stress reduction and openness of their feelings—confiding in others about concerns. It’s important to accept being human and step back from taxing situations that are not necessary to carry out.

Take “me time” and tell loved ones that you need care, rest, and compassion too.

Caregivers may need extra rest and recuperation time to better manage potential feelings of powerlessness.

How Littles May Feel
Many littles generally feel overwhelmed when faced with the pressures of maturity, including serious illness. Littles may feel incapable of managing their anxiety and become inclined to retreat or become heavily emotionally dependent on others they believe have more knowledge, experience, maturity, or general capabilities to face the stressor. Littles could appear more sensitive, fearful, or unsure. The potential to become paranoid of accidentally contacting the illness can be high and lead to panicked thoughts and actions. Some littles may inappropriately demand special attention and seem uncaring to their friends and loved ones.
Littles should practice stress reduction on their own and talk to others about concerns without asking for others to fully take on, resolve, or reduce their stress. It’s important to realize there may be a personal lack of confidence but that each individual can take control of their hygiene through mindfulness. It’s important to not allow oneself to get carried away in panic, fear, or self-loathing by maintaining life normalcy and structure as much as possible.

Take “me time”, talk about your feelings, and take actions that feel personally empowering to yourself and the control you do have.

Littles may need extra confidence boosts to help alleviate feelings of vulnerability.

What You Can Do
  • Stock up on a few essentials and items you regularly use so that you feel prepared for a few days of relaxing at home in case you need to stay indoors.
  • Refill your prescriptions as early as you can. Do so online of by phone so you do t have to wait inside of the pharmacy. Ask the pharmacy if they can mail your medication to you.
  • Maintain or better your hand washing habits. If you’re inclined to wash your hands too frequently then invest in a nice lotion.
  • Cancel social gatherings but don’t disconnect and isolate yourself from communicating with friends, family, and loved ones.
  • Utilize online chat, messaging capabilities, and video conferences for more than just your workplace.
  • Make sure your partner(s) can reach you virtually too in the case of a community lockdown.
  • Treat yourself for managing this stressful time as best as you can. Have an extra-special relaxing bath or a rare snack you enjoy.
  • Pick up some board games or online games to enjoy at home so that you could have friends over instead of in public space.
  • Talk about how you’re feeling and your concerns but don’t allow yourself to fall into a pit of despair. Move forward with your conversations and make them productive, trying to end on a good note or something that feels complete for you.
  • Take a break from the news and groups that follow the virus trend. Limit yourself to the amount of time you spend on these news updates so that you don’t get swept up into panic.
  • Ask your doctor if you can have your appointment over the phone this time.
  • Ask your therapist if you can have your appointment over the phone or moved to chat text.
  • See a doctor if you believe you may be infected so that it can be monitored until you’re well again.
  • Remember that the virus will pass. If you catch it then there are greater odds that you will fully recover within 2-4 weeks. It isn’t forever!
  • you are not alone. If you feel isolated and depressed then reach out in the community through forums and chats to remind yourself that you are good, deserving, and valuable.
  • Do your best to relax, destress, and enjoy life in ways that you know are best for you (like expressing your caring, parental personality or your playful, regressive trait)!
Please feel free to continue the conversation or add in tips that are helping you personally manage with the steer of the outbreak.
Thank you so much. Hit the nail on the head. As a little it has been hard to do the grown up things to take care of myself (no caregiver 😢). Have been extremely paranoid and anxious. To deal with the fear and isolation I've done Zoom with family, tried to reach out to friends for support, ordered groceries via delivery, took a long weekend from work to rest, have scheduled an appt with a psychiatrist and have continued group therapy. Phew yes it's hard! Sending all big hugzzz
This has been so hard so far. I've never lived away from home before, but my mom has a heart condition and I work in a grocery store, so I have no idea what I could be bringing home. So I temporarily "moved out." (My family is in the process of moving to a new house, but we're renovating it, so I'm staying in the unfinished house.) So now I don't see my family or my caregiver, neither of which I'm used to not seeing. I've had a hard time relaxing or being little here, so it's been extra stressful. But I'm gonna try and learn to use the sewing machine I have to make masks, and maybe some other little clothes! Hopefully that keeps my mind busy. :pinkh:
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