The World Health Organization recently declared COVID- 19 a pandemic and the president has declared a national emergency. It’s a stressful time for everyone, which may cause your teen to have some extra feelings of anxiety. While the health experts and government officials work on the big issues, let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can help your teen stay calm and grounded during this time of uncertainty. Here are 10 healthy habits to calm anxiety for teens during a health crisis.

Encourage your teen to follow this advice to help calm anxiety and keep it at bay:

  1. Try to look at staying home from school as an opportunity. You now have all of that extra downtime you’re always asking for. What a great opportunity to do all of the things that you haven’t been able to because there just wasn’t enough time.
  2. Keep a routine as much as possible each day. Try to stick to a schedule of waking up and going to bed at the same time each day. Make your school work and exercise a part of your normal routine.
  3. Encourage interactions with friends over social media or FaceTime. Use this time to catch up with friends that you haven’t seen in a while. Reach out to your friend from summer camp or a cousin you usually only see at family events.
  4. Try a new hobby. Start listening to audiobooks, take up journaling or cooking. The possibilities are endless.
  5. Stay positive. Quotes, affirmations, and mantras can work wonders and help you stay positive. Write your daily quote down in a journal or use a dry erase marker to write it on your mirror. Meditation can also be a great way to calm yourself.
  6. Get some fresh air. Get outside for a walk. Take your dog if you have one. Take a moment while you are outside to ask yourself what you see, what you feel and what you hear. Being outside in nature is grounding.
  7. Create a specific schedule for completing school work. Choosing a specific time each day to work on school work will help make sure you don’t get behind. It can be easy to put off your work if you don’t have time set aside to complete it.
  8. Continue with healthy habits. Back to basics here. Sleeping, eating well, and exercising will be more important than ever. There’s an endless number of free workouts on YouTube that you can do indoors.
  9. Stay informed but not too informed. It’s important to know what’s going on in the world around you. Get information from trusted sources and use it to make decisions. Set a limit for yourself of how much information to consume.
  10. Practice self-care. Take care of yourself so that you can stay healthy and help others. Good self-care includes your body and your mind. Be a good example to others.

Print this easy checklist and place it on your teen’s bathroom mirror, on the fridge, and/or on their desk to give them extra support and motivation so they can build these healthy habits to calm anxiety now and anytime they need it.

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Here is another great tool for helping your teen prioritize, which can also help rid anxiety.