A Boston area psychotherapist and life coach is offering tips for families spending time at their homes amidst the coronavirus outbreak.
Padma Ali says number one is to try not to be fearful.
"What I'm inviting most of my clients to do, and people to do," she said, "is just let go of the fear, and the anxiety, because that does not help, that does not help the cause."
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She also says to focus on the "now" instead of the future, because the future hasn't happened yet.
Also important, Ali says, is to focus on practical things.
"Creating space, creating more structure, like creating a timetable for the kids so they have something to do since parks are closed, you can't go out anywhere," she said. "Secondly, can we enjoy this time? I can't remember the last time I was home like this during the day with the kids."
Social media, she says, can also lead to too much anxiety.
"It's hard not to get sucked in because there's so much unknown," Ali said. "I think that's the piece that's getting people more panicked, because there's so much unknown and we, as humans, are programmed not to deal very well with the unknown."
Ali says try to be kind to yourself — it's OK to take a few minutes to yourself.
"When your cup is not full, we can't give," she explained.
Kids and adults both like structure, according to Ali.
And if you find yourself getting annoyed, she says take a five-minute breather alone.
"We call it 'body breaks' in our home, so I get a body break, then I go and lock myself in the bathroom for literally five minutes, and sometimes, it's all you need to take a deep breath and take some time off," she said.
Ali also wants to remind everyone that nothing is permanent, and this will pass.