Finding balance key in managing mental health during COVID-19 closures

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – With so many concerns about our physical well-being during the COVID-19 outbreak, it can be easy to ignore our mental health.

“I mean, we’re playing teachers and educators in our homes, and most people aren’t used to doing that,” says Dr. Theresa Botts. (Photo: WKYT/Andrea Walker)

Kentuckians, along with Americans across the country, are scrambling to strike a balance now between work and home life – many, now, under the same roof. People with children also at home, face additional, unique challenges.

“I mean, we’re playing teachers and educators in our homes, and most people aren’t used to doing that,” says Dr. Theresa Botts, Associate Psychology Professor at Eastern Kentucky University.

Dr. Botts is also a mother. She says establishing a routine that balances learning and play is key to help kids navigate this uncharted territory.

"Also learning to listen to your kids about their feelings, offering comfort honesty and reassurance is key," says Dr. Botts.

Speaking of learning, it's important for people of all ages to be mindful of how much we're consuming, and where it's coming from.

"You don't want to overdo it, too much or too little can be a bad thing, but factual information does help alleviate anxieties," says Dr. Botts.

If you are feeling anxious, she says that's perfectly normal - and you're far from alone.

"There's no such thing as a wrong emotion, so whether you're feeling angry or frustrated, that's all normal,” she says, adding, “But again, we also want to seek out facts and information that can help us on a day to day basis, whether it's for parenting or financial troubles or whatever you're experiencing."

"We're all in this together, and it takes a village, as they say"