HJNO Jan/Feb 2021

48 JAN / FEB 2021 I  HEALTHCARE JOURNAL OF NEW ORLEANS recharge – this may be a walk; a visit with friends, family or neighbors on a porch; an escape through reading or watching a livestream or movie; or growing or har- vesting plants from your garden. It may be an outdoor exercise class; a walk or a drive; or a visit to a local park, garden or muse- um. If you need time to just be alone at home, let others know you need it, and ask them to honor it. Be careful not to increase your alcohol consumption or other nega- tive behaviors, such as overeating, that can have negative consequences. Now let’s talk about the children. You’ll need to set the stage for your child to tell you about their concerns and fears. Make the time for a safe, nonjudgmental con- versation with your child. They may need alone time with you to open up emotion- ally. Give them permission to talk about feelings; or depending on their age or COLUMN MENTAL HEALTH THIS ARTICLE is a reflection on how to give children hope and support in a time of prolonged uncertainty, the time of coro- navirus. I have served as an incident command- er here in Louisiana through numerous weather events and declared disasters. I have worked with many outstanding professionals who always kept a focus not only on logistics but also on the emo- tional turmoil experienced by those most impacted. We always knew that if we sup- ported the caregiver, the children would be OK; and as I think back to these events, the quote comes to mind that, “when mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Although taken fromRon Hall, author of “Same Kind of Different as Me,” and perhaps a south- ern colloquialism, its meaning can be gen- eralized to be that all eyes are on the care- giver, and a child’s sense of security rests on how stable they perceive their caregiver to be. Their conclusion can either add to or detract from their own resiliency. Let’s start with asking you, a parent, a caregiver and most likely an adult about what you are doing for your own self- care? Caregivers are notorious for defer- ring their own care as they strive to make everything just right for others. But re- member, those little eyes are watching and drawing conclusions on whether you’re on top of things or “losing it.”You need to take inventory and be honest with yourself. These are unprecedented times, so take a deep breath and ask yourself what healthy approaches you are making to take care of yourself? Self-care is not self-indul- gence. Regardless of whether your healthy “go-to” approach is tried and true or if it’s something new that you want to try out, you need it now. Take a safe timeout to FACING 2021 with a RESOLUTION OF HOPE in Your Home As 2021 unfolds and we prepare for a continuation of many of the same challenges and uncertainties of 2020, how can parents and caregivers best address the anxiety, fears, trauma and loss that started in March?