Blog post

15 Mar 2020

How Will Worrying Help?

It won’t. Having and raising healthy and happy children is no doubt a tough job, especially these days with virus attacks, safety issues and whatnot. However, it isn't something that should have you worried sick day and night. In fact, worrying might only make you and your children sick.

I understand, that the precise #CoronaVirus situation that we are in, and my saying ‘don’t worry’ really doesn't go together. Of course, we are all worried and we are all taking the required precautions. However, and you will agree with me when I say, that there is this whole other side to the #Corona story where people are sending out exaggerated stories, or making social media jokes or even only focusing on the negative news. These don’t help at all with the already worrisome situation we are in.

In my blog today, I am going to try to talk about some of these issues that we as parents face every time there is a health crisis or some form of social disturbance. The media, social networks and even hearsay can take over our logical thinking ability and put us into a state of panic. So how does one tackle such uneasy situations that affect the safety and wellbeing of our children?

First of all, we must address and deal with that big chunk of worry sitting within our brains. I read a theory in a book by a spiritual guru once, which really helps me deal with my momentary anxiety. This theory has three questions you need to answer to stop worrying needlessly –

The first question is the problem itself. So ask yourself – DO I HAVE A PROBLEM OR WORRY? For example, in the current situation, we all have a worry at hand which is the possibility of catching the #CoronaVirus disease. So the answer to that question would be YES. However, just by acknowledging that you have a worry and worrying about it all the time doesn't help. You have to ask yourself the next question.

The question being CAN YOU DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS WORRY? Again the answer to this question given the current situation or any health-related crises is to take due precautions stated by the World Health Organisation or local authorities, like:

  • Not stepping outside and maintaining social distancing
  • Keeping a healthy routine – sleep early, three healthy meals and physical activity even from home
  • Being careful not to touch your children without cleaning up yourself
  • Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene at home
  • Wearing protective gear in case you do have to go out
  • Not touching other people or shaking hands with them
  • Washing hands properly with soap and water
  • Using sanitizer at other times when soap and water isn’t available
  • Also making ourselves aware by reading about the disease as much as possible from the right sources
  • Checking for symptoms from time to time
  • Not making unnecessary panic visits to the doctor or hospitals
  • Cross verify information found on unauthorised platforms or forward messages.
  • Check for real versus fake news

If you can do all these things, then you don't have to live in anxiety and worry all the time.

The third question is DESPITE TAKING ALL PRECAUTIONS CAN YOU GUARANTEE THAT NOTHING WILL HAPPEN TO YOUR CHILD or FAMILY? The answer to this question will be NO. Thus in this case what we can do is be prepared for the worst but not live in the worry that the worst will definitely happen. Because if you are doing everything that question number 2 makes you do, then you won’t need to focus on question number 3.

Worrying doesn’t raise healthy children

The important thing to remember here is that as parents we always aim to raise happy and healthy children, however, our mind controls our body and if we cannot control how much our mind worries, then we lose control of our body. Of course, we must worry about our children’s well-being but we must also learn to draw a line between worry and obsession.

Children come into this world with powers that help them to adapt, combat and acclimatise to the environment they are born in. Thus it only makes sense to let them experience it in as much as natural way as possible so that they learn to find their way to adjust in it.

As parents, we try to mould or alter this environment so that our little ones don’t have to face an unlikely health issue. We worry about germs and bacteria, about bumps and bruises and even about letting them freely explore unknown spaces.

Overthinking and worrying can affect not only our minds but also that of our children. There is a famous phrase – “You will often come across that, what you think about the most”. Have you experienced this in your life? You worry about your child getting sick and often they do land up getting sick. The same phrase can be looked at differently. If we can train ourselves to think about healthier goals, positive outcomes and happier experiences then we will encounter those.

Children will fall sick. But they can bounce back fast.

No matter how hard we try, our children will fall sick at some point. Every day we hear of some new kind of epidemic sickness that is affecting people. Today it is coronavirus and tomorrow there might be another. Our efforts should be focused not on worrying about all these viruses but instead on building our child's immunity all year round so that even if they should occur, a few days of sickness will pass by in a jiffy and our children will bounce back to being healthy.

So let’s take something positive out of all that is happening right now. Let’s spend this priceless time with our family and children. Let’s use the #StayAtHome opportunity to inculcate some healthy routines into our lifestyles. Let’s read, let’s share positive stories, and let’s be creative in how we tell our children about their health and the need to take care of it.

Story by Insiyah Rahim