Here are some ways your family can manage the stress of the pandemic

Posted at 2:00 PM, May 26, 2020

GLENDALE, AZ — Conversations about mental health are difficult to have, especially as a family. How do you get children, young and old, to express how they are feeling?

"People's routines have been significantly changed," said Jordan Peterson, a community liaison with Aurora Behavioral Health .

Even for those who have not struggled with mental health issues before, the pandemic may have paved the way for depression and anxiety.

However, the team at Aurora Behavioral Health says pandemic-onset depression is something everyone is going through together.

"People are kind of breaking down those walls and barriers a little bit and having [a] more honest conversation," Peterson said.

That is why the facility knew their work had to continue, despite the coronavirus.

"We've had some videos of just kind of creative things around the house that have therapeutic value to them," Peterson said.

Aurora has carved out a section on its website to host some of their in-person mindfulness activities online, in a section they're calling 'Wellness at Home.'

"One of them we even put together was the therapeutic benefits behind playing board games as a family," Peterson said. "You learn a lot of things from a developmental end."

Another activity, mindful grooming, only requires the family pet, or even just a stuffed animal.

Mindfulness means being aware and focused on the present moment or task at hand. Experts say mindful activities decrease stress and increase mood.

"Coping skills might look very different and some people may be like, 'I don't know about this one,'" Peterson said. "But just trying it and seeing what works for somebody else it gets you out of your comfort zone."

Aurora is also offering a way to send that positivity someone else's way during this Mental Health Awareness Month. Visitors to their website can order pre-stamped postcards that include messages like, "I'm rooting for you."

They believe sending a card could make all the difference for someone feeling isolated right now.

"It's kind of nice just to send a quick message of 'Hey, I'm thinking of you,'" Peterson said.

For more information on the postcards, the family-friendly videos, even telehealth services, click here.

This story was originally published by Megan Thompson on KNXV in Phoenix.