Expert Offers Tips on Keeping Up Children’s Mental Health as Many Schools Open Virtually

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This school year, your child could be spending hours a day, isolated, looking at a computer screen. A mental health expert says there are ways you can make this experience a little better for them. 

“I think it’s difficult for them as far as not being able to socialize with others,” said Shareza Wilkerson, life coach at and owner of Lounge 360 Spa & Wellness. 

She mentors teens and knows the pain some students may be feeling right now. “Now they are missing outside, going places,” she said. 

After a quarantined summer break, and now virtual learning, Wilkerson said children need to get out for fresh air and play time. “Getting on a swing is relaxing and it calms your mind and it takes away some of the every day stressors of life,” she said. 

Wilkerson told NBC 6 it’s important for children to journal and still talk with friends on the phone or through Zoom, often.  “You still need to communicate,” she advised. “You still have to share your thoughts, share your feelings and share what you’re going through with others.”

Wilkerson understands the stress that parents may be going through now as well, juggling work and a very different school year. “I would just tell parents to keep pressing,” she said. “We’ve gone through hard times and difficult times before and this is something that, this too shall pass.”

She recommends therapy if online learning becomes too difficult for you or your child. While it’s been tough for some people during the pandemic, Wilkerson said isolation has brought out the best in some children. 

“Had this not happened, they would not have been able to think about their next steps, because they were so caught up in the fast life and social media,” she said. “So this is really helping them.”

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