Contributors: Alaa Mohammad Shareef, BA, Duaa Haggag, MA, LPC, Saara Patel, LLMSW, Madiha Tahseen, PhD, Maha Ezzeddine, MA, Ayaz Hyder, PhD, Sameera Ahmed, PhD, Marina Khreizat, Layla Hak, Subarna Bhattacharya, and Sarrah AbuLughod, MA
As the nation goes into a state of emergency and people react to the uncertainty facing us, it’s hard to know where to turn for solid information, grounded advice, and clear direction. The Family and Youth Institute team has come together to produce this list of vetted articles and resources to help you find your way during this uncertain time.
From resources for parents on how to talk to your kids about the anxiety and fear they are witnessing around them to du’a and hadith that help focus our concerns towards our Creator – this toolkit is designed with you in mind.
You’ll find mental health resources written by professionals in the field, tips and tricks for working from home, relationship advice for the closer quarters you may be sharing with your loved ones, and even activities and things to do as a family at home while self-quarantining.
Grieving Loss of a Loved One During a Pandemic
Many of us have lost a loved one or know someone who has lost a loved one. COVID-19 has changed the way we grieve and honor the passing of our loved ones. Try these strategies to cope with some of the unique issues you or your loved ones may be struggling with after the loss of a loved one.
Not being present at the time of death or engaging in the usual Islamic rituals can make it harder to grieve your loss. Try these strategies:Connect to the death of the great Sahabah, Muadh Adapt your rituals to the current times of social distancing: virtual family meetings or du’a sessions, donate to organizations, virtually visit your loved one’s friends/relatives Ease your concerns about proper washing and Janazah rituals by referring to these guidelines about the ghusl and prayer/funeral processes during this pandemic Complete your loved one’s rights upon you in other ways, such as du’a and engaging in good deeds on their behalf
Find alternative ways to grieve and find closure in a time of social distancing:Acknowledge and accept the feelings.The best way to overcome your grief is to go right through it. Learn how to ground yourself and be more mindful</strong Pay attention to spiritual bypassing, when religion and faith is used to shut down emotions, like “You just need to pray more…” Alternate between “loss-related” activities (e.g., looking at photos of the deceased, crying, talking about the person) and “restorative” activities (e.g., making plans for the future, spending time on hobbies) Exercise. Your level of activity can have a significant impact on your mental health
Support someone you know who lost a loved one during Covid-19Say nothing but do something— don’t wait for them to ask:
Arrange for meals or snacks
Deliver care package
Send quick but meaningful messages
Set-up check-in calls only if they want toIf you want to say something, try these:
“It’s okay to hurt or be in pain.” Validate their feelings rather making them feel they have to hide it or get over it quickly.
“I am here for you”. Be present, without being burdensome.
“I remember when…” Share memories of the loved one.
Most importantly, just listen— without judgement.
Grief is a very unique process for everyone, but if your sadness becomes too much to bear, know when to seek professional help.
For much more information, check out The FYI’s Original Article – Losing a Loved One During the Pandemic.
Stress, Anxiety and Managing your Mental Health in the Midst of a Pandemic
Teens6 strategies for how you can protect your mental health during Covid-19 Try these tips to cope with anxiety and stress 5 ways to help teens manage anxiety about the coronavirus
Young AdultsUse these strategies to protect your mental health
Find and stick to your routine
Focus on the things you enjoy
Connect with others in new ways
Be kind to yourselfHave open conversations with your college rommates about staying safe during the pandemic
Supporting your child’s mental health as they return to school during COVID-19
Coping After a Disaster – A Ready Wrigley activity book for children age 3-10Make sure to be managing your stress and avoid passing it on to your children Focus on your own self-care The Stop Yelling Handbook to avoid resorting to yelling during stressful times
Please check out the Parent Resource section below for additional resources on parenting during this pandemic.
Religious and Spiritual Resources
How should we be thinking about the coronavirus from an Islamic perspective? How can we cope with the situation that is facing us in these hard times? Here are some Islamic tips, reminders, duas and stories.
Video for responding to Coronavirus from an Islamic Perspective
A Collection of resources from Yaqeen Institute: “Faith in the Time of Coronavirus”
Dua’s to help you through anxiety and sorrow
Perform the Salat/Dua Al Haja (The Prayer of Need)
General procedural guidance on Ghusl and Burial during the Covid-19 Pandemic from Sunni fiqh perspective
Specific funeral rights from the Ja’fari fiqh perspective
A convenient, organized calendar of religious programming to help you keep track
#WFH (working or studying from home)
How to work from home without losing it with your spouse or kids
Try these tips for coping with this new normal
Roommates coexisting when working or studying from home
9 tips to be productive when working from home
Overcoming disadvantages of virtual working
Keeping your cool while working remotely
Check out the parenting section for resources on keeping children engaged while you try to work!
Student Support – College in the Time of Coronavirus
8 strategies for getting the most out of taking online classes
Here’s what to think about if/when your college closes
Free storage – U-Haul is offering 30 days of free storage to college students who have been forced out of their dorms.
Organization and Productivity Tips for Highschool and College Students
Teaching During Quarantine
Self-care strategies are a must for teachers who are struggling with missing students but also coping with stress and anxiety
Refer to resources for the unique needs of home learning for Special Education
Teaching through Coronavirus: What educators need right now
What do educators need to keep in mind from a trauma-informed standpoint?
Productive ways of dealing with conflict
Learn about Yaqeen’s study on marital satisfaction among Muslim couples during the pandemic
Learn about some preliminary research on the fate of marriages during covid-19
Read about the 7 major issues that caused stress for married couples
Try these 11 strategies for strengthening your marital relationship in a pandemic
Do you know how to talk to your kids without increasing their anxiety? How can you help them build a sense of control during this time? The following links provide advice and tips from experts that may help guide your conversations with your children and include videos, games, activities, workbooks and social stories.
Look out for these signs of mental health concerns in your children and teens
Try these tips for creating a mental health friendly home
Your children can bounce back from this pandemic. Think resilience:
Learn about the keys to resilience and how you can foster it in your children
Use your feelings and experiences as way to model and teach resilience to your children
Learn about the 5 protective factors that can buffer your children from harm as they adapt to the pandemic
What is the best way to talk to your kids about COVID-19 from a pediatric psychologist’s perspective
Ways to communicate with children already struggling with anxiety and/or OCD Talking points on COVID-19 from your children’s favorite tv characters on PBS
Avoiding a conversation about COVID-19 may hurt your kids according to experts at the Child Mind Institute
Coronavirus Social Story – a visual story to help all children understand, including those with ASD
Printable interactive workbook that allows children to learn about the virus and explore their feelings about it.
Interactive lesson by Brain POP for children to independently learn about the coronavirus.
A fun music video on ways to protect from Coronavirus
A child friendly poster on Covid-19 by National Health Service
Now that you are home with your child(ren), check out these resources to pass the time and have some fun!
Schooling your child(ren) at home for the first time? Check out these resources for the various academic subjects:
Free subscriptions offered by education companies
Keep the learning going with special cross-curricular journeys (K-12th grades)
Science for kids! kindergarteners to 5th graders, mini-lessons and full lessons for free
Freedom Homeschooling – Homeschool science with Youtube
Math for middle and high schoolers
Interactive social studies curriculum (K-12th grades)
Suggested schedules from Khan Academy
Incredible writing resources available for free for a limited time
Support for families of children/members with special needs:
Watch this Muhsen webinar for helpful resources, activities and services for Individuals with Disabilities During COVID-19
Home learning for Special Education
Supporting individuals with autism
Advice for Families with members who have ADHD
Other Activities to pursue while the child(ren) are at home:
Games that involve physical activity and movement indoors
150+ enrichment activities for Children While Parents are Working Remotely
High-quality sites and apps that are supporting school closures with free resources
150+ educational shows on Netflix
Audible is an audiobook service that is offering Free Stories across different age groups
Indoor activities for children and their parents
Financial Hardship Grant from Penny Appeal USA
Federal Student Aid questions/impact can be found here
Answers to Federal Student Aid questions and the COVID impact
Alleviate some financial stress with these 15 tips for how to make money on the side
Guidance for small businesses that may be struggling due to the pandemic
Safe ways to benefit from and support small businesses near you
Strengthening Community Connection in the Face of Social Distancing
How to stay connected during times of social distancing
The art of socializing during a quarantine and social distancing
Sticking together as a strong community
Resources for Immigrants
Plenty of resources for immigrants ranging from unemployment benefits to mental health resources, listed by state.
Coronavirus fact sheets in 11 different languages
Arabic Resources explaining preventative steps, symptoms of the virus, and those who are at risk.
Isolation guidance in multiple languages: Farsi, Simplified Chinese, Korean, Italian, & English