May 13, 2020

A YWCA Client Story Of Managing Stress and Anxiety During COVID-19 Crisis

A YWCA Client Story Of Managing Stress and Anxiety During COVID-19 Crisis

Kimberly, Lead Community Service Office Advocate at YWCA Spokane, shares with you a wonderful tool one of her clients created to help navigate the stress and anxiety she and her 11-year-old son are experiencing during this uncertain and unprecedented time. Take a look!

Client Story Shared by Kimberly, YWCA CSO Advocate

One of my clients has an 11-year-old son, who has really been struggling with anxiety, particularly in relation to the pandemic (and honestly, who isn’t?!).

This client came up with a really beautiful idea to help her son to identify and deal with his emotions:

“I created a “Worry Chart” for my son. We split the page into two. On one side he writes down problems we can solve, for example worried about math. We can learn and work on that. Worries that we cannot solve go on the other side, such as dying from the virus. Those are worries we can talk about and name, but have no clear solution. We talk about how we can minimize risk, etc.

It really helped me learn what is on his mind and gave us lots of talking points. He now understands it’s natural to be worried, but we can’t let our fears take control of us.

It is a great exercise to give kids a voice in their life, to know it’s safe to express those feelings and that these emotions are so natural.

Sometimes I think it’s easier to write down ideas and go at them one at a time. Plus, having a side that you CAN control shows them we tackle the problems we have the ability to work on, while having someone safe to share your worries with and know that they are not alone.

It helped my son and I gave him a notebook to jot down his feelings whenever they come to him. So I hope that maybe it could benefit other children who are struggling with anxiety over the current circumstances.”

Our team thinks this is a pretty amazing way of dealing with overwhelming emotions for both kids and adults. We thought she did a great job of explaining a powerful concept.

This is such a beautiful example of the resilience of our clients and their ability to use their own experience and share those coping mechanisms with others.

YWCA Spokane Advocate Support Provided At The DSHS Community Service Offices

YWCA Spokane’s CSO Advocates are co-located at the two Spokane Community Service Offices, and provide outreach and support to domestic violence survivors receiving benefits through a government program called TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). Along with safety planning, the CSO advocates work to ensure survivors are able to equitably navigate the TANF system, inform survivors of their rights and services offered through the Washington Department of Social and Health Services, are given appropriate credit for the time these clients spend addressing their DV barriers, and connect them to YWCA Spokane and other community resources to further address their needs.

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By: Erica Schreiber

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