The Divorce Lawyer Perspective – How your family can deal with COVID19

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These are stressful times for all of us. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) notes that infectious disease outbreaks, such as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), create significant distress for the public as well as strain health care systems tasked with caring for affected individuals and containing the disease. We are all in the midst of it, and we can all feel it.

To help us deal with the stress, the APA recommends that we:

  1. Stay informed. Obtain current information about the outbreak from trusted sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization at
  2. Educate. Follow and share basic information about hygiene to reduce spread of illness, such as handwashing and cough etiquette.
  3. Correct misinformation. For health care workers, help correct inaccurate information and misperceptions by sharing credible, established public health resources.
  4. Limit media exposure. Use media enough to make informed decisions, then turn it off.
  5. Anticipate and address stress reactions. Keep in mind that it’s normal to feel stress in reaction to an infectious disease outbreak and be aware of signs of stress in yourself or family members. Take steps to minimize and address stress, such as keeping normal routines, taking part in enjoyable activities, focusing on positive aspects of your life and things that you can control; seeking support from friends and family; and engaging in stress reduction techniques and physical activity.

Each of us has different concerns.  Luckily, there are great resources out there to help guide us in processing our emotions and supporting our loved ones in doing the same.

A couple one that we recommend are the APA’s Resources for Families which covers topics such as how to talk to your children about COVID19 as well as guidance for taking care of family wellbeing.  In addition, the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Healthy Children Website has a ton of articles with different areas of focus, from newborn care to social distance and positive parenting.  We realize in these times, it’s not just your own wellbeing that you are caring for, but also that of family members and friends.

If you feel that you could benefit from outside support, many therapists and doctors are seeing their patients (and new patients) electronically from the comfort of their own homes.  If you don’t have a therapist but think you could benefit from having one or finally have the time to check that off your list, check out your insurance company’s list of providers as well as the therapist locator at Psychology Today.

The anxiety and fear compounded with the stay-at-home orders can feel isolating.  You can combat that with using Facetime, Sykpe, Zoom or any of the other providers, to video chat with friends and family.  Some of us at ShounBach have tried to stay connected by having virtual game nights, movie nights, happy hours, play dates and lunch meetings, as well as live and on demand exercise classes with friends and family.  Additionally, we are also happy to use videoconferencing to meet with our clients to stay connected – just disregard the barking dog or the sound of board games gone awry in the background J.

We will get through this.  We are here to help.  We remain open and accepting new clients.

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Written By ShounBach

Since 1975, ShounBach has served the Northern Virginia community. Our team brings over 200 years of combined legal experience and has grown to be one of Virginia’s largest family and estate law firms.

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