Dr. Rivera

Dr. Karla Rivera is a district-wide psychologist here in Irvington. She is here to provide support for children and families as we face these challenging times.

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20 Ways to Beat Back the Blues

We’re all experiencing major changes in our lives right now, and it’s hard not to feel down. Our children look to us for reassurance and to know they will be ok, so it’s important to keep positive. Here are 20 ways you and your family can beat back the blues!

  • Practice meditation and yoga with your children– There are many youtube videos where you can learn how to do this calming practice together.
  • Go to the park and do nature walks together– It’s a beautiful time of year; spending time outside is good for us mentally and physically.
  • Make Fall or holiday crafts together– There are many fun and inexpensive ways to make crafts.  Look online for some great ideas!
  • Make dinner together or a special treat– Children of all ages can join in, help and then enjoy the fruits of their labor!
  • Visit the library and choose a book to read together- The local library has browsing hours and virtual story time to enjoy.
  • Sing songs together– Singing favorite songs together is a great mood booster and way to connect. Record yourselves if you want for more fun! 
  • Have family dance parties- Dancing is a wonderful, fun way to relieve stress and a great way to get some exercise!
  • Say a daily affirmation together– Saying affirmations together helps us to think in more positive ways and to feel better. There are many examples online like, “I will be present and calm today”. Find ones that make sense for you!
  • Work on a puzzle together– Doing puzzles together is a great way to teach cooperation and persistence to your child. When it’s done, you have achieved a wonderful goal together.
  • Work a house project together- We all have that project at home that we have been meaning to get to like organizing our closet or getting rid of clothes our child no longer fits. Keeping busy and productive helps us to stay calm, and when the project is done, you have made your life that much easier!
  • Make holiday decorations– You and your child can make simple holiday decorations together with just paper and markers, or things you have around your home. Look online for some fun ideas!
  • Make holiday cards to send to a loved one– You and your family can make cards to lift someone’s spirits; when we help others, we also make ourselves feel better!
  • Have virtual or socially distanced time with family and friends– staying connected is more important than ever, call, face- time or zoom with family and friends!
  • Light scented candles– Our bodies are sensitive to smells, some scents can have calming effects that lift our mood.
  • Have a family game night – Pick a night to play board games or card games together. This provides hours of fun, helps your family stay connected, and teaches your child important social skills (like taking turns, playing fairly and being a good sport). 
  • Have a family movie night– Pick a movie to watch together, make some popcorn and enjoy! 
  • Try a new workout together– Exercise is important to our mental health because it boosts our mood, and keeping active is vital to our physical health. Youtube has many free workouts for families. Try a new one every week!
  • Draw, color or paint together– Making art is a wonderful way to express feelings, foster creativity, and to keep calm. Teach your child that art is about the process not whether it turns out a certain way.
  • Find a new funny show to watch together– We’ve all heard that, “laughter is the best medicine” and it’s true that the more we laugh, the happier we feel. Find something fun and funny to enjoy together.
  • Say, “I love you” every day! – When we are under a lot of stress, it’s hard to be as patient and kind as we would like to be. Sometimes we are hardest on those close to us, so remember to let your family know every day, no matter what- that you love them!