Wisconsin first lady Kathy Evers announces mental wellness tool for families amid COVID-19

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MADISON, Wis. (WKBT) — Taking physical temperatures is only half the battle against the novel coronavirus, which is why Wisconsin first lady Kathy Evers announced a Feelings Thermometer to help people maintain mental wellness during the pandemic.
At the same time Wisconsin’s Safer at Home initiative has created opportunities for families to spend time together and increase bonding, Evers said, “It can be stressful and exhausting.”
The Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health recommends the Feelings Thermometer to help families cope with the stress.
“The Feelings Thermometer is a visual tool that helps everyone in the family, from kids to adults, measure how they are doing and what steps you can take to shift the mood when it gets tough,” Evers says in a YouTube video released Monday to announce the tool.
“The readings on the thermometer are easy for even the youngest family members to understand,” she says.
The thermometer features colors ranging from blue for calm to red for furious, with suggested actions to either continue calmness, for instance, or to cool your jets if you’re angry.
“Research tells us that just identifying a calming activity can reduce anxiety,” she says, noting the importance of that during the uncertain days of COVID-19.
“Working as a family to identify feelings, reduce anxiety, and find balance will help everyone feel better,” she says.
Evers recommends that families make the thermometer a part of their daily lives by printing it and posting it on the refrigerator for handy reference. People also can order complimentary magnetic versions on the mental health office’s website.