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Healthy Living

Handling Stress as a Parent During COVID-19

Jul 9 2020

Everyone’s routines have been disrupted since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is definitely true for families with young children as these parents attempt to fill many roles at once. Roles that include remote employee, chef and teacher to name a few. On top of this, there many are emerging external stressors such as financial instability and the fear of the unknown.

If you are a parent and have recently been having a difficult time navigating this “new normal,” you are most definitely not alone. Check out these tips on how to be the best parent you can be during COVID-19 by making yourself a priority.

Focus on the basics

Commit to keeping these four items top of mind each day.

  • Sleep. Getting seven to eight hours per night is a good goal. Going to bed and getting up at the same times each day can help you feel less tired too.
  • Food. Your body needs the right type of nutrients to fuel it through the day. Focusing on healthy choices like lean proteins, vegetables and fruits will help you feel full and energized.
  • Silence. Spend at least 10 minutes per day alone and in a quiet place. You can read a book, journal or just sit in silence.
  • Exercise. Physical activity is great for both the body and the soul. There are many home exercises you can do during breaks throughout the day.

Talk about your feelings, don’t burry them

Even if parents attempt to hide their feelings, kids are usually able to pick up on their stress levels. What’s even more troubling is that stress that is overwhelming enough can transfer from parents to children.

Set the tone in your household that you are going to be open and honest about emotions. Pick a time each day for everyone to share how they are feeling. Using age-appropriate phrases with your kids such as “it’s okay to not feel okay right now” will help them grow and understand their emotions. Also, be sure to keep an open line of communication with your partner or spouse.

If you feel you need to talk with a mental health professional, telehealth provides many opportunities to connect with specialists from the comfort of your own home during this time.

Keep loved ones close

The phrase “it takes a village” is used a lot when talking about raising kids. COVID-19 has no doubt limited our in-person interactions with friends and family members. However, there are many ways to keep these relationships strong virtually.

Set up a weekly video chat with your friends where you have some regularly scheduled time for adult conversations. Do the same thing for your kids with their friends, cousins and grandparents. If you have friends who also have young children, consider setting up a meal train to help each other with cooking meals.

Use your helpers

It is important to remember you don’t have to tackle COVID-19 and this new normal alone. Rely on everyone in your family and never be afraid to ask for help. This includes asking your partner or spouse for a little extra support. You might even call a parent to discuss your emotions and feelings.

One of the best ways to use your helpers during this time is to give your older children new responsibilities. Finding age-appropriate chores is a great way for kids to start learning life skills while helping the entire family.

During this time, it is very important to leave time for self-care. Putting your best foot forward will enable you to create a healthy and stable environment for your kids.  

Stay updated on what Bon Secours is doing related to COVID-19.

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