Managing Parental Stress During a Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on the country and the world in more ways than one. For parents, that stress is heightened as you work to adjust to a new ‘normal.’ Maybe that’s working from home full-time or coping with a job loss. Maybe it’s adapting to at-home schooling for your children while you juggle everything else that comes with parenthood. Whatever your unique case, it’s stressful — to say the least. That’s why I’m sharing some tips to help you navigate that stress as we continue to navigate the pandemic.
Connect (virtually) with others
We may not be able to be around those we love physically, but we can still connect virtually. Schedule time to check in on family, friends, and other loves ones. You can also connect with other parents with shared experiences through virtual support groups and communities. There, you can share your thoughts and feelings, have conversations about parenting during a pandemic, and learn what’s working (and what’s not) for other parents. Connecting to others who are going through the exact same thing helps reinforce that you are not alone in this.
Schedule downtime or alone time
If you’ve been self-isolating at home, you may already feel like you have a lot of downtime, but that’s not often the case. Make it a priority to schedule time to relax, unplug, and clear your headspace. Whether you spend that time alone or as a family, it’s a great way to ease symptoms of stress and anxiety. You can do things like:
- Create a self-care routine
- Go for walks, hikes, or bikes outside
- Take a long bath
- Do an outdoor activity
- Practice journaling
- Take a nap
- And much more!
Prioritize your mental health
Stress, anxiety, and depression are amongst the symptoms several people are experiencing right now. Lack of knowledge about the disease, financial issues, health risks, social media, isolation, and disconnect from your loved ones…all of this and more are drivers to those symptoms. As a result, it makes it that much more difficult to take care of yourself, let alone your little ones. Be sure you’re taking time to prioritize your mental health, like:
- Talking to a licensed counselor or therapist
- Exploring treatment options with your doctor
- Take breaks when you need them
- Practice self-care
- Limit your social media and news consumption
You can also tap into the CDC’s free resources for coping with mental health.
Make sure you get enough sleep
A lack of sleep for you — and for baby — can have negative effects on the entire family. Sleep is not only crucial for children’s’ development, but it can better help you manage the day-to-day of parenthood. Make sure you’re doing things like:
- Sticking to bedtime routines
- Managing sleep schedules (even during at-home schooling)
- Creating a soothing sleeping environment
- Prioritizing your sleep as much as baby’s
You can also maximize everyone’s sleep through my proven sleep method to ensure the entire family gets the rest they need. You can learn more through your own (virtual) complimentary sleep assessment.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
We can’t control everything that’s happening during this pandemic, so it’s important to focus on the things we can control. So, don’t be too hard on yourself and know that you’re doing the best you can. You are not alone in this, and I’m always here to provide any extra support for you, baby, and your whole family.