Supporting Our Parents: Wellbeing During the Coronavirus Pandemic
At UAS we are greatly concerned about the health and well-being of our families at all times, but particularly during the Coronavirus Pandemic. We recognize that this has been and continues to be a time of personal and professional challenges for our parents. It’s normal to be experiencing increased stress and anxiety right now, and it is important to take extra care of ourselves and our families.
We understand that being a parent is a daily challenge and faced with the realities of COVID-19, social distancing and self-quarantine, it may be a struggle. Parents who are working from home, may be trying to manage their work schedules as well as their child’s online school expectation. It is a lot. Try not to stretch yourself too thin. Be gentle with yourself and with each other. We have all needed to let go of some expectations of normal to accommodate this new temporary reality.
The best way for parents to help their children is to take care of themselves first. Self-care during these times is not selfish because it enables us to be there for our children as stable, calm and soothing parents, and, therefore, help our kids feel reassured, relaxed and focused. We must find time to support our own mental well-being. We do not do our best work when we are overstressed, and it can impact our health as well as our child’s.
Make time for yourself. We have lost small moments of time that we had to ourselves, such as daily commutes, time alone in our home or a store, and social connections. Be creative about carving a few minutes each day to recharge or decompress.
Stay in touch with friends and family, especially using video contact. Seeing someone’s facial expressions can help increase connection. Check in with your friends, family, and neighbors regularly, using texts, phone calls, emails, and other virtual tools.
Manage your stress. Create a daily self-care routine. Exercise, meditate, and keep to a daily routine as much as possible.
Set realistic expectations. There is no script. Set small achievable goals for the day or hour. Remember to prioritize what is important to you (and your kids,) and be forgiving to yourself if it’s not “perfect.”
Be careful of friends or sources that compound the sense of “mom/dad guilt” and be mindful of how you talk to/think about yourself; negative internal dialogue can be detrimental to emotional health and well being
Set boundaries. If you have a friend or family member that is prone to worst-case scenarios, take a break. That person’s anxiety will only heighten yours. Set your intentions for the day so that you can guide the day instead of it guiding you.
Celebrate success no matter how small! We must highlight the things that have gone well.
Remember that we are all in this together.