COVID has taken an emotional toll on many of us, and parents have really felt the brunt of it. From having to work from home, help the kids with schoolwork and entertain them, and not really getting much of a break or social time of their own, the stress can quickly add up.
How can mom and dad reduce their stress, fatigue, and overwhelm and get back to feeling good again?
Dr. Alok Trivedi is a health and human behavior expert, founder of the Aligned Performance Institute and author of the book ‘Chasing Success.’
He offers this advice:
1 Take a break: Just like when you worked in an office you would take breaks throughout the day, you must do the same when you are constantly with your kids and family. That’s not being mean or selfish. That’s taking care of your mental health and well-being. If you don’t take breaks you can’t be at your best the times when you are with your family.
2 Get out of the house: One of the biggest challenges for parents and everyone these days is being stuck inside. You may not want to go to the mall or supermarket, but you can still get out of the house. Go for rides in the car. Go for walks around the neighborhood. Sit outback and let the kids play in the yard. Go fishing. Whatever you do, just make sure each day includes time outdoors and out of the house.
3 Date time/adult time: Even though times are tough and your kids are always around, it’s important for parents to still get their adult time in. Make time to spend alone with your spouse. Give each other a massage. Hold hands. Have more sex. Physical contact is a great stress reliever. Have friends over and sit six feet apart on the driveway. Hold a virtual happy hour. Facetime your friends just to talk. You love your kids, but spending 24/7 with them is going to stress you out.
4 Focus on self-care: Everyone must put a focus on self-care, especially in times of craziness. Make sure and take at least 20 to 30 minutes each day to do something that you truly enjoy and relieve your stress, whether that’s taking a warm bath, spending time in nature, reading, listening to music, or whatever.
5 Delegate: Many parents are feeling overwhelmed these days. Having to work from home, help with homeschooling, entertaining their kids and more, there is a lot of responsibility on mom and dad’s plate. Get your kids involved and break up the daily and weekly tasks that must be completed. This not only teaches children responsibility; it will remove some of the stress that the parents are feeling.
6 Make it fun: One of the best ways to reduce stress is to add fun to your daily tasks. Maybe it’s rocking out to Aerosmith while you clean the house. Maybe it’s playing peek-a-boo with your baby. Take a random break from schoolwork for a quick game of hide and seek or bake a cake with the kids. Whatever is fun for you, do more of it.
7 Plan the future: A lot of parents are caught in the hustle and bustle of the here and now. The reality is that COVID is not going to last forever, and eventually, things will go back to some type of normal. Plan a trip. Plan a big party for when you can have people back in the house again. Look for restaurants your want to try when it is safe to eat out again.
Whatever you do, the idea is to get your mind thinking to a time when you can do more of the things you want to do again.