Managing Parenting Stress During the Pandemic
As a parent, you may worry about how your child is coping during the pandemic. And you may wonder how to comfort your child when you share many of their same worries. You aren't alone. Many parents feel overwhelmed and stressed right now. Here are some things you can do that may help.
- Take care of yourself.
It's easy to set aside your personal needs when you're caring for a child. But you need to stay healthy—physically, mentally and emotionally—so you can help others. Try taking short breaks by spending 10 minutes stretching, doing deep breathing, or relaxing. And rest when you can.
- Learn the signs of anger.
Many people are easily annoyed or angered when life is stressful. When you feel yourself getting angry, take a few deep breaths before you react. If someone else is home who can watch your child, walk outside or go into another room for a few minutes.
- Talk to each other about your feelings.
Show your child healthy ways to manage their feelings by talking about how you handle your own emotions. You can explain that you're sad because you can't see your friends as much right now, so you talk to them on the phone when you're missing them.
- Focus on small things you can control.
It's easy to be overwhelmed by the things you can't control. Think about small things you can manage instead. For example, your child might not be able to have a big birthday party with friends in person. But you can still make it special by inviting friends to a virtual party.
- Let little things go.
Give yourself permission to make a few mistakes. And give your family the same permission. Don't worry too much about little things like dirty dishes or unmade beds. Everything doesn't have to be perfect or done right away.
- Practice gratitude.
Think about the things you're grateful for in your family and as a parent. Maybe you're thankful to see your child smile or hear your child laugh. Or you might be grateful for having time to share a favorite story with your child.