Don’t get angry at yourself or fill yourself with guilt for not being the parent of the year right now. Parents are being put in a pressure cooker at the moment and you might be wondering if and how other parents are keeping their cool. It’s my guess that many of them probably aren’t! Despite being in the pressure cooker, here are some ideas that might help alleviate some stress and get yourself in a better frame of mind.
- Get off social media and checking your smartphone. It’s too temping to check the news or have something arbitrarily pop up and distract you. If you start itching for your phone, try to grab a book instead.
- Practice focus. When your kids continually and loudly shout “mom” or “dad”, it some times feels like “If they say that one more time I’m going to snap!”. Try setting them up with an activity and putting on a positive podcast with headphones. Oprah has a good one called Supersoul Conversations – it’s helpful for redirecting your focus.
- Start your morning by writing down an intention. Such a little activity – but it really does help set the tone for the day. Something like, “today will be filled with learning,” or “I’m a wise parent,” is helpful. Or “there are scientists working on a cure. This will be resolved.”
- Physical exercise is hard when the gym, paths, parks and nature romping grounds are all closed (for the greater good!). But it’s important to stay active. It might be a good idea to set an alarm for stretching intervals throughout the day to help with blood flow to your brain. Take a walk around the block (if it’s safe to do so with children).
- Look up kid-friendly yoga on YouTube. Like this one here Cosmic Kids Yoga.
- Shape has phenomenal workouts on their website. Check it out here and blast your body! Working out releases endorphins and helps you gain a positive self-image.
- In times of crisis, it’s easy to let fear get the best of us. We can also start feeling guilty, like we’re not doing enough. It’s also easy to question our life choices as we might start over-analyzing our partners and our lives in general.
- It’s important to recognize that life is ALWAYS out of our control – not only when there’s a pandemic. At any moment, something detrimental COULD happen but that doesn’t mean we expect it to all the time. Following the advice of health professionals and respecting others is important, but more than that it’s unfruitful and counterproductive to let fear fill our hearts and minds.
- Having faith and hope will help you redirect the fearful thoughts or feelings. If you start panicking, thinking about how this will all be over soon is helpful. Remind yourself to take it one day at a time – that’s also helpful.
If you have suggestions for reclaiming our best selves during this pandemic, please share in the comments below! Stay safe and know this too shall pass (however slowly it feels). Remember: one day at a time!