The world has changed in the space of the last few weeks. The second wave of COVID-19 has caused a drastic upheaval in our lives, and we are all searching for ways to relieve ourselves of anxiety during these trying times. We all have worrisome questions about our family’s well-being. Read on to learn how we can positively influence and bring about the change in creating strong family bonds in these tough times.
Whether we are in quarantine, imposing self-isolation or practicing safe social distancing in an effort to flatten the curve, we are all struggling to make sense of the greater implications of the worldwide pandemic. But this is not all. At the same time, we are also dealing with our day-to-day lives, which in many cases have been completely disrupted – with our kids being required to stay at home from school and while us parents, work from home. Wearing masks, social distancing, facing financial instability, being stuck at home for months, all of these things make it hard to be your best self as a result of which parents are stressed to the max and there’s no end in sight.
Naturally, we are all stressed and anxious about the health and safety of our loved ones and the long-term social and economic fallout of the pandemic. As our own anxiety and worries clash with those of our children, the home front can quickly become a place of uncertainty, worry, fear and stress. But let’s not assume that a parent can and should sit calmly through this incredibly stressful time. We’re not perfect, and patience is understandably thin. So, it is important that parents learn to be forgiving of themselves, too.
Any discussion about ‘yelling’ and parenting strategies during the covid-19 pandemic should begin with the validation that parenting is incredibly hard right now. How can we reduce our family’s stress levels? What can we do with a house full of worried people and nowhere to go? How do we nurture our children in these difficult times? Yes, these are worrisome questions. However, the good news is children are resilient and parents, you can positively influence outcomes with your own behavioral changes!
Here’s what you can do to bring about that change:
When you treat yourself with kindness and attend to your own well-being, you not only give yourself the energy to manage parental responsibilities, you also model self-care for your children.
Learn how to slow your reaction to stress
Notice your own emotional dysregulation. Remove yourself when you feel out of control and work yourself back to a calming response. It can take just seconds to breathe, pause, and respond in a healthy way, but that needs to be learned and practiced.
Identify your allies and limit negative social interactions
Know whom you can turn to for support, distraction, a good laugh, or a shoulder to cry on. Stay away from criticism — including the negative talk that comes from our own inner critic. Avoid news and media as far as possible.
Learn to communicate in a positive way
Harsh verbal communication can have serious, lasting and negative mental health outcomes. But you can make a difference right away by changing your communication tone and begin communicating with warmth and affection.
Staying positive and working on yourself to bring about positive changes can work wonders – both in helping you maintain a balance in everyday life and creating a strong family bond with your loved ones during these times. Whether it’s work from home, play from home or school from home, it is important to understand what is achievable, what is not and how you can make every moment count with your little ones.
Readers, stay tuned as we will be back soon with the next article in this series which will be on how you can help manage and relieve anxiety in your children during the pandemic.