Parenting and the Pandemic

Attention all parents!  Feeling stressed during this difficult time?  Parenting is hard enough, without a pandemic. The struggle is real! You are not alone. Here are 5 things to consider that will keep you on the path to a healthier, happier experience as you journey through this time filled with the stressors of Covid-19.  

Don’t Forget About You

When we think of self-care, the most obvious thing to consider is if you are eating right, exercising, and getting enough sleep. Although this is very important to overall self-care, there are several other areas of your life to consider as well. Additional things to consider would be your psychological and emotional self-care, social self-care, and spiritual self-care. Just like when you are flying on an airplane and it is suggested to you that you put your own oxygen mask on first before you help someone else, you need to put in the time and energy necessary to take care of yourself.  In doing so, you are afforded the opportunity to become the best version of yourself you possibly can be.  

Maintain Your Relationship with Your Partner

Rather than letting the stress of this unusual time spill over into your relationship with your partner, make a commitment to unite in this endeavor. Work toward healthy, open communication that is safe and comfortable. In other words, talk about your worries and concerns and listen to your partner with empathy and nonjudgmental understanding. When you feel anxious, upset, or overwhelmed, reach out to your partner for support.  

Change Your Mindset

When you start to recognize feelings of being overwhelmed or stressed, attempt to pay attention to possible negative thoughts that might be tumbling around in your head. You have a choice. It is entirely within your power to determine how you think about and talk about the situation you are in. According to personal development expert Gary John Bishop, “no matter how difficult, challenging, or pressing life’s circumstances can be, how you fundamentally relate to and engage with those circumstances will have the biggest say in how they turn out.”  Although both Covid-19 and the impact it is having on the world around you are not within your circle of control, how you perceive your situation and how you respond to it is within your circle of control. Reflect on the good things that are going on around you like increased family time or the ability to knock things off your to-do list while you are staying home.  

Remember Your Circle of Control

If your children are old enough to understand the concept of control, this would be a great opportunity to teach them the importance of recognizing what is inside our circle of control and what is outside that circle.  We do not have control over the virus, floating around in our communities. We do not have control over the social distancing guidelines that have been put in place by our government officials, keeping friends and family apart. Many things are outside of our circle of control and the time, stress, worry, and energy we put into those things could be spent on other, more productive things. Actively recognize and accept problems that are out of your circle of control and feel the stress, frustration, and anxiety slip away.  

Give Yourself Some Grace

Did you ever think you would be homeschooling your kids? What about facilitating the learning of multiple children, working from home, and attempting to fulfill all your normal responsibilities as an adult? We are all in uncharted waters right now. Recognize that this time is going to be different and at times difficult, that you will need to be flexible, and that things will not be perfect. Give yourself some grace.  

Parents, you are doing enough. You are surviving this difficult time and working through situations that you have never even imagined could come to be. Throw out those unrealistic expectations of being “perfect” during quarantine. Enjoy the bonus time you have with your children and your partner. Take a deep breath and recognize that, once we shift back into our regular routines and get back to our busy lives, we are going to miss this! Love the journey, enjoy the moment.

You are enough!

If you would like to speak with someone about challenges you are facing within parenthood, give Tx Harmony Counseling a call or contact us here. 

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Natalie Wilie, LPC

Natalie Wilie, LPC

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