It’s hard to believe that so much time has passed since the Canadian government enacted social distancing rules in March. Since then, we’ve had some time to catch our breath, and figure out how best to rebalance life and work during COVID-19.
Address your own anxieties
As a parent, it can be hard to take care of yourself before your children. However, children are intuitive and can sense if their parents are overwhelmed, stressed or anxious. One easy step to easing anxiety can be limiting your own intake of social media and the news, as the continued updates can be taxing without a break. Practicing mindfulness, self-care and taking time to decompress will be important for you and your family.
For more tips, here are practical resources on coping with stress during COVID-19 from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH):
Be open with your children
At this point, it’s fair to assume many parents have had conversations with their children about the pandemic. Depending on their age, being open and honest with children can help them understand what’s happening and why they’re currently not in school.
For those that have loved ones that may be ill or grieving, here are some resources on talking to your children about loss and grief.
Adjust how you stay active
With gyms and parks closed and other public spaces off limits, it may seem impossible to continue your regular workout routine. There are many apps, websites and online forums that can help you keep your fitness in check with at-home workouts that are perfect for inside the home or your outdoor space. It’s worth repeating that regular exercise is good for your mental health, overall mood and sleep cycle – three things that are likely affected by the current pandemic.
Establish a proper schedule
Creating a routine is always helpful, particularly with young children. With students out of school, and many parents working from home, things are more chaotic. Establishing your schedule can improve your own health, mood and stress, all while helping you stay productive and more engaged with your family. It’s also a good idea to set your own definition of what being productive means for you.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself
Though this phrase may be repeated often, it doesn’t change the fact that many parents are feeling the full burden of adjusting to working from home or unemployment, while parenting and attempting to teach children at home. Your role as a parent hasn’t changed, and it’s important to remember that while many things may seem out of your control, you can control your own choices and how you adjust to the new normal. Many other parents are in the same situation that you are. We all understand that we are trying to do what’s best for ourselves and our families.