Tips for parental self-care

This is a stressful time. And it’s ok to acknowledge that.

Chances are you’ve been running around since March trying to keep it together — working from home and/or trying to find work, trying to support your teen and perhaps other children through online schooling, keeping the kids engaged and as happy as possible, and still doing all the normal household duties while trying not to catch coronavirus.

On top of that, you may be dealing with worries of what could happen but hasn’t happened yet, like focusing on potential worst case scenarios and wondering what you will do if and when they come to pass.

That’s a lot of stuff. We’re tired just from writing and thinking about it, let alone living it.

It’s natural for parents to want to protect. It’s kind of what we’re built for. We will do whatever we need to ensure the safety and happiness of our children.

The tough thing about that is while the end goal is admirable, you may be unintentionally damaging yourself in the process.

When we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t do the tasks we value as well as we otherwise would. On top of that, our family likely knows something is off, which stresses them out more. Ironically, the reason parents work so much on all these moving parts is because they want what’s bet for those they love, but they actually might be canceling out all the good they are trying to do because they are stressing everyone out.

Argh!

But don’t worry. This is solvable.

You need to approach your self-care with the same level of dedication and commitment that you show to your family members. We’re not asking you to forget your loved ones, but we’re encouraging you to pencil some time in for yourself on a daily basis. It doesn’t need to be a lot, but it needs to be there.

Here are some excellent resources to consider when reflecting on your own self-care plan:

Self-Care in the Time of Coronavirus
https://childmind.org/article/self-care-in-the-time-of-coronavirus/
https://childmind.org/article/el-autocuidado-en-los-tiempos-del-coronavirus/

Coronavirus Parenting: Managing Anger and Frustration
https://childmind.org/article/coronavirus-parenting-managing-anger-and-frustration/

What Parents Can Do When They’re Stressed During COVID-19
https://blog.cincinnatichildrens.org/safety-and-prevention/what-parents-can-do-when-theyre-stressed-during-covid-19?_ga=2.28567484.1801672156.1591554986-1546974320.1591554986

Self Care For Parents In the Time of Coronavirus
https://parents-together.org/self-care-for-parents-in-the-time-of-coronavirus/

The Best Self-Isolation Self-Care During the Coronavirus Crisis Is to Lower Your Parenting Expectations
https://www.parents.com/news/the-best-coronavirus-self-care-is-to-lower-the-bar-for-your-parenting-expectations/

A guide to parent self-care during the COVID-19 pandemic
https://blog.oup.com/2020/03/a-guide-to-parent-self-care-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

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