Today is National Stress Awareness Day, and while many people are dealing with pandemic-related stress, an extra layer has been added to parents with small kids. In addition to learning from home and not having the same social outlets as before, parents of small children are also trying to balance watching kids and working from home, as many companies are continuing to work remotely. Many parents face tough decisions when it comes to their kids, and the pandemic has led them to be unsure about what the right decision would be, as schedules and normalcy has disappeared.
All this uncertainty has led to many parents facing mental health challenges, and according to the American Psychological Association, studies have shown that the stress levels of parents is significantly higher than those without children during this time. As we move into the end of 2020, almost 10 months of social restrictions and mask-wearing, pandemic-related stress has definitely been prolonged, putting the health of many people at risk. Prolonged stress can have many side effects, including weakened immune system, high blood sugar, frequent headaches, depression, and much more.
In honor of National Stress Awareness Day, we wanted to take some time and acknowledge all the stress that parents are experiencing, and offer some tips on how you can help manage parenting during a pandemic.
Whether you are a parent or you know someone who is a parent, be flexible during this time. This could mean being understanding of scheduling issues that come up or allowing yourself to take a break when needed. It can be extremely difficult to stick to a schedule and routine right now, and while parents try to stay consistent, sometimes your day takes a completely different turn. Instead of being upset with yourself about these schedule interruptions, allow yourself to be flexible and know that your day does not have to go exactly as planned and that is totally okay.
Find Parenting Groups and Ask for Help
While you might be unable to gather in-person, finding a group of people online that you can reach out to and ask for help will decrease your stress levels. There are many ways for you to find an online community, such as Facebook, Reddit, and maybe even through your local park district. There are many ways to meet new people and support each other.
In addition to finding a group of people you can relate to, parents might want to consider seeking out help from a mental health professional. While many professionals with local offices have turned to Zoom sessions, there are also plenty of online-based counseling options that can fit into your schedule. While it might be difficult to take the first step to help your mental health, this could be a great growth opportunity, and will help you deal with stress in your day-to-day life.
Finding the time to take care of yourself can be hard, we get it. There’s barely enough time to shower and change your clothes when you have small kids, let alone find time to do something you love. However, taking time to do something that re-energizes you is extremely important. Without those small breaks, where you can take a deep breath and relax, you will constantly be running yourself ragged.
Taking a half-hour to do something you love can dramatically change your outlook.
Some things you could to take care of yourself are:
- Taking a relaxing bath
- Reading your favorite book
- Catching up on your favorite T.V. show
- Catching up with your friends over Zoom or FaceTime
These are small ways you can connect with yourself (or those you love) and regain some energy. While your favorite hobby or pastime might be something different, it’s just a matter of taking the time to do it.
We know how stressful and complicated parenting during a pandemic can be, and we want to make sure you and your family stay healthy, mentally and physically. To learn more about Blackhawk Bank, contact us today!
Senior Marketing Specialist