Covid is still here. Remember back in March when they said it would be 3 weeks? So much for that. We are living in a time of unknowns. This may make you feel like reducing stress during Covid is impossible.
Reducing stress during Covid.
What else can go wrong this year? If this is what you are thinking, you aren’t alone. Covid is stressing everyone out. It’s also leaving a lot of people feeling depressed and anxious.
When was the last time you had a break? You may be working from home, with your children at home. This means that you have to home school them. I know being in school around other children and adults is scary at this time. So, homeschooling may be the best option for now.
This doesn’t mean that you have to put yourself last. We are in month 5 of Covid. It’s time that you took a break. It’s important to accept the present time for what it is, and not get too far ahead of yourself.
If you are trying to predict the future, you are probably predicting the worst possible out come. That is what humans tend to do. Remember, you can’t go back and you can’t go forward. That means you need to stay in the present.
Here are 5 tips for reducing stress during Covid:
- Stay away from the bad news, and be a “good news” junkie. When you turn on the news it is usually bad. This will affect your mindset. You will start to question things and have a hard time trusting. You will think negatively about the world you live in, and the world you are raising your kids in. I think we are prone to focus on the negative. Especially, when it is in front of us every minute of the day. Limit the news to a half an hour a day. Then, start to look for the good news. Talk about it with your friends and family. Share it on social media. After a while, it will become a habit and you will begin to feel better about yourself and the world you live in. I want you to find one good thing that has happened to you as a result of Covid.
- Set up a realistic sleep schedule. I’m sure you already know, as a parent you will experience fatigue. Don’t stress too much over it. It’s easy to worry about how you will feel tomorrow, when you don’t get enough sleep today. Meaning, you are worried you will be an emotional wreck and make horrible decisions. This is when you need to let yourself off the hook. Don’t be a control freak. I know when you have young children, that sleep deprivation can be a problem. Try to go to bed at the same time every night, and then wake up at the same time in the morning. Remember, this is a work in progress. Learn to let go when the schedule doesn’t work out and make exceptions.
- Time is your friend. You don’t have to be in a rush. Give yourself time to meet your goals. Whether they are for yourself or your family. You will eventually get there. Slow down and enjoy the process. When you are in a hurry, you miss a lot of things. Your children are going to remember the time you spent with them, not how much you worked or what you bought for them.
- Change your expectations. I know in the beginning you thought you could do it all, or it wouldn’t be that difficult. If you’ve been a parent for a while, you may see things differently. Which is a good thing. You aren’t perfect and neither is anyone in your family. So, stop expecting them to be. We can’t predict the future and we can’t go back. This means let go and learn to go with the flow. Your family will thank you for it. Not all children are alike. Some love art while others excel in math and science. Let your child explore their likes and dislikes. Also, they aren’t going to like everything that you like. Learn to accept it and move on. Just as you are always changing, so is your family.
- Help your kids deal with their own stresses, and teach them how to get along with their siblings. I know you want to be there for your child. No one likes to see their child hurting. But, realistically you can’t do everything for them. They need to learn how to cope with their feelings. As they get older talk about their feelings with them. Let them know that everyone has a range of feelings, and that this is normal. Offer them alternatives when they want something you can’t give them. They can have fresh juice rather than candy or a soda. This will help teach them self-control. Now, it’s time to start negotiating. Siblings can learn to get along. Just because you do one thing for one kid doesn’t mean you will do it for another. It’s important they know this and they understand why. With a little compromise it will work. When your kids learn to compromise with one another, they will learn to compromise with others. This will help them in the long run.
Covid doesn’t have to be the end of you or your family. You and your family will get through this. This has been a tough year. It’s important that you go easy on yourself.
If you liked this article, there are more in Reducing Stress. It is filled with helpful tips to help you get through this stressful time in our world.
Lianne Avila is a Marriage & Family Therapist helping people in San Mateo, CA who are looking to create a life that is happier and more fulfilling. Please subscribe to Lianne’s newsletter on www.LessonsforLove.com to learn more about her services and expertise.