Since mid-March parents across the country have worked to balance childcare, work and self -care while keeping pandemic concerns and worries, including their own, under control. In Tennessee, as of mid-July, COVID-19 case numbers continued to rise while local municipalities, businesses and schools work to figure out how to re-open safely and what that may look like.
For many parents who have spent the last four months practicing social distancing, avoiding going out when possible and keeping a distance from friends and family, “quarantine fatigue” may likely be setting in. Here are some things for parents to keep in mind to support their own mental health;
Maintain a daily structure. Wake up at a consistent time, get dressed, eat when you would normally eat, make time for exercise if you can. Turning to substances to cope could be problematic in both the short and long term.
Focus on the good you’re doing for others. You are doing your part in protecting the vulnerable people in your neighborhood and community who are at an increased risk if they were to get COVID-19.
Keep a realistic and objective view. Stay informed by getting your information from reliable, trusted sites and question rumors vigorously.
Start a journal. Documenting these strange times could be both memorable and therapeutic. We’re all living through historic events and there is a lot to process.
Keep your relationships strong. Stay in touch with friends and loved ones via chat, text, video chat and other tech tools. If you are lonely, ask your doctor about tele-therapy options or find an online support group.
In addition to taking care of their personal concerns and fears, parents must juggle those of their children as well. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has put together a list of resources to assist parents on topics like; talking to your kids about Coronavirus, talking about a sick loved one and coping resources for parents and families.
That’s not the only list of resources available for families. The Child Mind Institute has put together its own list of resources to help parents. Their list includes topics like; help kids face the challenges of reopening and how to help siblings get along.
Finally, Mental Health America has gathered COVID-19 information and resources to help families during this global pandemic. You can find information on topics that range from; LGBTQ+ resources, domestic violence resources, resources for caregivers and parents.