If you’ve flown you probably heard the announcement, “if you are traveling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your air mask first, and then assist the other person.” This announcement strikes me as a good reminder that I must take care of myself to take care of my child.
This is true when traveling on an airplane and in life. In our world today there are trying circumstances (quarantine, virtual school, and job layoffs) on an almost daily basis. All of this impacts our mental health – our social, emotional and psychological well-being. Our mental health effects how we act, think and feel. It also effects how we parent.
Tips for Reducing Stress
If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed here are some tips to help you so you can help your child:
- Make time for yourself. It’s beneficial for you and your child to have some time apart.
- Use your support system. Talk to your friends, neighbors and family by phone, online or on a walk in the fresh air.
- Put the fun in parenting. Be silly. Laugh out loud. Turn the music up for a dance party.
- Take a stroll around the playground. Walk to a neighborhood park.
- Seek out a happy memory. Look at a photo album.
- Game On! Pull out an old-time favorite board game or puzzle.
- Set boundaries with social media.
- Use a mindfulness or meditation app.
- Drop some balls. Your home does not need to win “the award for most organized or neatest.”
- Get outside. Spending time in nature can reduce tension, anger and depression.
- Allow additional time to complete tasks. The pressure of time is a universal stressor.
- Read something stimulating, encouraging, heartfelt or exceptional.
- Drink water. Consuming caffeine all-day causes your heart rate to increase.
- Make time for inspiration. Meaningful experiences produce happiness.
- Work smarter. Prep multiple meals by chopping all the veggies on Sunday.
- Get some sleep. Lack of sleep makes life difficult.
- Seek professional help. It takes courage to seek help.
Weekly Chat with an Expert
Join us each week to chat with a different childhood expert and other parents and caregivers. The Parent Club meets by Zoom Wednesdays 7-7:30pm. This 30-minute break, so grab your coffee and let’s talk about kids. We’ll share ideas and challenges we all face (discipline, toilet training, milestones, etc.). Sherry Hess, the library’s early childhood expert, will facilitate the discussions and share insights, experiences and resources. Register for the Zoom link.