Mindfulness for parents



Keep it together by letting go

Keep it together by letting go


Here we are, heading into month ten of Covid. Especially as we pass the holiday season and plunge into a new year (and what a year it’s been already), we’re feeling the accumulating weight of the losses that come with this pandemic. Even as we’re feeling like we’re getting used to it, we are no less stressed out. So we’re getting used to being stressed out.

Writing for Mindful.org, clinical psychologist and mom Stefanie Goldstein understands. She writes: “We have been asked to hold, adapt to, figure out, and manage on a daily, sometimes hourly basis, more than our nervous systems are designed to handle.”

Yes, even the mental health professionals are struggling. That may sound like bad news, but it’s not. Sometimes the best thing isn’t necessarily finding the answer, but properly framing the questions in ways that make sense. She writes: “So, how do we as parents take care of ourselves when so much is being asked of us? How do we find new ways to support ourselves when the old ways are no longer available? How do we find the space to nurture our own tender, vulnerable hearts, and the hearts of our loved ones?”

READ MORE: Mindfulness for the whole family

Dr. Goldstein offers seven concrete tips:

1. Allow Your Inner Experience: In short, remember: “What we resist persists.” so Allow yourself to feel how you feel. Don’t fight it or apologize. Embrace yourself.

2. Practice Acceptance: Dr. Goldstein says this is the hardest. The amount of things we don’t want increases by the day. But she says, “When we can meet our reality as it is, that is the moment options become available to us.”

3. Be Flexible: We’re being forced to change. Allowing for that – to a degree – “will invite a greater sense of ease… This doesn’t mean you throw all rules out the window—structure and containment are also important, but this is a time when we all need a little extra connection, comfort, and flexibility.”

4. Be Compassionate: “What has become clear to me is that we are all hurting in some way right now,” Dr. Goldstein writes, “so we are not always our ‘best selves.’ This includes our kids.” And ourselves: “There is no greater gift or healing balm than self-compassion in those painful moments.”

5. Find Space to Forgive: Luckily, Dr. Goldstein’s kids’ resilience, and ability to move on, has taught her a lot. Regarding us grownups, she advises: “See where you are holding on to past hurts, and invite your grip to soften, even if just a little. Your heart will thank you.     

6. Practice Gratitude: Harder than it sounds, thanks in part to doomscrolling. “Are you scrolling social media for endless hours a day?…Or are you focusing on what’s going right instead of what’s going wrong? What are you grateful for right now?

7. Remember it’s “For Now”: “We sometimes need tricks to help us come back to the moment and stay connected to the fact that everything, and I mean everything, changes. One way I have found is to add these two simple words to the end of your forever-feeling statements: ‘for now’ or even, ‘right now.’ When we return to the present moment, acknowledge the pain of this moment, understand that this moment will change, and offer ourselves and our kids compassion and understanding, we can open up to the profound knowing that right now, in this moment, we are all okay.”



Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • Hudson Highlands Nature Museum Brings Popular ‘Knee High Naturalist’ Program to Newburgh

    Great nature program for little kids

    With generous support from Hudson Valley Credit Union and the Malcolm Gordon Charitable Fund, the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum (HHNM) has been able to bring its popular Knee High Naturalists Program to the Newburgh Public Library on Tuesdays from 10am-10:45am, at no charge to Newburgh residents. read more »
  • Mental health tips for COVID-era teens

    How teens can tackle their distinctive issues

    Mental health issues in teens can be very distinctive to their age group, but this age group in particular has significant advantages, too. read more »
  • Fun activities for Earth Day

    Celebrate Earth Day with these fun things to do with your family

    HVP has picked some of the best things you can do with your family to celebrate Earth Day. From feeding the birds to recycling household items. read more »
  • 10 ways to celebrate Earth Day at home

    Do something green for the planet on this day dedicated to preserving the Earth

    This year marks the 51st anniversary of Earth Day. This year’s theme is “Restore Our Earth”. Here are some things families can do at home to celebrate from The Old Farmer’s Almanac. read more »
  • Get your kids interested in birding

    Great spots you can watch birds in the Hudson Valley

    NYS has hundreds of species of birds. The Hudson Valley has lots of places where you and your family can observe them. See this list of places to go and what you may see. read more »
  • How to focus on college during these times

    College admissions expert shares 7 great tips

    Halley Shefler, a college admissions expert and the Founder & President of ArtsBridge, offers suggestions on how to approach the college search. Shefler heads a consulting firm that works with high school students who aspire to study the arts. She shares some tips and activities that students should keep in mind to make the most out of their high school spring break. read more »
  • How to be funny, and how not to be

    Famous comedian Roy Wood Jr. offers tips

    Being funny can be a kid’s superpower, but it can also become a weapon to wound. Comedian Roy Wood Jr. helps fellow parents guide children accordingly. read more »
  • How and when to teach kids about homophobia

    A two-mom couple offer tips on having this crucial conversation

    Social media influencers Ebony and Denise, moms of three kids, have some helpful guidance on how and when to broach the topic of homophobia with your family. read more »
  • One dad’s most important parenting lesson

    A father of four shares his number one rule

    According to Swampy Hawkins, father of four, kids need honesty and consistency more than anything. read more »
  • Joyful rest is a necessity

    Evolving attitudes towards taking it easy

    African-American mom Domari Dickinson talks to Popsugar’s Kate Schweitzer about the challenges she faced when she was forced to make time for rest in her family’s schedule read more »