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Pandemic parenting made easier



3 simple tips to help you get through the homestretch

Pandemic parenting made easier


It’s not exactly a news flash, but the American Psychological Association now acknowledges Covid-19 creates “extreme stress” in families, and that parents in particular report significantly higher stress levels than their nonparent counterparts. This according to corporate psychologist and executive coach Kate Snowise. Fortunately, in an article for Fast Company, Dr. Snowise goes deeper, and offers some helpful, quite easy to follow tips on how parents to get through the home stretch of the pandemic.

As she puts it: “Working parents are living through not merely a global pandemic but a new version of the work/life balance conundrum. Parents of school-age children all over the country are trying to manage distance learning for their kids while also keeping up with work obligations and maintaining their sanity.” It’s all unprecedented, which accounts for some of the anxiety. We’ve come a long way since March, but we’re still in somewhat uncharted water. 

READ MORE: Mindfulness for better parenting

Dr. Snowise points out that Google searches “have shifted away from concerns around COVID itself at the beginning of the pandemic to how we can deal with everything else that comes with it.”

She advises planning as much as possible: “Planning helps you psychologically prepare for the demands you’re facing and put a strategy in place to know what it will take to get it done or identify where you might need help.”

Forethought, she says, “reduces the high-stress moments that can otherwise send us around the bend.” Creating a weekly dinner plan can be a stress-reliever, for instance.

Dr. Snowise counsels us to be mindful of our habits, emphasizing “emotion-focused coping” like self-care and social connection. There are “positive and adaptive methods that restore our emotional energy.” Not surprisingly, alcohol, overeating, and doomscrolling are musts to avoid, or at the very least, kept in check.

Finally, Dr. Snowise joins the chorus of mental health professionals urging us to practice gratitude. It sounds easy, but especially with social media and cable news thriving on our stress, and sense of injustice, finding a space to feel grateful can be hard. She writes: “When we intentionally shift our focus to what we still have to be thankful for, we pull the energy away from all the things we’re not happy about or wish were different. Then we feel happier in our hearts, minds, and spirits. It shifts the lens through which we are viewing our situation and enables us to cope better.”



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