COVD 19 has ushered in multiple changes for everyone, some of which are necessary for our very survival! No area of our lives has been left untouched. Whether it is work, home, health or culture, all areas have taken a hit. We are faced with the option to adjust or be left!
Our home and families are an aspect of our lives that demands close attention in this era. The effects of isolation, quarantine, and financial losses can make family life stressful and uncomfortable. As parents ensure the continued survival of the family unit, all members in the unit will experience this stress differently. For adults, feeling easily irritated and at times angry; may be some of the emotions close to the surface every day. Effects on sleep and appetite are not uncommon, and reported increased feelings of anxiety seem to be at every turn. Our abilities to focus and concentrate are affected, and at times the distraction-led forgetfulness increases the level of overall frustration.
For children, the effects will vary by age and developmental stage, but it is important to remember that children absorb the emotions around them. Changes in mood and personality are important red flags, and a decline in academic performance signals a definite struggle. All these changes induce stress in the family and the individuals of the unit. The chronic ongoing stressful environment, synonymous with this COVID era, will continue to be with us until there is actual control of the outbreak. Therefore, checking in on your family’s overall health is a vital part of continuing to survive and thrive.
Have regular check-in conversations as a family, including the children. Make the time to hang out together and encourage conversations about all experiences. Openly talk about feelings and brainstorm on what is needed to help with coping. Actively manage the social media activities, paying attention to the amount of time spent on the platforms. The adverse effects of social media on all our mental health are well researched and known. So, this requires particular attention. Game nights, movie nights, and nature outings can all provide healthy outlets and opportunities to relax. Age-appropriate activities for children should be arranged to help them with occupying their time.
Parents, taking time out and taking a break is a necessary part of caring for your and your family’s mental wellness. Schedule self-care, take a space out to get support if needed. Small increments of time every day will have significant benefits for your ability to cope. Exercise regularly, preferably outdoors, and practice good sleep hygiene and eating habits. Note your emotional triggers, be aware of your stress responses and create a plan to address these when they do occur.
The opportunity presented by this pandemic to radically shift our perspective on health and self-care can usher in a new era of mental wellness.
At 5 Doctors Medical, our team has grasped this opportunity. Evidence-based approaches to stress management and self-care for the whole family are our area of focus. We believe that regular, intentional practices of mind-body approaches will give the best chance at survival in this post COVID era. We offer private mental wellness care and incorporate these approaches into your physical health care to give you the best outcome.
We are your partners in helping you to “Be your best self.”