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    Managing Covid Related Stress for Mothers

    Covid has been a very difficult time for parents. It has meant working from home, homeschooling and living with restrictions we never would have thought would have lasted this long. Research has found that mothers are feeling the pressures of juggling it all in this pandemic. The stresses and strain that come with continuing restrictions are prominent but what can we do to manage the next six weeks?

    I propose that we acknowledge our emotions, normalise the worry we feel about the pandemic and then manage our stress from there. Acknowledging the emotions and feelings we may be feeling about this pandemic is important for our mental wellness as mothers. Feeling fear, worry and anxiety is totally normal in these circumstances, we are completely unfamiliar with this terrain so be kind to yourself if this comes up.

     

    In acknowledging our emotions and feelings we can look at what we are finding hard first and then move to what we can do to manage this. If you were to ask yourself what you may be finding hard about this pandemic as a mother what would it be? I have put together a list of what I have been hearing and feeling myself as a mother, this may help in identifying this.

     

    Its hard right now because;

    • Restrictions feel never ending
    • We are juggling more than we have ever had to.
    • We are trying harder than ever to be positive for our kids.
    • Self care is either decreased or non existent.
    • You don’t have the freedom you once had and this is a lifeline for mothers.
    • Support is decreased or non existent
    • It feels as though there is no variety, excitement or fun.
    • Our relationships are being tested
    • You miss your people

     

    Now that you have identified what you find hard ask yourself what it is that you need to manage the stress that you are feeling. The list below may be helpful in answering this question.

    Self- Care

    Do you need to engage in a little more self care? This may be short windows of time and it may be enough to stop you from burning out. Keep it basic focus on sleep, eating and exercise.

    Pleasurable activities

    Write a list of things you find pleasurable. These may be movies, listening to music, podcasts, phonecalls with friends. Savour these experiences by looking forward to them and speaking about them afterward.

    Relaxation Techniques

    Practiced often abdominal breathing and progressive muscle relaxation can reduce tension. If you have not done these before I would suggest you listen to a recording of this while you are doing the techniques. There are many resources on youtube.

    Worry Time

    If you are noticing that much of your time and energy is given to worrying about the pandemic and the restrictions. Allow a worry time set a timer of 30 mins and allow yourself to worry each day. Throughout your day when you notice your worry coming up say “that’s for worry time”.

    Rest and Digest

    Now is not the time to be doing any extra. Drop it all and allow yourself some rest. The juggle is very real at the moment and allowing yourself some time to truly rest will help you in managing this.

    Get work done

    It may be hard to stay motivated. If your finding yourself lacking in motivation and procrastinating. Designate time to work and then reward yourself. Set a 30 minute timer and then take a 10 minute break. Ask yourself when this is done did I achieve what I needed or do I need to adjust this.

    What does your family need?

    As yourself what your family needs and write this down if it helps. Sit down and speak with your partner about what you need, look at what’s working and what isn’t. This will look different for every family so be kind to yourself in these conversations.

     

    The times we find ourselves in are extraordinary, you are doing amazing parenting during a stressful time. If you need support for how you are feeling and would like to engage in online counselling for stress make contact today. I would love to support and empower you to be the best mother you can be by online counselling for mothers.

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