The news these days is not for the faint-hearted. Increasing COVID cases in the country and all over the world, a confirmed case of the black plague – it’s more than enough to make parents lose the remaining sleep they might have. As parents, we couldn’t help but get anxious over such things since these can affect our family’s health and safety, and more importantly, our kids’ future. So yes, it is understandable if parents do go cray-cray.
But at the end of the day, we have to remember that our families depend on us and we could not protect them if we’re going crazy with worry and anxiety. So if you feel that you’re getting overly anxious and stressed, here are a few things that might help:
Learn the facts but know when to step away from it
Most of the time, we fear what we don’t know. So arming ourselves with facts and the right knowledge can help us gain control of the situation. However, we should also know when to step back once the news or even social media gets too much for us. Remember, maintain control of the information to a level that’s useful for you and not destructive or distracting.
Try mindfulness exercises
You can try to calm yourself with mindfulness exercises every time you feel anxious or stressed. The good thing about mindfulness exercises is that they’re easy and quick (or do them for as long as you like). Here are a few you can try:
- Yawn and stretch for 10 seconds every hour: The yawn can interrupt your feelings (including your worries) while the stretch can loosen any tight nerves in your body
- Three hugs, three big breaths: Hug your kids tight and take 3 big breaths. Doing so can ground and relieve both of you of anxiety
- Mindful breathing for a minute or two: Focus on your breath for as long as you need. If your mind begins to wander, bring your attention back to your breath.
- Loving-kindness meditation: Repeat “May I be happy, may I be well, may I be filled with kindness and peace” for 1 minute. You can even replace the “I” with you or your family/friends’ names to send love.
Walk or stretch it out
You can also relieve your anxiety by focusing on your body instead of the situation. You can do this by walking it out – if possible, but given the quarantine, you can also try other workout routines, or by doing yoga.
Focus on a new hobby
Another way to relieve yourself of anxious thoughts is to focus your energies on something else – such as cultivating houseplants or a garden (plantitas FTW), rearranging or redesigning your home, reading books, or even something fun and ahem, young, such as playing Animal Crossing on the Nintendo Switch. It can be anything that takes your mind off the cause of your anxiety.
So, chill mamas. And see you on Animal Crossing 😉 But if you feel that nothing’s working and that your anxiety’s building, then it’s time to consider consulting a healthcare professional.