Featured Image for Mental Health Month Week 4: Maintaining your Mental Health as a Parent/Caregiver

Mental Health Month Week 4: Maintaining your Mental Health as a Parent/Caregiver

Thursday, May 28, 2020

As a parent, there is a lot of responsibility to handle in your household. That has been especially amplified during this COVID-19 pandemic. It can be difficult juggling your home life while working from home simultaneously. That is why YOUR mental health is just as important as your child’s. So how can you manage to take a few moments out of the hectic routine to find a balance or feel energized?

Here are a few suggestions to alleviate stress and inspire positivity:

  • Get Outside - It may like a simple activity, but it can work wonders. Nature can positively impact our wellbeing. Walking is known to lower stress levels and improve mood. It also reduces the risk of diabetes and cancer, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and keeps you mentally sharp. You don’t want to feel trapped inside, especially with the beautiful summer weather heading our way, so taking a few moments to step outside will help you feel refreshed.
  • Meditating - This is a good way of resetting your mind by letting thoughts flow freely without making judgement or acting on them. All you need is a quiet spot and focus your attention. Meditation many benefits such as gaining perspective, managing stress, increasing self-awareness, patience, tolerance, focusing on the present, reducing negative emotions, and increasing creativity.There are many beginner meditation videos on YouTube and many useful apps on your phone. Here is one from our Health and Wellness Educator, Angeline.
  • Creative Expression – Perhaps you want a healthy way to express emotions- consider art or writing! Adult coloring or trying your hand on canvas with some water based paint is reduces stress and benefits your brain. Writing is another form of expression. Whether its writing notes, poems, journal entries, or even scrapbooking, this helps you to process and organize your internal thoughts.
  • Communication – While you may feel cut off from seeing your friends and family, there are still ways to maintain relationships. Video chatting with friends are a great way to lift your spirits and keep that social aspect in your life. Apps like “HouseParty” are fun and different ways to play games with each other while video chatting and is family friendly if you want to get the kids involved. Having the support of your friends with a video call or phone call, you likely see that your friends are going through a similar experience as you, creating a sense of togetherness.

If you have difficulty getting a hold of friends, parent groups are great means of coming together to share challenges and solutions. Are you looking for an opportunity to gather with other parents and caregivers who are part of Bergen’s Promise? Become part of the Bergen’s Promise Family Ambassadors by emailing communityresources@bergenspromise.org for more information. There will be plenty of parent wellness workshops, family feedback opportunity, sharing your story, planning fun new events, and expanding the mission of Bergen’s Promise.