By: Amira Mensah, Development and Communications Associate
Many of us are wishing we could go back to what life was like just over a month ago. The coronavirus pandemic has drastically changed life as we knew it. Some of us have had to adapt to working from home, while some of us have had to adapt to not working at all. With the closure of school districts, children are now finishing the remainder of the school year from home.
One frustrating part of this for both parents and children alike is not being able to enjoy regular activities outside of the home. Navigating these changes while fearing for our physical health has put our mental health in danger. Staying mentally healthy during this time is crucial.
Here are three tips to improve and maintain your family’s mental health while quarantined:
Finding the motivation to stay active during this time can be very challenging. Staying physically active is important now more than ever. While being quarantined you and your family may be experiencing higher levels of anxiety and depression. Exercise releases endorphins which result in overall increased mood and minimizes stress. Gather your family for a bike ride, a hike or walk around your neighborhood. You can also enjoy physical activity indoors with virtual yoga or a dance party.
Being purposeful about relaxation methods can leave you feeling rejuvenated. What does purposeful relaxation look like for families? Purposeful relaxation comes in various forms and will differ for each family. It is important for your family to relax on purpose. Be sure to carve out some time in the day that is dedicated to a relaxing activity such as reading, doing a puzzle or watching a movie together.
Be Patient and Kind
Exercising patience and kindness with yourself and your family is vital. Try not to be hard on yourself or your children for not sticking to your new at-home routine. After all, you had no idea you would be adding full-time educator to your long list of duties. While maintaining a routine is important, it can cause unnecessary pressure to be put on your family. It is important to keep in mind that everyone is being negatively impacted by the pandemic and each family will process this trauma differently.
Allow time to adjust to this new normal. Practicing patience and kindness is conducive to a healthy quarantine environment. And remember, if you begin to feel yourself getting frustrated with your partner or your children try to take some time for self-care and to re-group.
Practicing these tips is a great way to maintain your family’s mental health.