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Mental Health Strategies for Parents during COVID-19

Posted on Jul 27, 2020


We have been on high alert for so long now that it is natural that you might feel a sense of numbness or detachment, working on autopilot. Lacy Chavis, Psy.D., specializes in pediatric psychology. On this week’s On Call for All Kids, she offers parents a few tips that can help:

1) Make time for yourself. We have lost small moments of time that we had to ourselves, (daily commutes, time alone in our home or a store, social connections). Be creative about carving a few minutes each day to recharge or decompress (music/movement, artwork, shower and walk around the block). If it’s impossible to be solo, schedule something enjoyable with your child (virtual meal with friends, virtual lessons, art, dance break).

2) Setting realistic expectations. There is no script. Set small achievable goals for the day or hour. Remember to prioritize what is important to you and your kids, and be forgiving to yourself if it’s not “perfect.” 

3) Be careful of friends or sources that compound the sense of “mom/dad guilt” and be mindful of how you talk to/think about yourself; negative internal dialogue can be detrimental to emotional health and well being 

4) Set boundaries. If you have a friend or family member that is prone to worst-case scenarios, take a break. That person’s anxiety will only heighten yours. Set your intentions for the day so that you can guide the day instead of it guiding you. 

5) Celebrate success no matter how small! We must highlight the things that have gone well.

On Call for All Kids is a weekly series featuring Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital experts. Visit each Monday for the latest report. 

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