Working parents at home or the office — this one’s for you!
RESILIENCE (noun); The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
Resilience is a quality we all want and one that we hope to impart on our children. How quickly we are able to bounce back from setbacks truly defines who we are and where we are going. In order to stay resilient during tough times like these, the right approach and mindset is key, especially for working parents who are simply juggling even more than ever before.
Here are a few tips to help working parents deal with the stress during these difficult days.
Know that obstacles are part of life — The tough times make us who we are and teach us the most valuable lessons. Shifting your mindset to see the good through the bad will help you better adapt, reduce anxiety and de-stress in difficult situations or when life throws you a curveball. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!
You are not alone — While this pandemic has been a very isolating experience for some parents, the key to resilience is remembering that you are not alone. We are all going through this together. Regardless if you continue working at home or are returning to the office, you'll have days when you need help and that is alright. Whether it is a partner, a family member or a trusted child care provider, asking for help is a sign of strength.
Be flexible — Our lives have been turned upside down, and your children are also adapting to the situation and to the unexpected curveballs that come with it. For example, it can be difficult teaching children to understand the importance of “work time.” However, resilience is all about being flexible. Find ways to make working ideal for you and your family, for example, by teaching the children where to stand when mom or dad is on a video call or helping them to understand how to act in the home office. Changing our work habits is essential to succeeding during this unconventional time.
Make a plan — Just because we are flexible doesn’t mean we don’t need a plan to ensure productivity. As a full-time parent working from home, it is important to set clear expectations, organize spaces and make detailed schedules. Sometimes, meal times need to be scheduled and a designated hour for emails needs to be prioritized. Being resilient means finding the best way to create a new routine.
Self-care — During hardship, it is easy to fall down a rabbit hole of making bad choices, like eating all the junk food in your pantry or falling behind on exercise, but it is so important to make good choices, especially the ones under your control. Avoid stress-eating and try to practice healthy habits. There are many other ways to de-stress: completing a workout, taking a warm bath or a nap, or taking up a new hobby. As they say on airplanes, you need to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. Find whatever method works best for helping you de-stress, and then do it!
Help others — This one is easy: As parents, we don’t even realize how naturally it comes to us. We are always helping our children. People who cultivate resilience are generally happy to help others. It takes the focus off of your problems and creates happiness by giving to others. Find the joy in being a good person and practice random acts of kindness. Even the smallest gestures can make a great impact, especially during times like these.
Resilience is like a muscle...build it — Remember that what you’re going through is not permanent. This too shall pass. Find the silver lining and take it one day at a time. There is no need to overlook the “positives” that are coming from this challenging time — you received a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to slow down, soak up as much family time as possible, learn new skills and so much more! The better you become at overcoming obstacles, the easier it will be to make it through future hardships down the line.