Parents: Taking Care of Yourself During COVID-19

mother and daughter embracing
By Guest Author
Posted by: Unison

It’s common for parents to feel like the only reason they need to take care of themselves is so they can better take care of their family. At the same time, you’re allowed to prioritize your own needs just to take care of yourself. You matter too.

Taking care of yourself is especially important during this difficult time, when stress might be higher than usual for both you and your children. By taking care of yourself, like eating well, sleeping well, getting exercise, and receiving proper medical care, you are both helping yourself be the best parent you can be, and you are also teaching your children how to take care of themselves.

We know that parents are feeling additional stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic, navigating ongoing changes to home, school and work life. Parents have lost child care, taken on home-school responsibilities, shifted to working from home and suffered from several additional stressors, such as job loss and changes in employment. Fitting self-care into your daily routine can help calm anxiety, reduce stress, and nourish your capacity for wellness and resilience. This #SelfcareSunday, we want to encourage parents or caregivers to take care of their minds and bodies, so we’re sharing some tips on how to practice self-care:

  • It’s easy to get sucked into working 24/7 and being “on” at all times, but we need to set limits so that we don’t burn out. Maybe you should take breaks from reading or watching news about COVID-19. Consider setting aside a specific time each day to catch up on the news and try to avoid checking the news repeatedly, as this can contribute to anxiety.
  • Take time to connect with your own support system – set up virtual chats or phone calls and connect with loved ones about how you are feeling.
  • Now we have to manage both our kids and our jobs all day long, and it’s hard to prioritize our own needs. That’s why it’s critical that you are intentional and carve out “me” time each day, if only for a few minutes. Set aside time to decompress, read a book, have a long shower, or make time for hobbies when you can.
  • Try to eat as well as possible, stay active, and get enough sleep.  Practicing healthy habits can sometimes help prevent stress, and it helps us feel better. Getting good sleep and eating well, can help keep the little frustrations from escalating
  • Remember that you too have gone through a traumatic situation. Acknowledge your feelings and allow yourself to feel them. There is no right or wrong way to feel. Whatever you feel is real and valid. Sometimes just acknowledging what we feel can provide a sense of control and lower our stress. Consider developing a self-care and resilience plan – Lifeworks by Morneau Shepell has developed a microsite for this here.

If at any time you’re concerned about your emotional wellness, reach out for help. The Unison Fund provides free and confidential counselling services for registered Canadian music-makers and their dependant family in need of support. Call 1-855-9UNISON to access our free counselling services available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Happy Mother’s Day Mammas– Happy Mothers’s Day to Mothers who have lost their children, those who have lost Mothers, those who stepped into the role… wherever you are in your journey, we’re thinking of you!