Parenting in the time of Corona Virus
Corona virus? Lockdown? Parenting? Might sound like a perfect recipe for a nightmare for some. This insidious virus has not just descended as a hazard on our physical heath but has shaken our mental health too inviting for more turbulent times. The fallout of this bleak situation has been an indefinite lockdown which has not only shackled us to our houses but also to our family members. As much as it’s difficult for people to wade through those murky waters, parents have been struggling to keep up with their children alongside the already impending hazard. Now that the breathing space in the relationships has ceased to exist as children instead of schools/colleges and parents instead of office/house work are all tied down under the same roof with a very little outside movement, it is very likely for parents to feel sandwiched between work and spending time with their children and consequently carry the guilt when failing to deliver. So just like in a flight, the oxygen masks are supposed to be worn on ourselves first and then assist the fellow passengers; similarly, it is important for parents to understand how crucial it is for them to maintain their mental hygiene before engaging with their children. Thus it is important to have a structured day so that the tasks at hand are ticked off smoothly and the moods are also regulated. While spacing out the tasks for the day, it is important that parents include ample amount of time for family bonding and engage in activities which will strengthen their relationship with their children. Activities like gardening, cooking, cleaning the house, playing games, watching movies together are some of the activities that can boost the relationship. With the disruption of the natural rhythm of the daily routine, the children might feel unsettled, out of place and anxious. It is then we need to make them confront the ongoing scenario of the lockdown and lay down factual information related to virus and comfort their nerves by hugging them, cuddling and making them feel secured. Dancing or singing to their favourite songs can also help them calm down. But it should be kept in mind that breaking down of the information about the virus might vary from age groups and that parents need to be patient about it and ask for assistance when needed.
As much as everyone likes lemonade, they like to keep the lemon content in check. Similarly, over-bonding or spending too much time together may backfire and lead to bitterness. Children should be taught how to spend time by themselves like inculcating the habit of reading books or learning a new skill to name some. Meanwhile parents can cut themselves some slack and indulge in activities which will help them rejuvenate and cater to their self growth. A work done under burden is work done inefficiently. Thus it’s important for parents to feel at ease themselves for their children to feel the same. Cause at the end of the day, they emulate and look up to you.
Psychological First-Aid in the time of CoronaVirus
The insidious spread of the pandemic Covid19 has gripped the entire world in a bitter ambiguity. Amidst the blame game for the rise of this unfortunate virus, the entire world is looming under the threat of an unprecedented anxiety and an array of several other mental illnesses along with battling the infection itself. As godforsaken as the world might seem right now, it is important for us to understand the magnitude of the situation, prepare and shield ourselves with a handy “Psychological First-Aid” customized especially for the current scenario.
As we know that human beings are by nature social animals so it is most likely that majority of us will suffer from Cabin Fever during these times. Cabin Fever refers to erratic mood swings, grouchiness, irritability and suffocation due to indefinite period of isolation like in this lockdown. This can come along with increased bouts of anxiety and lows. It is then essential for us to follow this rad mantra- ‘Recognise’ ‘Accept’ ‘Deal’ (RAD). Instead of shoving the anxieties under the carpet and calling it baseless it is best fit for us to recognize its presence, accept its happening and efficiently deal with the triggers behind it. One of the uber ways to deal with this is to listen to some guided meditation or binaural beats or positive affirmations which help us soothe our nerves and calm us down.
Here are some binaural beats and positive affirmations to start with-
It is highly helpful listen to these guided meditation and beats and affirmations right before our sleep as it tunes our subconscious mind faster towards positivity and relaxation. Another rejuvenating alternative is to reconnect back to your hobbies and fuel you inner creativity. Talking about it with our closed ones can also help relieve stress and stay connected.
The next element which is in deep waters right now is our ‘Social Identity’. For us humans our social identity is a top priority and that is equally proportionate to what we do and how we do it in a day. Consequently it is not uncommon for people to spiral down in social identity crises in this quarantine period as lockdown has abruptly halted our everyday routine and chores and forced us to fearfully ponder over “What do I do now?” Without a structured day, we might fall into the discomfort of the existential crises and create a deadlock for ourselves. It is therefore important that we create an organized plan of the things that we would want to do in a day that would give us a sense of satisfaction and feed our self growth. Sleep and eating patterns play a vital role in this schedule and need to be monitored no matter how hard pressed we are to eat that extra snack or sleep for at least half an hour more.
In these turbulent hours, intake of a lot of unnecessary information on the virus can baffle us. Thus it is important that we rationalize and regulate the data which we are consuming from different media platforms and confine ourselves to facts from authentic sources.
As much as it is necessary to stick to a healthy schedule, it’s also crucial that we be less harsh on ourselves during those tough times. And at last it is pivotal for us to always remember that reaching out for help is not a sign of weakness but a sign of SELF REDEMPTION.