Jediael Carter Stewart
Managing COVID Anxiety As Parents
Never did I imagine this as my first two years as a mother. On the contrary, I pictured cupcakes and rainbows sprinkled with monthly family excursions and the occasional trip to the country to visit relatives. Pure and total bliss.
Instead, the world has been practically locked down or semi-restricted due to the raging pandemic. And just when you think we’re close to the end of the downward spiral, it gets even longer and more dangerous.
It’s been almost two years of living in a pandemic; and I’ll be honest, until recently, I was one of the people who believed that our desire to return to normalcy would motivate us all to play our part by getting vaccinated against the virus. I was hopeful. That is, until I read an article last week that spoke to European countries, with super awesome vaccination rates, lamenting the upward trend in cases within the population. I know, I know, vaccines prevent the likelihood of hospitalisation (or whatever the messaging has been) but honestly, despite this I was genuinely holding out hope that we were closer to the end of the tunnel with these vaccines and the distribution worldwide.
New COVID Variant
Things were looking up – cases were trending down and life was semi-normal, even the curfew hours were extended. What could possibly go wrong? But here we are, again. News broke last week of the newest variant – Omicron – and the world is again going through a series of lockdowns, travel bans and restrictions.
How to pump the brakes on spiraling thoughts
I was absolutely LOSING MY SH*T at this news. As I waded through my thoughts, I reflected on the many other times I felt anxious about the unknown and how things never jumped to worse case scenario those times as my mind said it would. I realized that like those times, I would get through it… and you can too.
This pandemic has been hard for many and making it this far is a signal of your resilience and ability to persevere. Despite those disquieting thoughts, you will get through this. Here are some ways you can manage your COVID anxieties as parents:
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com
Give the media a break: Staying in tuned with media activities can heighten your feeling that all hell is breaking loose. Take it from me, a trained Journalist (yes that was a small flex, sue me) finding the news does not always mean reporting the good things. It is taking a toll on you, take a breather.
Try not to dwell on your worry thoughts: Yes, your mind may spiral into worst case scenarios, but there is no sense in doing all that. Worrying will not change the situation, but putting things into perspective might help to reduce your anxiety.
Focus on things you can control: Although you have no control over what is happening worldwide, or even nationally, channel your energies into what you can control – your response to the crisis.
Engage in stress reduction activities: Find your happy place and enjoy that space for as long as you’re functionally able to. It’s okay to retire from the stressors of a life even but for a moment and just breathe.