When Emotionally Exhausted
Last month marked the one-year anniversary of COVID-related social distancing policies, new schedules, new ways of being in the world, and an abrupt goodbye to pre-pandemic life. There has been an upsurge in hitting the “pandemic wall”—our brains are full and tired and our kids are feeling the weight of boredom.
New studies coming out about the pandemic’s impact on parenting has highlighted just how much parents, especially mothers, are working overtime to respond to all of the changes that have occurred. Managing multiple calendars, big emotions in ourselves and children, feelings of loss, increased sibling arguments, and less separation between work and home has definitely increased a parent’s cognitive load (not to mention all of the creative ways your child has likely found to entertain themselves).
Let’s be real. We are all tired. While we can’t “turn back time” (insert my best Cher impression), we can find ways to lighten the load. Below I’m giving you my parent-loved resources that have helped during the highs and lows of the pandemic.
- Unicef Kid Power: Get active, have family fun, and unlock needed meals for other families https://www.unicefkidpower.org/
- Sesame Street-Caring for Each Other: Talk about pandemic-related feelings, grab some already made parent and child activities, and talk about our health heroes. https://www.sesamestreet.org/caring
- FOCUS World: Help your child learn about their feelings, healthy emotional regulation skills, and discuss ways to keep your family strong. https://focusproject.org/focus-world
And…10 ways to connect with your child today
(Even when you are emotionally exhausted.)
- Have a fun family picnic in the living room (Paper plates and blankets on the floor make clean up a breeze).
- Have a dance party.
- Draw or color together (There are wonderful art tutorials on YouTube. The “Art for Kids Hub” has several tutorials available. You can find their channel HERE.
- Get in some outside play or a walk.
- Hide silly notes or pictures for each other around the house.
- Create a special handshake.
- Tell them your favorite memory of them or show them pictures of them when they were younger.
- Give them silly kisses (For example, giving them kisses with your eyelashes or nose).
- Let them teach you something.
- Watch their favorite movie snuggled together under their favorite blanket or in a blanket fort.
Dr. Debra Rezendes – Resident in Marriage and Family Counseling
Debra has over ten years of community and clinical work experience with individuals, children, parents, and families. She has been published in the Journal of Happiness Studies and Autism Research and Treatment. Debra received her doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy from Eastern University. She has skills in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), strengths-based therapies, self-compassion training, attachment-based therapies, play therapy, and solution-focused therapy. Click HERE to learn more about Dr. Rezendes.