There’s a lot of buzz about the stressful effects of the pandemic on families and it’s understandable. In fact, the life changes that came with COVID-19 and lockdown due to the pandemic made our daily lives quite different than we could have imagined. People belonging to various professions witnessed their career paths changing and getting furloughed or had to work-from-home. The mode of education too changed from on-campus classes to virtual meetings.
Parents had to alter recreational activities for children and worked to keep them calm amid not receiving the usual child care and maintaining social distancing with friends. For many families, the lockdown meant that they needed to make big changes in their daily lives because of financial hardships. All these life changes brought anxiety and stress with them as people tried to become familiar with and accept ‘the new normal. In this blog, we are going to discuss the effects of the pandemic and how to cope with it.
Impact on families.
Isolation due to the pandemic stimulated the cases of anxiety disorders in families. In addition to the uncertainty caused by the spread of the virus.
Families were impacted differently based on their demographics. While some families enjoyed staying at home, others suffered stress due to financial hardships or due to family conflicts. In any case, it is important to stay calm to focus on life, consider different perspectives, sort out important life choices and make informed decisions.
Foods you must eat.
Despite so many odds, this pandemic gave us another chance to enjoy again the family time which we lost in our busy routine. They say that families that eat together stay together. Here are some foods that you can eat with your family to reduce the effects of pandemics and boost your immunity.
⎆ To boost immunity.
We need to eat healthy to fight with the isolation, pandemic and the novel virus. During pandemic a lot of people are turning towards junk foods and foods with excess sugar to kill boredom and reduce anxiety. It is having an adverse effect on them. Because processed sugar has negative effects on the body. It is recommended to include foods with Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin D3 in your diet. Eat citrus foods such as lemon, orange, grapefruit that contain excess amount of Vitamin C to boost your immunity. Vegetables such as broccoli, ginger, garlic and spinach also contain nutrients, antioxidants and vitamin.
It is also beneficial to include food sources that contain Zinc and Animal protein (beef, fish, liver, kidney). In this way, you will not only eat healthily but you will also strengthen your immune system.
⎆ To relieve stress and anxiety.
During the pandemic, you have to be very careful about your diet. It is hard to survive the pandemic. A lot of people are experiencing stress, anxiety, and depression during pandemics.
According to the APA, 40% of Americans eat too much while dealing with anxiety. It is recommended to eat something healthy that helps to calm your anxiety. Here are some foods that you should eat to de-stress and fight anxiety:
- Green Vegetables such as spinach and broccoli contain folate that helps to regulate our mood.
- Eating dark chocolate can reduce the stress hormone, lowers blood pressure, and improves blood circulation, Hence, results in decreased stress.
- Chickpeas improve brain health which results in better mental performance.
- Fatty fish like Salmon contains Omega 3 which is helpful in regulating mood.
- Blueberries also regulate mood.
How to cope with the effects of pandemic and manage anxiety:
Upon witnessing the rise in mental issues caused as a result of the COVID-19 situation, experts came up with several ways of keeping the families calm during these challenging times and providing support to the ones affected by the consequences. Here are few ways to reduce the adverse effects of a pandemic.
⎆ Set up a daily routine.
Having to stay at home may make you adopt unhealthy habits like lying in bed loner or having an unbalanced diet and putting off chores. This is why it is extremely important that you make a proper schedule while you are staying at home. It is okay to have some breaks and flexibility in your schedule but make sure that you are following the schedule.
⎆ Invest in self-care.
Investing in self-care is crucial, especially in challenging times. Practicing self-care helps relieve stress. It can turn out to be an amazing family time routine to practice self-care with your partner and children. Your self-care routine may include taking walk, running, organizing a messy space, doing meditation, or exercising.
There can be several ways of investing in self-care such as:
- Doing meditation.
- Stretch and exercise.
- Getting a good amount of sleep.
- Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet.
- Avoiding excessive tobacco, and caffeine.
⎆ Take breaks from social media and news.
It is good to stay informed but try to have more time off-screen and enjoy the things you might not get time for normally. Watching the news, a lot of staying on social media may increase stress and anxiety. Hearing about the pandemic constantly can drain your mind. Moreover, social media may increase your stress if you are furloughed or looking for work.
⎆ Connect with family and community: Create happy hours.
Isolation may stimulate anxiety so it is best to find someone to talk to. Create happy hours with friends and family virtually using video calling apps. Celebrate the time together online and make sure that you celebrate the little things in life to stay positive and grateful.
⎆ Listen to each other: listening to your spouse, family, friends and especially children.
Listening helps ease stress and anxiety. It also plays a significant part in maintaining relationships. Listening to children is quite important in making them feel heard. Some things might appear to be ordinary for us but children attach feelings to them. It is important for their mental health to acknowledge them and listen to them.
⎆ Set up a challenge or start a new hobby.
To keep yourself motivated, adopt a new hobby like doing yoga, reading books, stitching or gardening. Giving yourself challenges is also a good way to get things done. It also helps to stick to a routine, alongside bringing positive changes in yourself and your surroundings. The challenges may be about beauty and health or cleaning or gardening depending on your interests and skills. The challenge may also be about learning a new skill in a specific amount of time.
⎆ Focus on what you can control.
Amid the COVID-19, the effects of the pandemic, and being isolated at home there are some things that we have control over and others that we cannot control. So, there is no point in worrying about the things that we cannot control like online school, work-from-home, limited outdoor activities, and the economic state of the country. It is then best to narrow down the things that you have control over. You can make a difference in them, like staying hopeful, searching for better career options, flexibility in your job timings, setting up child care for your children, or finding a way to manage their schoolwork.
⎆ Reach out for support.
Reach out for support if you feel you or a family member needs it. There are several teletherapy services available. Furthermore, talk to other parents on how they are managing child care, online classes, and schoolwork with their children. Talking to other parents may help relieve stress related to children. You can sort out ways to take care of your child’s emotional and mental wellbeing.
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⎆ Helping children with online classes and schoolwork.
Parents in coronavirus pandemic have become de factor homeschool teachers. Although keeping track of kids’ studies and assignments may appear difficult in the beginning, exchanging tips with other parents can be very beneficial to relieve stress and organizing virtual study groups for children. Also, connecting with your child’s teachers is important to know about the strengths and weaknesses of your child and how you can help them out. Setting small goals and doing lessons creatively also helps to keep children motivated.
⎆ Making children’s going back to school a smooth transition
After a whole year of online school, children might find it hard to imagine how post-covid school might be like. Parents must help their kids with the process by talking to them about the protocols to be followed due to the effects of the pandemic and how things might be different this time as compared to when they last went to school. Spend time with your children and listen to them how they are feeling so that they feel calmed and receive reassurance.