Wonder Woman, Black Panther, Superman, Captain Marvel. What do they all share? Super powers! Super powers that give them insane amounts of energy, stamina and strength. But what about us regular human beings who don’t have super powers to help get us through life’s daily stressors? Especially parents. Fortunately, the VEBA Resource Center (VRC) is devoted to helping VEBA Members cope with stress and prioritize their mental well-being.
Most parents probably expect some regular stresses in life — such as juggling work, school, activities, chores, errands, and family time — but it can be overwhelming, in some cases, debilitating. Now, we have to factor in fear and limitations around a deadly virus. VEBA’s Co-Medical Director, Dr. Lee Remington-Boone, shares that when adults are overworked, their own health needs may be easy to set aside. Parents must be mindful of their own health, especially during this unusual time. Below are her tips for how parents can support themselves during times of stress.
- Focus on What’s Essential: Set boundaries between work time, family time, and time for yourself.
- Plan Out Your Week: Create a weekly routine to establish some predictability.
- Be Aware of Your Capacity: Don’t be afraid to say “no” when you have a full plate. Over-committing to additional demands will only increase your stress.
- Shut It Off: While it’s good to be informed, take breaks from the news and social media periodically throughout the day. Don’t allow your devices to dominate your day.
- Exercise Outside: Make time in your day for exercise. Movement and sunlight provide the necessary neurochemicals we need to enhance our mood, energy and sense of well-being. Read our blog post for ways to sneak exercise into your day.
- Get a Good Night’s Sleep: The average adult needs at least eight hours of sleep for restoration. Read our blog post for tips to improve your quality and quantity of sleep.
- Eat Healthy: Limit processed foods, simple carbohydrates, alcohol and caffeine. Instead, choose whole food, plant-forward options with whole grains. For healthy recipe inspiration, visit our recipe page.
- Take Care of Your Mental Well-Being: Make time for the hobbies and activities which bring you joy, even if only for 10 minutes. Staying socially connected — whether in person, by phone or virtually — will also help improve your mental well-being.
We hope these tips help sustain parents throughout this anxious time in life and parenthood. You are super heroes to us! Please visit the VEBA Resource Center to find free, virtual classes and visit our YouTube Channel for on-demand videos to help with stress relief.
Related Articles and Videos:
- Watch Dr. Lee Remington-Boone explain these tips in her video, “Tips for Stressed Parents”.
- Click here for more advice on coping with stress from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).
- Watch our video, “How to Get Quality Sleep” or read the blog post.
- Read “4 Tips for Improving the Quality and Quantity of Sleep”.
- Read “Sneak Exercise Into Your Day Without Breaking a Sweat”.
- Read “Ways to Destress at the End of the Day”.
- For videos on nutrition tips and recipes, visit our Healthy Eating playlist, and browse our recipe library for easy dishes you can make at home.
- Visit our Mind & Body playlist for videos on meditation, breathing, and other practices to relax and stay grounded.