Are you struggling with the kids at home during April? Home schooling and working? Here are 3 easy strategies to help you deal with stress and anxiety when home schooling. Cara De Lange at Softer Success is really passionate about helping families live a more peaceful balanced life and to avoid burnout, here she advises how you can deal with your parental stress throughout April.
Use coping strategies that are realistic right now in April
It may have been realistic for you to go for a three-mile run every morning in February, but that may not be the case today. What coping strategies are realistic for you right now? Maybe it’s stepping outside for a few minutes to breathe in some fresh air before your next Zoom call. Or a quick call with a friend. Or putting on some music and having a dance party with your kidsLower the bar and find what works for you.
Look for good enough
Parents want to make the best and the right choices for their children. Good enough often isn’t the standard when it comes to your kids—you want the very best. Yet, part of what drives so much stress and anxiety in this moment is that you don’t know what the right or best choices are for your kids’ health, education, your own work status, and more. Dr. Barry Schwartz, a psychology professor at Swarthmore College and UC Berkeley has actually researched this dynamic. He has found that people who look for good enough (a group of people he calls “satisficers”) are often more content with their choices compared to those who always aim for the best. Look for options that will produce good enough outcomes under the widest set of future states of the world. Why not ask yourself this question: “What can I do to make my child’s life satisfying enough no matter what the future holds?”
Give yourself a break
Just like remembering your small wins can increase motivation, small setbacks can kill it. Self-compassion is the art and science of giving yourself a break, and it can help with preventing burnout. You really are doing the best you can, even if it just looks like muddling through on most days, but parents can be exceedingly hard on themselves, often pushing toward perfection. When you experience a setback, gain some perspective to avoid the downward spiral of shame, regret, and guilt:
First up: Normalise the setback. You’re not the only person who has lost your patience and yelled at your kids, and it probably won’t be the last time you do it. Secondly: What would you say to a friend who experienced the same setback? We beat ourselves up tremendously when we fail, but would you be just as harsh if your friend approached you with the same set of circumstances?