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How to manage stress and create a healthy home sanctuary

Posted at 2:11 PM, Aug 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-04 17:11:06-04

Home is where the heart is, but during a global health crisis, it’s also where the stress is. Millions of American parents spent the spring and in many states, the summer in quarantine working from home and helping their children navigate distance learning, adding the role of “teacher” to their stressful days. This has also been an extremely difficult time for children who are missing friends and activities and may feel scared or anxious.

In a recent survey of more than 1,000 parents regarding home life during the pandemic, results show:
▪ 70% of parents say they’re more stressed every day since the pandemic started, as are more than half of their kids (56%).
▪ Four out of five parents (80%) say they’re canceling summer plans due to COVID-19.
▪ One third (33%) of parents say children have been acting out more often.
▪ More than half of parents (54%) are trying to continue a daily bedtime routine for kids.
▪ 60% of parents say that they’ve grown closer with their child(ren) by spending more time together during this time, but 30% say their kids are driving them nuts.

Now that summer has arrived but most camps are canceled and vacations have been put on hold, the break that families usually get is gone. What’s more, the regular back-to-school plans are uncertain as each school district makes its own plans for the school year. It’s more important than ever to focus on your family’s health and wellness, not only outside of the home, but inside the home as well.

Like most parents, Whitney Port (wife, mother, podcast host, blogger and fashion expert) has been juggling family life and professional responsibilities for months and has learned ways to create a happier, healthier life at home.

Stick to routine. Make sure you are taking care of the basics. Structured days with regular mealtimes and bedtimes are an essential part of keeping kids happy and healthy.

Focus on what you’re doing to stay safe. An important way to reassure kids is to emphasize the safety precautions that you are taking, including washing your hands, using hand sanitizer, keeping a safe distance from others, wearing a mask and staying at home when possible..

Don’t be afraid to discuss the coronavirus. Most children will have already heard about the virus or have seen people wearing face masks, so parents shouldn’t avoid talking about it. Not talking about something can actually make kids worry more.

Be developmentally appropriate. Don’t volunteer too much information, as this may be overwhelming. Instead, try to answer your child’s questions.

Be reassuring. Children are very egocentric, so hearing about the coronavirus on the news may be enough to make them seriously worry that they’ll catch it.

Consider investing in wellness. Essential oils like lavender, jasmine, and bergamot can all provide a sense of relaxation and wellness for both parent and child