While self-quarantine helps keep people physically safe, the resulting social isolation can also have a serious emotional impact on families and individuals. There’s even some evidence that quarantine can cause some people to feel traumatized. And the damaging effects on mental health might continue long after quarantine restrictions have been lifted.

In the therapy world, the word “trauma” is used to describe an event that posed an extreme threat to someone’s physical or mental well-being. It can stem from abuse, life or death experiences, or prolonged exposure to distressing events.

This prolonged isolation – with seemingly no end in sight – is a distressing event. And while some individuals emerge from traumatic situations relatively unscathed, others are left traumatized and develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Living with the fear and anxiety of the coronavirus causes, at the very least, mild stress. Even mild stress suppresses the immune system, making fighting off sicknesses even harder and may make your worst fears come true.

If you or your family members are feeling stressed, seek help from family therapy services in North Chicagoland. Find a family therapist who has experience working with children, teens, young adults, families and parents. A capable counselor will be able to address patterns of destructive interactions and conflict within your family; help you deal with trauma, grief, loss and anxiety; or provide treatment for emerging or increased substance abuse.

Parents, especially, should make self-care a priority. The better you take care of yourself, the better you are positioned to nourish your child. Let us discuss some key points to keep positive and healthy.

Science-Backed Ways to Cope with Stress

  • Spend Some Time Alone

Ironically, while families are self-isolating, family members are subject to overcrowding in their homes. Solitude allows your brain to rest and replenish itself. Alone time relieves stress and increases your mental strength.

  • Eat a Well-Balanced Diet

A balanced, nutritional diet reduces the impact of stress and strengthens the immune system. Poor nutrition is a contributing factor to disease, infection, and mental and physical fatigue.

Include healthy green vegetables, fruits, nuts, dairy and poultry products in your diet. Stay away from junk food. Also, drink plenty of water.

  • Meditate

Research shows meditation plays a vital role in reducing or controlling stress, depression and anxiety. It fights age-related memory loss and addictions, improves cardiovascular functions, and improves sleep health.

Meditation is a natural remedy for a negative mindset and promotes a sense of peace — which are both much needed in these uncertain times.

  • Listen to Soft Music

Listening to soft music relaxes your mind and muscles, makes you feel calm and helps you to release stress. Researchers at Stanford University found that listening to calming music at least 45 minutes a day can change the brain functioning to the same extent as medication.

According to researchers, the stress-relieving chemicals dopamine and serotonin are released, when we listen to calming music. Listening to soft music also maintains the blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Researchers suggest listening to Native American, Celtic or Indian music with stringed-instruments, drums and flutes; light jazz and classical; and sounds of nature, rain and thunder. Find music that relaxes you and does not irritate you.

  • Maintain Bonds

Maintaining social connections with friends and family through the internet and phone fosters good mental and emotional health. These relationships will help you to feel supported and less isolated. Celebrate occasions such as birthday parties, weddings and anniversaries virtually.

Studies show the benefits of maintaining relationships include having less stress and living a healthier lifestyle. Relationships also give people a greater sense of purpose and the hope for a better tomorrow.

Seeking Help

Practicing self-care during these unprecedented times is essential for parents. Therapy may be useful to help you identify unhealthy coping behaviors and guide you to a plan for dealing with long-term stress. Counseling such as family therapy services in North Chicagoland is a wise preventive measure against stress turning into a secondary mental health issue.

Originally Published At: https://www.atoallinks.com/2020/self-care-for-parents-during-times-of-uncertainty/