Is Coronavirus Lockdown Bringing Smiles or Causing Stress in Families?
COVID-19 lockdown has impacted us all in one or the other way. While some of us took it as an opportunity and explored our new hidden talents others faced difficulties to get through this phase.
One such part of the society that is facing difficulty in dealing with coronavirus lockdown is Families! Staying under the same room, seeing each other for 24×7, and managing nth tasks is not a smooth sailing for all. Reports have shown that coronavirus lockdown and family stress are positively linked with each other, taking a toll on mental wellness. To ensure that you don’t let it interfere with your normal functioning and family bond, working on this stressor is definitely the need of the hour.
We will understand this concept of Coronavirus lockdown and family stress by addressing three important questions, what are the sources, why to address it, and how to deal with it. So, let us understand it.
What Are The Major Sources Of Stress Among Family Members Amid Lockdown?
Different families, different sources of stress. However, the most common sources include:
- Working from home and managing household chores (double-duty).
- Spending 24×7 under the same roof with no way of going out.
- Logistic challenges to run the house smoothly.
- Managing kid’s online classes with work time.
- Taking care of kids with no major source to channelize their energy.
- Home-schooling children followed by ensuring wellbeing.
- Lack of support from social services.
- Uncertain source of income.
- Difficulty in managing time between work, studies, family, helping in chores, social life, and a lot more.
- Lack of resources.
- Difficulty in adapting to the online system of working, learning, teaching, and shopping as well.
- Absence of domestic help.
- Monotony in life.
Personally, during the initial days of lockdown the stressful trigger in my family was not meeting at the dining table at the same time! But, later we learnt to deal with it.
To understand it better you may also read the study done by the University of Oxford on Major stressors for parents during COVID-19 here
Why Do These Issues Need To Be Addressed?
Amid lockdown almost every nation has reported an increased number of domestic violence cases and accelerated stress which further leads to other problems. Of course this is not applicable to all families as no two families are alike and each family has its own triggers. But, no matter what these triggers are or the intensity of its response is, they need to be addressed. Many studies and reports have found that it is leading to various mental health issues such as,
- Deep saddened feelings.
- Increased anger outbursts.
- Feeling overwhelmed.
- Low mood.
- Emotional exhaustion.
- Post-traumatic stress
- Feelings of hostility in a child if ignored.
- Emotional disturbances in children.
To ensure that your family is stress-free and enjoys happy times together just as a pre-lockdown period you have to address this issue and work on it.
How Do Deal With Family Stress In Lockdown?
To make your home a stress-free place for you and your family here are remarkable advises for you to implement:
1. Be Empathetic
It is a difficult time for all of you living under that roof, please don’t compete on the grounds of whose more stressed. In fact, be empathetic towards each other’s feelings and emotions. Don’t be judgmental about others’ feelings. Maybe you are calmer and your mother is anxious about the virus, that’s okay. Remember you are in this together as a family. You have to be each other’s backbone, and for that you have to be empathetic.
2. Limiting Social Media
Stop being glued to that phone! You and your family both need digital detox. To make sure that social media fever doesn’t interfere with your family or studies time you can also use this app called social fever to keep a track on the same. Let us agree that our social media is flooded with COVID-19 news and looking at those numbers is not going to do any good. So, limit your social media usage to say bye-bye to stress triggers and hello to happy family time.
3. Have An Open Communication
I have read in nth articles and stories that parents and kids are facing difficulties in communicating with each other. The major reason underlying it is that there was never a situation demanding 24×7 communication. But, you can’t run away from this situation either, so it suggested that you fill in this communication gap. No matter whether it is between you and your partner or you or your kid. Remember the golden rules of communicating, listen, validate, and respond. This will help you communicate freely and healthily.
4. Divide Tasks
You really don’t have to do it all and perform triple or maybe a zillion duties together. It is okay to ask for help and divide the household chores among each other. It will give each member a sense of responsibility and a task to work on, which will kill the ‘sitting idle time.’ Bonus, it will increase your bond!
5. Set A Schedule
From my personal experience, setting a schedule ensures that your day is well-managed with little or no exhaustion at all. Especially for kids and older adults, being aware of what the day looks like calms their curiosity and anxiety. Plus, it will bring more discipline in the house. Remember the source of stress that I faced personally, setting a schedule helped me combat it. Along with deciding how the day will look like you can also add movie nights, activity hours, and similar activities in it. Well, to avoid any quarrels it is advised that everyone’s preferences are equally valued in this time-table cum schedule.
6. Give Each Other Space
Just like you shouldn’t be glued to your phone all the time you shouldn’t be sticking by each other the whole day. Giving respectful space is required to remind yourself that you are not caged, your freedom is still there. It is one of the major stressors among family members amid lockdown that their sense of freedom has vanished! This could result in various issues and quarrels for sure. Start valuing and giving each other the space that you used to. If your kid is going to his room to surf through the internet or talk to his friends let him! But, then remember point number 2, you have to limit your social media as well.
7. Engage in Fun Activities (off-screen)
It is a great way to bond together! Just put your phone away and plan activities that will make happy hormones rush through your body. I would recommend you to go old school and play board games like Ludo, Scrabble, Monopoly and others. They are not just stress-busters but also a great way to channelize your energy and bring in positive vibes. Additionally, for children board games are a tool to control impulses. To find your calm together as a family you can even plan yoga and meditation sessions. It is definitely a fun and effective way to break the stress and monotony.
8. Soak in Fun Activities Alone
Or shall we say learn new life skills? Either way, you are going to benefit from it at an individual and family level. Take some ‘me time’ out for yourself and engage in a task that you enjoy or that boosts your happiness. It could be a trivial task like dancing your heart out or a major task like starting journaling. Just make sure you enjoy it and join the family with a happy face.
Example: My brother picked up his cycle after ages and my father started it too.
Family bond: 1 Corona Stress: 0
9. Revisit the Good Times
This time, this phase might be difficult as this is the most time you have ever spent together. You and your mind might not be ready for it, which is okay. But, reminding yourself and your mind of the good times that you have spent together you can rewire your brain and revisit your emotions. You may watch old clips of your fun times together or go old school and run through your happy family album together.
Additionally, it is advised to stay connected with people who make you happy and radiate positivity. But, make sure you connect with them virtually! They will be a great distraction from all the chaos.
Despite all this, if the family stress amid coronavirus lockdown still disturbs you and you want to vent it all out remember Calm Sage is always here for you. Don’t feel shy just freely contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org, active listening with a cup of coffee is never a bad idea after all.
More power and strength to you!
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I would like to send a big hug to the writer... the way writer highlighted the ways to fight real issues are really impressive...!
Hello, Thank you so much for your kind words! It just made my day. I am glad that my words could help you in any which way possible. Thank you.