Managing Quarantine Stress

Many families are struggling right now; money is tight, being home together poses new relational challenges, and many parents are navigating schooling at home for the first time. As we enter the end of week one of coronavirus isolation (some of us in Seattle have been at this for much longer…Elise has been quarantined since March 2nd), we wanted to share a few thoughts on managing stress while navigating these uncertain times, particularly for those with kids at home.


Your stress impacts your children. No matter how well you think you’re hiding or suppressing it, your children are feeling it. Stress is normal. It’s a natural reaction to uncertainty and strain and you will never be entirely stress free, despite what Gwyneth Paltrow may say.  That’s why it’s essential that parents develop coping mechanisms that model healthy emotional behavior for their children.


This is a great time to work on calling people in, rather than calling them out. When you call someone out, your accusation will often be met with defensiveness that will immediately escalate the situation or a flight response that will stop the conversation in its tracks. Try calling your spouse or your child into to a conversation instead of trying to “win” or make a point. While necessary and healthy for growth, conflict can turn nasty and have a life-long impact on relationships. If you’re trying to “win”, you are already losing.


It is ALWAYS better to pause and have a calm conversation rather than wait until you slam the kitchen cabinet at your child, curse at the dog, or call your spouse “lazy”. If you are genuinely trying to see behavioral change, emotionally honest, calm, conversations are always more effective. Are you upset your kids never put their dishes in the dishwasher? Verbalize your expectation. Does it feel like you’re shouldering more of the weight of homeschooling than your spouse, even though you have equivalent workloads? Have an honest conversation about how you feel and where you need them to step up without being accusatory. Seemingly small things can mount quickly and build resentment, especially when you and your family are facing other stress factors like home isolation.


Managing stress requires decompression. There is no way to avoid stress; you must learn how to cope in healthy ways. When we’re all looking for ways to escape the constant stream of stimuli in our homes all day during this isolation period, it’s easy to rely on depressive coping mechanism like emotional eating and overuse of alcohol. In the long run, addictive and unhealthy means of escape will backfire and compound your stress. Take the time now to create habits that allow you to decompress, even on good days. It’s hard to prioritize yourself when you and your family are living under a blanket of anxiety and stress, but it is even MORE important to do so in these circumstances. While taking 15 minutes to blow-dry your hair, going for a walk or a solo drive won’t solve all of your problems, it is amazing how much your body and mind can benefit from small moments of intentional solitude.


Some companies have created free virtual workout and meditation exercises to help people stay healthy at home. Check out some of those below.


CorePower Yoga

Yoga Works

Barre3

Pilates Anytime

STAY UP TO DATE

Subscribe to our newsletters

 
Subscribe to one or more of our newsletters, delivering meaningful insight on topics that matter to you and your family.

FURTHER READING

Latest Blog Posts

Many people find it challenging to get started with estate planning. From confusion about the process to denying that estate planning is necessary, there are various reasons why people do not want to create an estate plan. That said, estate…

After divorce, it is common to experience feelings of shame. That shame could arise from multiple sources, including feeling that you let your spouse or children down or because you are worried about what others may think of you. Regardless…

Estate planning can feel overwhelming, but it is necessary to ensure your assets are in order and your loved ones are taken care of. Establishing an estate plan can also make certain issues easier for you and your family during…

In Washington state, alimony is referred to as maintenance. Maintenance is court-ordered spousal support payments that one spouse makes to assist with the living expenses of the other spouse for a period of time and for a particular purpose.  Maintenance…

The homes. The boat. The investment accounts. During a high-net-worth divorce, the disposition of these and other assets (and debts) may be one of the most significant reasons underlying the contention between you and your soon-to-be-ex, making these types of…

This is part three of our three-part series, “Expecting the Unexpected.” You can read part one on catastrophic illness here and part two on chronic illness here. Estate planning may initially bring to mind the process of outlining the manner…

It seemed like it was going to be just another day. Get the kids off to school, do household chores, go to work. But then your spouse let you know it was over between you, that they want a divorce.…

This is part two of three in our series “Expecting the Unexpected. You can read part one on catastrophic illness here. For many, estate planning immediately brings to mind ways you can protect your assets and retirement funds for your…

When considering divorce, you may toy with the idea of representing yourself. For example, you may think your divorce will be relatively straightforward. Or maybe you consider yourself a savvy negotiator and highly intelligent. Or the idea of saving yourself…

While estate planning is often associated with enjoying assets while you are alive and then preparing for their disposition to inheritors after death, there are more outcomes estate plans can aid in to adequately protect the quality of your life…