This is who is even more stressed out lately

This is who is even more stressed out lately

There’s no doubt about it – the stress of adjusting to life in a COVID-19 world can be difficult to manage.

A survey from The American Psychology Foundation and The Harris Poll suggests parents are experiencing understandably higher stress levels than their childless peers. Among 3,013 U.S. adults 18+, nearly half of parents rated their stress levels between an 8 and 10 on a ten-point scale where 10 is the highest. That’s compared to just 28% of adults without children during these times.

And while virtual/at-home schooling has wound down as summer begins, you still need to be careful and limit your physical interactions. That means summer looks different for kids and parents alike, and parents may be feeling continued stress over finding ways to keep kids entertained as the months wear on.

What can you do to destress?

“Families should get outside together when possible,” Dr. Frank Belmonte, chief medical officer of Advocate Children’s Hospital, said during a Facebook Live event. “It’s been really nice seeing families out taking walks in forest preserves and on trails. Getting back to things like that helps reduce anxiety.”

Dr. Belmonte says finding safe ways to return to some sort of normalcy can be done – you just have to be plan.

“You need to be mindful,” he urges. “Think: Do I have hand sanitizer in my car? Do I have my mask?”

He reminds us that when it comes to family and friend gatherings, virtual options are still the best and safest way.

“As we learn more about transmission, we’re understanding this virus more thoroughly,” he says. “And as we move through summer, we need to continue focusing on preventing transmission by practicing social distancing, masking and staying safe.”

And if you’re looking forward to the fall in hopes your children will be returning to school, know this:

“We’re working with school districts to try and figure out the upcoming school year,” Dr. Belmonte says. “We’ll definitely see changes, including a mix of virtual and in-person learning. The actual physical space is going to change just like we’re seeing in other businesses. It’s too early to tell what it’s going to look like, but we are helping inform from a medical standpoint what it’s going to look like.”

Looking for ways to manage the stress you’re feeling? Check out these tips.

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About the Author

Holly Brenza
Holly Brenza

Holly Brenza, health enews contributor, is the public affairs coordinator at Advocate Children's Hospital. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago. In her free time, Holly enjoys reading, watching the White Sox and Blackhawks, playing with her dog, Bear and running her cats' Instagram account, @strangefurthings.