Lately, I’ve been waking up each morning and thinking to myself: W-T-F. I even read somewhere that there’s a campaign going to make ‘2020’ a curse word! 😉 With everything parents are dealing with, it’s no surprise either. Life is hard right now and us moms are being asked to accept it as our “new Boca normal.”
Who would have ever thought that school wouldn’t happen in person this fall for the majority of local kids? And, face masks would become the hottest back-to-school accessory? It’s a tough pill to swallow…so that’s why I’m glad to know a local Boca Raton therapist to help.
Lori Lundin-Fish, PhD, LMFT, is the owner of Palm Beach Therapy Center and is a licensed marriage & family therapist. She is at the ready for anyone needing a mental health boost.
And best of all, she had some great advice on how to become a “Mommy Master” of parenting in our new Boca normal.
First off, is classifying our current parenting status as the “new normal” a healthy way to look at things?
Normalizing any difficult emotion is a very healthy and effective way of coping. People feel comfort in knowing they are not alone in their experiences and therefore speak of the idea as a “new normal.” A statement like this may often bring a sense of acceptance, unity, and strength.
When welcoming a “new normal,” we tend to move away from feelings of resistance while also creating space for flexibility and peace. If we can accept this mindset, it may bring relief to those with high levels of anxiety and depression. We then permit ourselves to shift our focus on “what to expect” rather than worrying about the future.
No one knows how long this new Boca normal will last. But, it is helpful to know that people are truly resilient and capable of sitting comfortably in their discomfort. There is no need to plan ahead or to “prepare” for the next step–whatever that may be. Instead, it is best to adapt to the current reality and to maintain proper safety precautions.
School is such a hot topic right now. How can parents be at peace with whatever decision they’ve made for their kids this fall?
As a parent, I know it is very difficult to prepare for school in this day and age.
Do you send your children to school right away?
Do you wait and continue with distance learning?
In Person? Online? Both? Neither?
There are so many decisions and they are likely weighing you down. You are not alone! Just remember that whatever path you choose, you are doing your best and prioritizing the needs of your family. No one knows your child and situation the way you do.
Many families may question their decisions once they begin comparing themselves to other families. Keep in mind there is no “one size fits all” in this unprecedented situation. There is simply no easy choice.
Parents must be supportive of one another during this time because we all have struggled with the same decision. And, it was not an easy one to make. Rather than vocalizing judgment or disapproval towards other parents, it is far more helpful to share empathy, kindness, and understanding.
What can parents do to help manage “pandemic fatigue” as we transition into back-to-school, either virtually or in-person?
Pandemic fatigue is the perfect description for what many are experiencing at this time! People seem to be incredibly tired of the isolation, the waiting, the uncertainty, not being able to experience normal social interactions outside your home. Not to mention the overwhelming cabin fever we have all likely experienced this year.
There also seems to be little balance and blurred boundaries between work and home life, which has significantly impacted mental health.
The pandemic seems to have caused many people to experience symptoms of grief, doubt, uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. People have been left in complete physical isolation while dealing with very strong negative emotions. Isolation in and of itself is difficult to cope with. In the present moment, many are struggling with other added stressors (financial strain, marital dissatisfaction, feelings of hopelessness, etc.). These issues may certainly increase symptoms of anxiety and depression. Then, the complexity of the emotions change and many are unprepared to handle such a shift.
We sometimes forget that human emotion is not easy to recover from. Many may try to dismiss unwanted emotions, but it can sometimes welcome more of the negativity we are attempting to move away from. Unfortunately, this fatigue and exhaustion will likely continue to be an issue until people begin to truly prioritize their mental health needs.
How can we help address this?
In order to truly address pandemic fatigue and move into a more positive mindset while becoming “Mommy Masters” of our new Boca normal, Dr. Fish recommends a few things. Parents need to 1) normalize their emotions, 2) communicate openly with their loved ones, 3) identify their triggers, and 4) recognize positive coping tools.
The first half of 2020 may have brought us down but “what defines us is how well we rise after we fall.” -Zig Ziglar
FACEBOOK: Palm Beach Therapy Center
Sponsored: This blog post was sponsored by Palm Beach Therapy Center. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced in any way by the sponsor. Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information and I have been compensated, but that does not impact my views or opinions.