Jasmyne Kettwick, Executive Director of Relate Family Therapy and Counseling, speaks with Elizabeth Suarez on an episode of Unleash Your Potential. They talk about how the coronavirus pandemic presents a challenge for families, how it affects the “invisible load,” and how to manage your time and energy around work and your family.
Challenges that COVID19 presents for families includes fear of the unknown, fear for safety, mixed guidelines to promote that safety, fear of the illness itself, overplanning to achieve normalcy, and isolation.
What is the invisible load? These are all the things on our plates that go unnamed, often unnoticed by others, and that add to our mental strain and burden. Especially for parents, breaks are hard to come by under quarantine, so engagement is constant, as is the need to be taking care of others. Then there are new stressors on top of the normal load of bathing, feeding, planning, and surviving. These new stressors are often about the virus and quarantine: how much or little to discuss it with kids, how much or little to take in information ourselves, answering questions about why and when will this be over.
Our time and energy is all over the place. We are able to float through the day and do things whenever – school, work, and fun don’t have set times necessarily, but this creates stress and burnout. If there aren’t clear, strong boundaries between work and family, or whatever you have going on in your life, then you are constantly “on” and depleting your energy until it’s difficult to feel motivated and your productivity suffers. We all need a sense of normalcy. Find a “cornerstone” piece of your day. At 4 PM we always walk the dog together. At 1 PM we all do a check in. At 8 PM we all read for 20 minutes. From 6-7 PM all technology is put away. Whatever it is that makes sense to you and your family, make it a constant fixture each day. This helps you to anchor yourself in the present and not get pulled in so many directions all at once until you just don’t care anymore.
We at Relate Family Therapy and Counseling appreciate Elizabeth Suarez’s invitation to appear on her channel. You can find more of her videos at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSbzijdZwnOZfqA9mKfstvw
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