Life is tough, and COVID has made it so much tougher on all of us. Women in the workforce are now also dealing with the extra stress of having kids at home, or at school, or at home…you just never know now where they may be. This adds an extra layer of responsibility to the already full plate of American women. Be the perfect mother, the perfect wife, the perfect co-worker, and also now the perfect teacher, the perfect babysitter, and make the perfect lunch. Additional stresses, like finances during a recession or working in a field that is currently drastically down due to COVID, also plays a part in the mental health of the typical mom. Not to mention the whole pandemic thing and a virus going around.
And how are we doing with all this stress? We are not doing well.
We are stressed, we are tired, and we are overworked physically and mentally. In fact, 74% of U.S. mothers say they feel mentally worse since the pandemic began, according to a survey by motherhood lifestyle brand Motherly. So what can we do about it?
The pandemic is not going away, so a big stress reliever for me recently was the day my stepmom got the vaccine. She still hasn’t gotten her second one, but after she does, I am already less stressed knowing that there’s a 95% chance she won’t catch a disease that would surely kill her (at 75 with COPD and heart conditions, I have already seen her on a vent three times).
What to do about the stress.
The vaccine won’t stop some of the other stressors many will probably be dealing with even after COVID fades into less of an ordeal. You still have your kids, your bills, and whatever your husband’s problem is to deal with. This is why you should look into counseling. According to the Cleveland Clinic, to help with mental health, you can do “deep breathing to help the mind focus on the present. Being outdoors and talking to family, friends, or a professional can also be therapeutic.” I bet you money that talking to a professional you can open up to will be better than just deep breathing or a hike outside. A professional can not only listen, which really helps in itself, but they can also identify triggers that make you stressed and help you figure out how to avoid them. Maybe it’s a talk with your husband about sharing the workload, maybe it’s talking with your kids about how to best handle remote learning, or maybe it’s a complete restructuring of something you are doing that is actually working against you.
Whatever helps relieve stress, do it. Oftentimes I think people will find it is not just one thing, but multiple things that make their plates feel so full and them be so mentally overwhelmed. If talking to a pro isn’t in your budget right now, consider an app like Regain, where you talk remotely to a counselor at a discounted price.