When our country was placed under community quarantine last March, people hoped that it will just be temporary. People on social media saw this as an opportunity for the working class to take a break, for Mother Nature to breathe, and stop the spread of the virus.
Today, numerous countries have already eradicated the virus and reported zero cases in their location but they are still exercising extra precautionary measures such as social distancing, wearing of face masks when going out in public, staying at home as much as possible, and frequent hand washing. However, nobody knew that this would last longer than we have anticipated.
Daily routines that you have been doing for years suddenly changed. The uncertainty of when the virus would come to an end is taking a toll on the physical, financial, and mental health of people especially a big chunk of the working class who are working from home.
Working from home may be overwhelming to individuals who are living with their family especially to those who are juggling work and parenting. Here are some of the problems that parents may encounter at home and proactive suggestions we have gathered:
Issue: I am having a hard time focusing on my work. I can't get things done!
Set and stick to your working hours. It also helps if you have your work corner as this condition your mind and body that when you are at that corner you are going to work. Do not forget to set and follow your break schedules too!
Issue: My children are always disturbing me. I’m about to lose it!
“Set boundaries for you and your kids. Kids like routines that they can follow. You should know when to start and stop working then communicate that with them. You can also have them have a routine they follow so they know what should they be doing when you're doing something for work.” – AJ Sunglao, Licensed Psychologist
READ: Extra-Curricular Activities Your Kids Can Do At Home
Child care and work may be overwhelming especially during quarantine because household chores overlap with work. This may be stressful on the parent’s part but there are several ways to work around this issue.
Modern technology is a parent’s best buddy in times of quarantine. From interactive games to different kinds of screens, to new ideas for arts and crafts-we can source it all! The internet is a powerful tool in acquiring the things that you need to give your children especially now that the children are ideally being prepped for homeschooling.
To establish a healthy routine for your children, we suggest that educational materials be incorporated for several hours during the day. Using your Lazada app, you may browse the available educational materials according to your kid’s age and have delivered to your doorstep. Credit cards are may also be used for purchases of other materials online such as subscriptions to paid worksheets like the ones from https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/.
Communication and collaboration with your child about the things that they want to do every day is a must. You must also make rules and stick to them. The old trick that our parents have used to us so we will be obedient is the ‘reward system”. Giving your kids plus points, maybe in a form of snack or prolonged playtime, is a good idea too!
Once you have determined the things that your kids want to do, you have to plot a schedule and make sure that they will follow them. World Health Organization has also released a series of infographics about Healthy Parenting.
Issue: I am burned out! I feel like I no longer have time for myself!
A survey conducted by LinkedIn and Censuswide found out that a major factor in Millenial women’s burnout is the act of balancing homeschooling children while working not to mention the amount of housework the await after working hours.
Talk to your kids about your routine and their routine. Remember that you are your kids' models at home and they tend to copy the things that they see from the adults. If you teach your children at home is taking a toll on you, you should probably talk to your partner if you can take turns in teaching the kids. In that way, both of you will have free days for yourselves and time spent with the kids too.
If you are both working, online tutorials via Skype, Google Meet, and Zoom are also available. You may opt-in enrolling them in their sessions to ensure that the educational materials are being delivered by professional tutors and teachers. There are several tutorial centers on social media offering their online 1-on-1 tutorial sessions like Kumon. If you intend to enroll your child in online tutorial lessons, make sure that you will address the needs of your child to the tutor and monitor them regularly.
Issue: I feel so alone even if I live with my family. I am stressed out
Long days of isolation, worries about getting infected, and financial challenges are among the common concerns today. People have already lost their jobs during the pandemic and more are being let go each day. The uncertainty that the future beholds takes its toll on parents especially because of the bills to pay.
Studies have found that there is a correlation between debt and mental health problems. People who have financial troubles are three times more likely to have mental health issues later on.
Know and believe that you are not alone. A lot of millennial parents have the same woes as you. Take it one step at a time and rise above your issues by looking for ways to solve them. Talking to your family about how you feel may be hard but it is the first step to solving your feeling of isolation. Using the enhanced video calling technologies that we have right now is also a good option if you want to check on your siblings and parents who do not live with you.
When it comes to your financial concerns, commit to being more conscious of how you budget your income. Talk to your partner and your children about doing small things to save money will go a long way.
A strategy that some people adapt during this pandemic is using their credit cards during grocery shopping and paying for other utilities. In this manner, they only have to pay before the due date and settle their bills at the bank once a month. Some people even settle their credit card bills at bayad centers near them out of convenience. It lessens their chances of exposure to the virus and it also helps them keep their hard-earned cash at hand. Credit cards may also be used for health insurance, car insurance, and life insurance acquisitions.
It is advantageous to have a credit card handy during this pandemic. To avoid getting into debt, it is necessary to keep track of the due dates and only purchase the things that you need.
Bear in mind:
If you know someone who is going through a rough time, the Department of Health has established a National Mental Health Crisis online (https://www.doh.gov.ph/NCMH-Crisis-Hotline) which they can call anytime. Hotline 0917-899-8727, 0917-899-USAP or 989-8727,989-USAP.
It is best to seek health advice from a mental health professional near you so your issues will be addressed thoroughly.