The pandemic has been hard on all Millennial parents. In a 2020 survey, 97% of Millennial moms stated they feel burned out from Covid-19.
It has created drastic changes in the ways moms and dads have to parent. They had to move children from missing out on experiences to learning in a virtual setting–all while working from home.
Trying to juggle all of this has been unsettling for many families due to breaking points and other various reasons. Because of this, the pandemic has been detrimental to mental health for all parents that are trying.
Good health always comes first. So, take a few deep breaths and use these seven tricks to help you focus on it for 2022.
Focus on Eating Healthy Foods
Let’s face it. The word “diet” tends to revert us to unhealthy eating habits. There are plenty of things to manage like work and household chores. So, focusing on what not to eat seems to be an extra task you won’t want to figure out during your busy schedule.
Think of it as a default eating style instead. If you can focus on making healthier food choices, your diet won’t seem so restrictive.
Whole food, plant-based meals are the best ways to start eating healthy. Try including as many healthy things as possible to weigh out the less healthful foods. And when a party or holiday gatherings are around the corner, let yourself indulge a little during those times.
Playgrounds and parks are great for millennial parents and their kids to get adequate exercise and fresh air. Be sure to keep a list of places to go to and even indoor play areas. This will give you endless options for fun activities.
While you’re at the playground, you can watch your kids play while you get a quick set of pull-ups in on the monkey bars.
Additionally, you can also join a family community center to swim all year round. However, working out while the kids join in is a great way to get some family time together if you choose to stay home.
Do a Digital Detox
When the stay-at-home order was effective, this promoted bad habits for additional screen time. Parents succumbed to checking their phones and getting caught up in notifications.
With that in mind, social media can release dopamine into your brain, which may elevate cortisol levels. This leads to a compulsive pattern of use, similar to addictions. On the other hand, while stress hormones increase, depression and anxiety can occur.
Break your online addiction by limiting your screen with these methods:
Maintain Your Stress Levels
Although managing your stress is easier said than done, finding what works can help you remain healthy. Stress contributes to your overall health. So consider dropping the kids off at the grandparents’ house while you and your partner get a break.
Sometimes even going outside and grabbing fresh air can help with stress management.
Meditation also works to regain calmness. However, if you feel your stress is unmanageable, reaching out for help is your next step.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit, many Millennial parents have struggled to maintain a social support system. This is a key part of living a healthy lifestyle, and building community strength has never been more important.
Make it a priority to connect with old friends, family and a social community. Social connections are essential to emotional resiliency and contribute to health.
A simple way to approach this is to catch up with a close relative or friend. Start a conversation and ask them how they’re doing. After talking on the phone, you can always follow up with them online or through texts.
Sending a card or handwritten letter is another way to make personal connections. It’s an unexpected gesture that shows you’re thinking about them. Either way, strengthening your relationships will help you satisfy those interactions you crave.
Get Good Sleep
Stress, family responsibilities and unexpected challenges can all affect your quality of sleep–which can later attribute to health problems. While you might not have the capability to control those factors, adopting better sleep habits can help you function better.
Think of it as adjusting your body’s internal clock. Going to bed and waking up simultaneously each morning reinforces consistent sleep.
You should also take note of what you eat or drink before bed. A snack at bedtime is okay, but avoid heavy meals since discomfort can keep you awake.
You should also avoid certain stimulants like caffeine and nicotine. These can wreak havoc on your quality of sleep.
Lastly, create a restful environment and do something relaxing before bedtime. Reading, meditation and taking a bath are all calming techniques that promote restful sleep.
Make Mental Health Your Priority
Since the pandemic, all types of stressors have increased for Millennial parents. Furthermore, the winter months make it less likely for you to be active and outdoors. Some parents can also suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder).
Prioritize your mental health goals and seek help. If you believe anxiety and depression are affecting your quality of life, talk to a therapist or your primary care provider when you can.
Start Building a Healthy Future
It’s time to set the stage for improving your quality of life. The pandemic might have caused several stressors in your life. But you shouldn’t have to pay for it through your health.
Start picking up a healthier lifestyle for a better and brighter future. Self-care is notably the most crucial thing you can do to be resilient and happy this year.
About The Author
Ava Roman (she/her) is the Managing Editor of Revivalist, a women’s lifestyle magazine that empowers women to live their most authentic life. When Ava is not writing you’ll find herin a yoga class, advocating for body positivity, whipping up something delicious in the kitchen, or smashing the patriarchy.