by Jennifer Scott –
Are you a dad who is still working remotely due to the pandemic? If so, and if you also have an infant or toddler at home, you may be feeling the pressure right about now. After all, trying to stay productive and focused is so much harder when you have younger children who constantly need your attention. If you want to tame the chaos and stay calm, these tips can help:
Flow With the Chaos
Windward Optimal Health fully believes that it’s possible to “find comfort in chaos.” If your world feels like it has been turned upside down with all of the pandemic changes, feeling stressed about your stress and anxiety really isn’t helpful. You will only amplify your struggles and could eventually lead yourself to feel burnt out and overwhelmed.
If you are struggling to deal with anxiety, you should also know that it’s perfectly okay to reach out for additional support. In fact, regular counseling sessions are a wonderful tool to help you vent, process, and live comfortably with the full spectrum of your emotional experience. Many counseling services, including Windward Optimal Health, are offering virtual sessions.
Be Open to a Career Change
Yes, thinking about switching careers when the nation is in the middle of a recession may feel scary. But if your current work situation is not allowing you to properly care for your baby or toddler without feeling overwhelmed, it may be time to find something new. That could include going back to school online — to earn a degree that will facilitate a smooth career transition.
Earning a business degree online, as one example, will provide the leadership, marketing, and management skills you need to excel in a variety of in-demand fields. Not only will you be learning at a pace that fits your demanding schedule, but you will also be opening yourself up to new career possibilities as an accountant, financial analyst, social media manager, and more.
Be Prepared With a Solid Routine
Now, if you’re going to successfully balance your role as a father with working or learning remotely, you’re going to need some structure. One practical approach is to schedule your work hours around nap time for your little one. That way you can work with minimal distractions. Even with a schedule, your workday is bound to be interrupted from time to time, especially if you have a newborn. This is why you need to be upfront with your employer.
If you have a partner at home, the two of you can also split parenting responsibilities in a way that makes sense for each of your schedules. For example, you could offer to take care of your child while your partner works in the morning, and then they can take over in the afternoon. For older toddlers, finding ways to occupy your child can also help you stay productive.
Dedicate Some Time to Self-Care
You may not feel like you have time for yourself. But you also can’t expect to keep going if you are running on an empty tank. If it helps, think of yourself as a car and self-care as gasoline — if your car is running on fumes, it can only go so far. You could even end up stranded. So no matter how busy you are during the pandemic, schedule self-care pit stops for yourself.
Mini breaks throughout the day could involve deep breathing or a little exercise. Another effective trick that many parents use is to wake up with self-care. Squeezing in a few minutes of movement or meditation into your morning routine just for you can do so much good to your mental health.
Being a parent right now is so tough, but being a working dad with a toddler or baby at home can feel even more challenging. You can survive and even thrive by remembering to take care of yourself and to be comfortable with chaos. Eventually, things will get back to normal, but until then, keep this guide and the included tips handy to get you by.
Check out Windward Optimal Health for additional mental health resources and services. Schedule an appointment here.
(Photo credit to Charles Deluvio https://unsplash.com/@charlesdeluvio)