We all face difficult life circumstances at one time or another, but now, with the many implications of COVID-19, many of us are being pushed to our mental and physical limits. Parents of young children, especially, face many challenges when working remotely and attempting to maintain a stable daily routine.
Working remotely with young children at home can seem impossible sometimes, but establishing a positive inner dialogue can help you cope with negative emotions and manage your stress levels to prevent burnout.
With little ones, some days are better than others, but when things get especially tough, here are five positive mantras that will help you maintain a healthy mindset, stay sane, and be productive while you work.
1. “I have persevered before and I can do it again.”
You have likely gone through difficult times in life before and this is not the first time you’ve had to persevere. For this reason alone, you know you can do it again. Often, we don’t know how strong we can be until we are faced with extreme adversity. Learning how to re-balance your responsibilities as a parent, coworker, and spouse while quarantined is tough, but you are stronger than you know and you will grow so much from the personal lessons you learn, the mistakes you make, and the growth you experience.
2. “This won’t last forever.”
When you’re trying to complete a task for work and your toddler is yelling and climbing all over your lap competing for your attention, things can seem so out of control and overwhelming. But the truth is, this won’t last forever. The current circumstances in the world have forced many parents to take on the role of a stay-at-home parent in addition to their full-time employment, but the situation is not permanent. Things will stabilize with time as you find your new rhythm and eventually, things will return to a new normal. Sometimes just focusing on getting through one day at a time can make things seem more manageable.
3. “My values matter more than pleasing everyone.”
There are probably going to be times when you feel pressured to perform at a certain pace or on a timeline that’s just not feasible for you with your children at home. The reality is that you can’t please everyone. You can only do your best and every decision you make isn’t going to be the most popular choice. Keep that in mind as you navigate your day and recognize that you may need to re-organize your priorities once or twice throughout the day to get things done, and that’s totally fine.
4. “I can only do my best.”
As mentioned above, you can only do your best. There is only so much time in a day and as a human being, you are bound to experience failure. No one is perfect, but viewing your failures as opportunities for growth will completely transform your daily perspective. You have the skills, tools, and experience to be successful at what you do but learning from your mistakes instead of letting them bog you down is one of the most valuable ways you can boost your confidence and resilience.
Dr. Brené Brown, New York Times best-selling author and research professor at the University of Houston, explores this idea on her blog. She says, “The difference between ‘I am a screwup’ and ‘I screwed up’ may look small, but in fact it’s huge. Many of us will spend our entire lives trying to slog through the shame swampland to get to a place where we can give ourselves permission to both be imperfect and to believe we are enough. Failure can become our most powerful path to learning if we’re willing to choose courage over comfort.”
5. “I will focus on the positive.”
Thinking things like, “This experience will make me stronger.” or “All this extra time spent with my little ones is a precious gift.” will help you stay positive when the going gets tough. Some days may be very difficult, but maintaining a positive attitude will allow you to build coping skills, carry on, and creatively utilize your resources. Asking trusted loved ones for help never hurts either.
Positivity also comes with a wide range of health benefits and researchers continue to discover more information about the physical and mental perks of positive thinking, such as:
- Decreased rates of depression
- Increased life span
- Better cardiovascular health
- Greater resistance to the common cold
- Better coping skills during difficult times
Experts at the Mayo Clinic say, “It’s unclear why people who engage in positive thinking experience these health benefits. One theory is that having a positive outlook enables you to cope better with stressful situations, which reduces the harmful health effects of stress on your body. It’s also thought that positive and optimistic people tend to live healthier lifestyles — they get more physical activity, follow a healthier diet, and don’t smoke or drink alcohol in excess.”
If you feel like giving up, you’re not alone. It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and stressed when you’re faced with the seemingly impossible task of being a full-time parent while working remotely, but these positive mantras can truly change your life. However, if you’re struggling with extreme depression, anxiety, or self-harming behaviors like alcohol or drug abuse during this time, please reach out to your doctor, a mental health professional, or a drug and alcohol detox center for help.