NewsLocal News


How parents can cope with stress amid demands of the pandemic

Posted at 3:47 PM, Oct 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-01 23:25:24-04

TULSA, Okla. — From cooking to to paying bills and cleaning to keeping up with work, many parents said their work is never done. Now, parents are adding social distance learning during a pandemic, and that workload has increased leaving some guardians feeling the pressure of parenting in a different way.

Licensed Professional Counselor Eric Rolen has been helping adults and children in the Tulsa Metro area for over 10 years. Rolen said the number of people reaching out to his office have dramatically increased in the last few months during the pandemic.

“Right now, we are seeing an increase in self-referrals from parents or students themselves are reaching out because they know that they’re not feeling well,” he said.

Rolen said this is primarily due to the long period of turbulence by the pandemic.

“When someone experiences stress, it's usually short term and the brain evaluates that and says, ‘what’s the appropriate response.’ It makes that response and its okay,” Rolen said. “But this has been going on for five, six months as an increased period of stress.”

Increased stress over long periods of time can result in poor sleep, irritability, not as sharp thought processing which could cause impulsive detrimental decision making.

While this time can be difficult for guardians, Rolen said there are a few tips he has for people feeling overwhelming with the new day-to-day normal.

“Lower your expectations a little bit and know we are probably not going to get everything done to the degree that we would want to,” Rolen said. “And that’s okay!”

Listening is his second biggest tip, but Rolen means internal listening.

“Most people know when they are a nine or a 10 when it comes to them being upset or stressed, but you don’t want to let it get there,” Rolen said. “Try to notice when you are feeling at five or a six and so you can take a step back or go outside and give yourself some time.”

During that time when you notice your stress level starting to increase is when you should immediately take a break or if you feel that it is necessary, call a professional mental health service.

“Cancel something on your schedule, go for a walk, step back from it, and breath," Rolen said.

Lastly, communication is what Rolen says makes a huge difference.

"You've got to reach out to a friend or family member or another parent who's in a similar situation," Rolen said. "Just talking to someone about how you feel can make all the difference."

If you are in need of mental health help, call 211 to be connected with a service provider.

Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere --