Work-From-Home Survival: 3 Mental Health Tips for Parents of Young Children

As great as working from home can be for parents with babies and toddlers to care for, there are some dangerous downsides to be aware of. For one, working from home can oftentimes be harmful to our mental well-being — especially in the age of COVID-19.

Below, we explore the psychological effects of working from home — and the things you can do to keep your physical, mental, and emotional health in check while balancing the many

demands of family, work, and modern-day life.

The Dark Side of Teleworking

According to a recent poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), 53 percent of adult respondents felt that teleworking may be harming their mental health and well-being. And since approximately 51.5 million U.S. adults live with mental health conditions such as major depression, anxiety

, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), this data is concerning now that 42 percent of the American workforce are working from home amidst the pandemic.

In addition to the psychological effects of working from home, remote working parents of babies and toddlers have other challenges to work through. From sleep deprivation to constant distractions, working from home with little ones in tow can take its toll on your physical, mental, and emotional health. Fortunately, the following tips can help to preserve your sanity even during the toughest of times:

1. Prioritize Self-Care

Working remotely or running a business while simultaneously caring for a baby and one or more toddlers is hard, no matter who you are. But when you’re also battling a mental health condition like major depression, anxiety, PTSD, or OCD, you’re presented with an additional set of challenges. This is where self-care comes in.

Even when caring for yourself seems impossible, it’s important to make time for meditation, yoga and mindfulness, quality sleep, and nutrition. If you’re new to yoga and meditation, a free app like Insight Timer can help you to incorporate these self-care practices into your day. With the app, you can even find sleep meditations, calming music, and other free tools for managing stress and anxiety. Of course, s

ometimes you just need a good pair of postpartum leggings for when you just want to comfortably lounge around.

Moreover, physical activity is an absolute must when working from home with young children, as exercise helps to improve sleep quality, reduce stress, and alleviate symptoms of major depression. Plus, many customizable fitness apps can help you to achieve your exercise goals, plan healthy meals for the week, and master new workout routines with help from certified online fitness coaches.

Keeping a work journal can help you stay focused on your tasks, which can create efficiency and lower stress. A work diary can help you track client meetings, payment and due dates, and expenses.

2. Try Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

Along with prioritizing self-care, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a safe and effective option for treating major depression, PTSD, anxiety, OCD, and other health conditions like attention-deficit disorder (ADD), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), chronic fatigue, and bipolar depression. As such, TMS is worth looking into if you’re experiencing worsened mental health concerns that aren’t responding to other treatments — including prescription medications and natural remedies.

Moreover, TMS can also help to treat postpartum depression in many case

s. After giving birth, some common symptoms of postpartum depression include anxiety, depression, concentration difficulties, irritability, excessive crying, and thoughts of suicide.

3. Seek Support

If you’ve been battling major depression, anxiety, PTSD, or OCD for years — or you’re only recently experiencing psychological concerns as a result of working from home during the pandemic — it’s important to know that support is available. Check out Mental Health America’s list of specialized support groups, or join an online parenting group to connect with other remote working moms and dads in similar situations.

Many of us are feeling isolated during the pandemic, but we never really have to suffer alone. With help from mental health professionals, health and fitness apps, and online support groups, we’ll be better equipped to combat stress, anxiety, and depression while juggling everything from childcare and housework to the many responsibilities of working from home.

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Guest article by Daniel Sherwin of

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