family mental stress

Covid 19 has changed how we live causing mental stress on the family

For the last several months, we’ve had to overcome the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Though many have been able to navigate the changes at this point, our lives are inevitably still feeling out of balance. Of course, staying home means staying safe. However, it also means families are confined to their households in different ways and for longer periods of time than what was the norm up until just a few months ago and why its possible family mental stress is on the rise.

This increase in time spent at home may lead to instability within the family system. For both parents and children, we’ve seen a general increase in stress levels, giving rise to greater anxiety and depression (Prime, Wade, & Browne 2020). With a complete shift in lifestyle and routine, we’re left with a much looser grip on our coping skills. Living in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, we arrive at a new reality and are forced to find ways to readapt and relearn.


Mental Stress from Covid 19 is forcing families to choose safety over work shaking up family households

Due to the pandemic, there has been a disruption in all the major and minor activities of our everyday life. We are unfortunately not allowed some of the same outlets to destress and disconnect. Families are either drawn closer together, or farther apart. Unlike before, parents are feeling the weight of many imminent responsibilities, from looking after children, working full days, and maintaining entire households. Compounding this problem are anxieties around the fluctuating state of the economy. Further, children and teens can’t engage in the same kinds of activities from when they were able to go outside, visit friends, or even study at a local coffee shop. Moreover, younger children are exposed to their parents working and under stress when they wouldn’t necessarily before. Most of all, both parents and children must interact and work together in all new ways.

PCI Science behind mental impact of what’s happening and why and the impact if not addressed immediately from a PCI scientific approach

It’s been proven – through research, and through our personal experience – we’re not always ourselves when we’re under a lot of stress. With our minds occupied by daily anxieties and a host of other concerns, our sympathetic nervous system remains subtly, though constantly activated. Among other things, we are kept from being present with ourselves and others, and might not have the mental capacity to adequately deal with our emotions, nurture relationships, or show compassion for our loved ones. In fact, “there is growing evidence that communicative and organizational processes across entire families become disrupted under settings of distress,” according to a current study published by the American Psychological Association (Prime, Wade, & Browne 2020) . When cooped up in the same environment and surrounded by the same behaviors, we tend to decrease our sensitivity toward others, lose patience, and as a result, are more reactive. It is therefore crucial to communicate and set boundaries within the home, in order to actively create a space that each individual can thrive in. Sometimes, our outlook is what needs adjusting. There are a range of psychological approaches, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, that combine talking and listening to rewire our brain’s emotional regulation and reactivity.

With mental stress increasing because of Covid it’s important to find help. Here are a few tips.

We all need our own space – not just from time to time, but anytime it feels necessary for our peace of mind.

  • Try taking some time away from your work, assignments, and media, and instead take a moment for
    yourself.Mindful activities like journaling, meditation, exercise, or reading can make a huge impact on
    your emotional well-being.
  • Positive communication and healthy attachment are crucial to the integrity of the family system, and
    also to one’s own mental health. Building emotional trust and showing mutual support is crucial for
    maintaining healthy and secure familial bonds. It is therefore important to be vulnerable and share your feelings and concerns with family members. This vulnerability in turn creates a safer and healthier environment; onewith less tension and conflict in the face of the stress already present from work and school.
  • Implementing these practices isn’t as simple as it seems. Seeking out treatment might be
    the best option for both yourself, and for your family. Outside support can help your family develop these
    new coping skills and build more strength into your relationships.

Though the pandemic has inhibited us from many of our normal habits and outlets, it’s given rise to new solutions and platforms, such as more widely available virtual mental health services. Telemedicine is accessible, flexible, and private, so whether you are a working professional or a full-time student, you can get the help you need.

At PCI, we utilize a holistic approach to the treatment of mental health and substance use issues. Applying a range of treatment modalities, our clinical team is equipped to meet all of your needs, or the needs of your family. We offer intensive and non-intensive outpatient services, which include individual and family psychotherapy, among others. We know these times are incredibly tough for everyone, but your battle is no less significant than any others.

We accept most insurance plans, are in-network with Anthem and insurances are offering better coverage of service due to the nature of the pandemic.

If you have any questions about treatment please feel free to reach out to us anytime at 747-222-7464 or at

Sources: Prime, H., Wade, M., & Browne, D. T. (2020). Risk and resilience in family well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. American Psychologist, 75(5), 6 31-643.