Mental health experts share ways for parents to manage increased stress from virtual learning

Local News

DONNA, Texas (KVEO) — The transition to virtual learning has posed a challenge not only for students, but parents as well. 

“It’s extremely overwhelming right now because of the multitude of stressors,” Lisa Konecny, Donna High School child mental health specialist, said. 

Though some students have returned to their classrooms, the majority of children remain home for virtual learning. 

Konecny says on top of worrying about their health and safety, COVID-19 has created a financial strain for families. 

“We do have a lot of parents that are really stressed out,” she said. “I provide counseling over the phone to have crisis support.  

“A lot of times parents are holding it together being strong and by the time I talk to them they’ll break.” 

Apart from seeking help from their schools, she says it’s important parents don’t forget about themselves and eat well, exercise and maintain their own relationships. 

“It is hard, but we as adults need to find the way to get our needs met so we can feel satisfied and happy and fulfilled,” she said. “ And that way we’ll be a better parent” 

Psychotherapist Dr. Lisa Cortez shares some other ways of coping with stress. 

“Go outside. Take a break and when you do take breaks, make sure your children are taking breaks too,” she said. “But when you do take your break, make sure it’s alone and just your alone time. Deep breathing is very good, meditation” 

She also emphasizes getting enough rest as crucial for both a parent and child’s wellbeing. 

“We wake up and we’re rushing and we’re already kind of stressed out and that kind of sets the tone for the day and then the children are stressed out too,” Dr. Cortez said. 

Though Cortez says not everyone needs therapy, everyone can benefit from having someone they trust and can talk to.  

Mental health resources

National Alliance of Mental Illness Association

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

McAllen ISD “coping with stress and anxiety at home” webinar

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