Why Is It Good for Parents to Cry During the Coronavirus Pandemic?
With all of the uncertainty and changes occurring right now due to the coronavirus pandemic, you may feel like breaking out in tears. Instead, perhaps you decide to hold all of your tears in because you want to be strong for your family. However, it is healthier to let out your feelings instead of keeping them in. This can show your family you are scared, which can result in receiving more comfort from others. Below are some other reasons why it can be beneficial to cry, as well as advice on how to handle these emotions with your children.
Good For Your Brain
The reason you may feel better after a good cry is because your stress gets lowered by high cortisol levels. Your body is able to finally relax. If it has been a long time since you last cried, you will feel an afterglow effect. You feel a relief that all of these negative feelings you were burying inside of you are finally coming out.
Grieving What Has Been Lost
Your kids have lost a lot because of this pandemic. They are no longer able to go to school, they cannot see their friends, nor go on vacations. They are missing out on a lot of childhood milestones. Actor Josh Gad admitted online that he teared up when trying to put himself in his daughter’s shoes with all the things she is missing out on that he got to have in his childhood. Crying will show that you are sympathetic to your child’s worries and what they are missing out on.
Teaching Your Kids It Is Okay to Be Sad
When you cry in front of your kids, you are showing them that it is a normal response to sadness; that even someone who enforces rules and structure in the household can still have vulnerable moments. Feeling like you need to hide every time you cry gives your kids the wrong impression — that crying is something to be ashamed of and is a sign of weakness. It does not mean you need to have a screaming fit in front of them, but a crying session is healthy once in a while and can encourage your kids to let their feelings out, as well.
Crying is a good way to let others know you are not doing as well as people expect. Ever since you were a baby, before you could talk, crying was the only way to get the attention of others and let them know you were in need. When others see the tears flowing down your face, it enables them to see you may need a pick-me-up, and can ultimately help build your support system.
Let Them Know You Will Be Okay
Your children may be confused when they see you cry if you are not one to cry in public. If they see you cry and they come to you, assure them you will be okay and that you are just having an emotional moment. If they ask you why, tell them enough to give them a good understanding, whether it is you feeling bad about them being cooped up in the house or that you feel sad that you are not working as usual. This will encourage them to talk about things they are uncomfortable about. You should also remember to ask your kids how they are feeling, since their pain may be just as bad or worse than yours.
Avoid Crying Too Often
If you are crying in front of your kids either too often, it might be sending the message to your kids that there is something seriously wrong. They may want to help you, but do not know how because issues like finances or job loss are beyond their control. It pains them to see their parents consistently suffer, but they may feel helpless when they want to do something to make it better and cannot.
When to Seek Help
If you have been crying nonstop for the past two weeks and it has been interfering with your day, it is possible you are suffering from depression and should consider speaking to a mental health professional. You will know you have depression if you are experiencing hopelessness, frustration, appetite changes, lack of energy, trouble sleeping, or suicidal thoughts. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, you should chat online with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline immediately.
How to Manage Crying
If you feel like crying, just try to take deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. This will help relax your body and stop the flow of tears. It may also help if you can find someone to hug, since tears tend to come when you are seeking comfort. Thinking about, looking at, or listening to something that will make you laugh can also be beneficial, like viewing funny memes about the extreme preparations people are taking during the pandemic. A calming or inspirational song that tells you everything will be okay can help, as well. You could also try going for a nice walk around your neighborhood, as it can help take your mind off of stressful or upsetting things. Crying is a natural human response that occurs when we are happy or sad. Your children need to be given the message that it is important to express your feelings instead of lying to yourself that you feel fine. Pretending will not give you the help you need. By crying in front of your family, you are letting them know you are sad, scared, and in real need of comfort and love.
It’s okay to feel sad, lonely, or scared, but if you believe you may be depressed or suicidal, you should seek help as soon as possible. At Silver Lining Recovery, our serene outpatient care center helps our clients stay relaxed while receiving treatment. Our knowledgeable and experienced counselors will work with you to create a customized treatment plan that seeks to discover the underlying cause(s) of your addiction and/or mental health issues while providing support and professional help. Our variety of individualized therapies include EMDR, CBT, DBT, meditation treatment, faith-based treatment, and academic and career counseling. Please call us today at (866) 729-8577 to learn how we can help.