When It's All Too Much . . .

 Photo taken by Allan Chester, owner of Muddy Paws.

Photo taken by Allan Chester, owner of Muddy Paws.

Bentley sort of says it all in this photo. The continuous bad news feed can get us down and lethargic. When we are a parent, what to do?

Listen. Listen and Listen: People process events and anxiety through talking. To help our kids our job is to be there to HEAR them and reassure them. We can't deny the reality, we can't assure them 100% security AND we can be there to help them process what they hear, see, read, watch and think.

Media Diet: If we start our day with a good fat Twitter scroll we are going to be anxious about things we mostly don't have control over. Let's start our family on a reasonable media diet. Limit time and locations where people (that means us!) can be on devices. Now's a good time re-boot parental controls, if you need help go to iparent101 for PRACTICAL advice and tips.

Nature: Nature does magical things to our brain. Exercise does magical things to our brain. Combine the two - hiking, biking, walking, paddle boarding, kayaking, apple picking and you will come back with a new perspective, some clarity and having used up a smidge of that anxious energy.

Circle the Wagons: Now is a good time for potlucks, multi-family game nights, group movie nights and anything you can think of to lean on each other. Humans need community when the going gets tough. Sharing a meal, a laugh or tear can lighten all our loads.

If all this fails, lie in bed and look wistfully sad like Bentley (but not for too long . . . )!