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How to manage your expectations of your family, work, and the end of the school year

Posted at 5:00 PM, Apr 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-24 09:10:35-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — To help us navigate the challenges of coping with the numerous stresses around COVID-19, 7 Eyewitness News Anchor Ashley Rowe is taking your questions to Kate Maleski, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Explore What's Next in Buffalo, New York.

Ashley: A lot of us are experiencing the same kinds of challenges and stresses, just packaged in different ways. One of them is 'how do I juggle work, family and kids all at home?'

Kate: It's nearly impossible, because then you'd be doing four full time jobs. You have to lower your expectations. Don't think you can do it all because nobody can. At times, take a break. You're teaching your child to take a break too. Put the work aside, put the homework aside, the teaching aside, the cleaning. You'll get there. Enjoy some time with your family.

Ashley: Another question is about isolation. People are feeling lonely, bored and disconnected. Any tips to manage that?

Kate: A lot of people are feeling that in a lot of different age groups. So try to connect with people as much as you can. Whether it be a phone call or a virtual session, or just walking down the street and waving to a neighbor.

Ashley: There's a lot of confusion around school graduation, including if school is even going to resume at all this year. How can parents make their kids feel better if they're feeling uncertain - especially about whether they're going to have a graduation?

Kate: You can be uncertain about it. But know that there will be some type of graduation. Every school is saying that. We don't know what that's going to look. But allow yourself to feel sad. But then pick yourself up, have a positive behavior or a positive thought.

Ashley: So it's all about training your mental state to be focusing on the positives?

Kate: Yes. Allow yourself to feel sad at times. Set a timer. Give yourself five-ten minutes, give yourself a cry, and then get up and do something positive. Think about something you're looking forward to or a happy memory from the past.

We want to keep talking about mental health, especially as we begin to rebound from this time of crisis. Send your questions to Kate Maleski to coronavirusquestions@wkbw.com.