Abarca’s first Better Conversations panel on Working Parents

Better Conversations is a new initiative set out by Abarca that seeks to open communication bridges between Abarcans on topics that could challenge the status quo and should be discussed to empower an inclusive work environment. In the series’ first conversation, I was invited to share my psychological expertise on the topic of “Working Parents.”

We created a space of trust through this session where Abarcans shook it off and learned valuable tools to help navigate this new work-life-family reality. Mercibel González, Vice President of Talent Strategy, and Tony Pérez, Clinical Pharmacist, also shared their personal perspectives and experiences as working parents at Abarca. 

As we face a new reality of uncertainty brought on by the pandemic, parents are juggling the challenges of lockdown protocols while also caring for their children, assisting in homeschooling, and at the same time, complying with working hours and tending to the home. 

The pandemic undoubtedly has forced us all to adapt to rapidly evolving changes, while we ask ourselves if we are being a good enough parent, but also, am I being a good employee? So how can we deal with the stress that inherently arises from a new reality that we have very little control over?

Here are five simple recommendations to create a healthier, less stressed environment:

  1. Create a separate space for work and school in the home. 
  2. Make time for activities that help you relax and disconnect.
  3. Ensure a good night’s sleep.
  4. Move your body! Exercise regularly.
  5. Maintain a healthy and balanced diet.

Finally, don’t be afraid to seek help or speak to someone if you feel the stress is affecting you or your child’s emotional or physical well-being. At the end of the day, we working parents need to remember to be compassionate with ourselves and know that you are not alone in this. Let’s continue to explore new ways to face these challenges head-on, like family.

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This blog post was written by contributor Dra. Karen G. Martinez-Gonzalez, Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Puerto Rico and Director of the Center for the Study and Treatment of Fear and Anxiety.

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