Self-care for parents in a pandemic: Finding the time when you don't have it

Prioritizing your mental and physical health before that of others' can make you a better friend, partner and parent.

(CNN)Parents know the drill: Put on your own oxygen mask before helping your children put on theirs.

It's so true, and yet it's become a cliched metaphor for parental self-care.
If there was ever a time that it's especially true, it's during this now months-long pandemic and our added ongoing concerns over racial inequality.
    In times of crisis, self-care often goes out the window. Who talked about self-care during the 1918 flu epidemic, World War II or the fall of Saigon?
    But this pandemic is diferent. Life goes on, albeit in an altered state, with parenting duties still piling up. Self-care is necessary, not optional, for recharging one's batteries and fulfilling responsibilities.
    Parents with younger children may be more absorbed by routines, emotional highs and lows, virtual learning and more, said Vaile Wright, the senior director for health care innovation at the American Psychological Association. These adults are responsible for everything their children