Even before the pandemic, it was hard work to be a parent. And now, as parents we might be pulling our hair out with the extra stress of trying to a be a teacher now too. Being a parent is hard work – meaningful, rewarding, wouldn’t-trade-it-for-the-world – but hard work even more so now.. So take care of yourself and keep your cup full. If you don’t do things to keep your cup full, you have nothing left to give or share with others.
I have put together some ways we try to manage our stress and anxiety daily during Covid-19. These are just some small things we can try help ourselves and our families as we navigate our way through this. Taking care of our mental health is something that I personally have been working on in the last few years and now seems needed more than ever. On an airplane, we’re instructed to put on our own oxygen masks first, before helping a child do the same. If you think that’s a crazy idea, realize that you’re not much help to anyone if you’ve passed out due to lack of oxygen because you tried to help everyone else first.
Put your oxygen mask on first and please stay safe.
I know I was glued to the news at first and felt over whelmed with the amount of information I was receiving in. I realised quickly it was becoming extremely unhealthy to read about all this bad news, especially in bed when I was supposed to be calm. Although I don't think its healthy to be in a bubble either and we all do need to be well informed, it's important to just take a break from it sometimes. I also try not to read on my phone at bedtime anymore, as I was having dreams about the last bit of news I reading before sleeping, which is not idea.
My day is filled with constant tea consumption and with this change in season leading up to winter, even more so. There is nothing better than a hot cup of tea at your desk while working or home schooling?! I am trying combinations I have never had before from Green Tea & Ginger and going back to my old favourites such as Matcha and Melbourne Breakfast. The English knew what they were doing when they said 'let's have a cuppa". There are many teas out there to help with anxiety and sleep and with no caffeine so it's easy to adapt a new ritual.
Going for walk to clear your head can help with mental health. It's easy to go for a walk around the neighbourhood with the family. Fresh air and a few deep breaths can do you the world of good. But make sure you keep up-to-date with your Country or States regulations as every location differs. Practice social distancing while walking on the path and make sure you allow lots of room to pass someone.
I used to go to the gym several times a week and enjoyed the time for myself. Since being in lockdown, we have found that we are doing family workouts together in the back yard. We do have a few hand weights but when doing our home workouts we use whatever we have at home from skipping robes to trampolines. There are many apps and workouts available online that you can do on your own or with the family. The most important things to do is to incorporate it into your schedule and aim to move everyday if you can.
You might be getting more or you might be getting less during this time. The trick is to stay consistent with your sleep times and routine. Just like kids need a bedtime routine we also need one too. I get changed into my pyjamas and wash my face early on. So that if I am feeling sleepy it's easy to jump into bed without having to go back and do all those things. I also enjoy a Sleepy Tea before bed and I tend to have a candle or aromatherapy burner on before bed too. I don't go on my phone at least a hour before bed. Everything on my phone can wait till the morning. I also read a real book before bed until I get sleepy and set my alarm to wake up the same time each day.
You might be in a situation where your children do need you to be a playmate rather than an audience right now. Make a determined effort to get your play back on with them to just be silly and fun. Take a moment out to just be "with" your kids and get into their world. It might make for a good distraction for your anyway. It's ok to put down the home schooling and your phone and just take a break and embrace your inner 6 year old.
Taking a few minutes to do some deep breathing and get in a good head space before the start of the day or the end of the day can make a real difference to your well being. Sometimes you just need a few moments each day to try to clear your mind and set some intentions for the rest of the day. We have teamed up with a beautiful human called Angela Chaousis from Be You Living. We are not expects in mediation but Angela is. She has written an incredible list of tips which you can download in the link below. Angela generously shares with us her Mindfulness & Meditation Resources Tool Kit that you can practice at home when in time of stress and anxiety.