We are all aware that this period of social distancing and isolating is going to be really difficult on all of us and our mental health. So how do we look after ourselves emotionally during lockdown in an attempt to stay sane?
Many of my friends who are mothers are messaging on a daily basis sharing their frustrations. This video sums up one of the main topics of conversation…..
My reaction is somewhat similar to this!
There is also the very real issue of HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO WORK AND LOOK AFTER KIDS AT THE SAME TIME??? This is virtually impossible! I have no answers.
It may appear from social-media that other parents are completely winning at all of this parenting-lark! Don’t be fooled….we are all struggling. We are all losing our minds and temper. Most of us have done no school work/crafts etc etc at all. Yes our homes are also a tip, the washing basket is overflowing and there is no end in sight. But more pertinent is the fact that with ‘routine’ being completely out of the window the kids and their behaviour are completely up the blumming wall!
How to Look After Ourselves Emotionally During Lockdown
Here are a few ideas. I do not protest to be an expert. I’m as lost as you are. But some things here have helped me and others I know.
- A quiet walk, perhaps to pick up some essentials from a local shop…take the dog if you have one! Some fresh air and a change of scenery will be the perfect medicine.
- Exercise! This is more important than anything right now to help with both physical and mental well being. The endorphins released will boost your mood and help you to better cope with the stresses at home. There are lots of free online classes to join in with at the moment including the Joe Wicks workouts. Do this alone or with the kids.
- A bath at the end of the day with a book to read. It’s tempting to want to take your phone in with you but at times like these some head space away from all the buzz and constant news updates will do you the world of good. A good trashy novel to lighten the mood will be the perfect medicine!
- Dance….yes the house is a tip and there is cleaning to be done. Turn those tunes on, open the windows and doors and dance as you go! You will feel so much better for it.
- Drawing/Colouring. There is something so calming about colouring or drawing. An activity that helps you to zone out and channel your inner calm.
- Watch a film. Again keep it light. Nothing too heavy or depressing. We need positivity and joy right now.
- Practice some Mindfulness. I have linked some free apps and websites for you. The health benefits of doing something like this everyday, even if only for 1o minutes are massive. Mindfulnesscan help relieve stress and improve sleep and mental health. There are so many other amazing benefits too. At such anxious times this can only be a positive.
- Talk to friends or your partner about how you are feeling. WhatsApp is a little crazy at the moment. Everyone is at home and online more than usual which has many benefits but also drawbacks. Try to FaceTime one friend or family member a day to catch up. You will feel much better for seeing their face.
- Wine. Drink it….it tastes good and it really will help!
I haven’t got many tips on how you are able to do any of the above with children running around your feet, short of tieing them up!! Some activites can be done with them. They need down time too. So if they are old enough try and encourage them to have some quiet time alone. If this means giving them a screen to watch then so be it! Be realsitic in what you expect of yourself and your children. Maintaining routine where possible will help. If you have a bedtime routine, stick to it. If you haven’t got one try to establish one where you can.
We Need To Stay Sane
We all need some time to ourselves, even if only for 10 minutes. I appreciate many of you will need the evenings to catch up with work. Try and prioritise some time to yourself too ‘if’ you can. It will help you cope with the tasks ahead. To those single parents out there on their own, extra love to you. I hope you are getting the support you need emotionally to help you cope. xxxx