Prioritizing your own well-being benefits your entire family
Getting through the day to day life under quarantine- not to mention juggling working from home and educating your child or dealing with sudden unemployment is stressful. Add isolation from your social network.
There is no magic pill or treatment to make the situation better. But there are several things you can do during this difficult time. Mainly focus on reaching out, connecting, and creating a work-life balance. Self-care can help rejuvenate you if you are feeling low on energy. Just like your car needs gas to go, parents need to take a whiff of parenting oxygen now and then to keep up their strength.
Take a deep breath. You will feel better!
Incorporating mindful practices into your daily routine can help reduce anxiety and build coping skills. Mindfulness is taking time to be focused, present, and thoughtful of where you are and how you are feeling. Although this sounds easy, it does take a little work primarily when concerns focus on the future.
Here are a few actives to start with, try a few by yourself or with your children to see which exercise works best for you.
- Start a gratitude journal to focus on and remember the positive moments for each day.
- During your meals, eat mindfully, focus on your sensations, taste, and connect with your food.
- If you have plants outside try mindful leaf observation, appreciate things for what they are
- If you are stressed, try counting down from five to decompress.
When your alarm goes off, or shortly after your child wakes you, spend one minute in bed deciding what you are going to do for yourself that day. Start small, promise yourself just 15 minutes a day.
Here are some tips for what to do if your parenting tank is empty.
- Take a hot shower or bath (Lavender oil is excellent a reducing tension)
- Go for a walk around your neighborhood.
- Eat balanced meals
- Sleep in when you can
- Create an exercise program for yourself
Emotional and Social needs
- Spend time with your friends online via zoom or another platform
- Do activités that make you happy.
- Schedule time to talk with adults
- Say no to extra responsibility
- Listen to audiobooks, podcast
- Start a new art project
- Watch a documentary
- Attend an online religious service
- Meditate or Pray every morning
- Spend time planting in your yard
- Journal-reflect on new events
During this time of forced multitasking at home, I strongly encourage you not to put yourselves at the bottom of your todo list. Instead, make self-care a priority. Parents are the anchors of our households, and if our health or sanity declines, so will everything else in our lives. Take it one day at a time.
Take time for yourselves!