Let’s face it we are all going to lose our shit at some point during the next 12 weeks ( that the predicted time we are going to be in self-isolation) Overnight we have gone from Mothers & businesswomen to homeschooling Teachers with no Scooby-Doo what we are going. You hear the word self-care bounced about a lot but most of the time we all settle for a quick 10-minute bath and a sneaky glass of wine when the kids have gone to bed. It is virtual during this period of ‘staying home’ that each of us takes the time to look after our mental health.
After 1 day of homeschooling, I will personally be high fiving every Teacher I ever meet. I will never again rock up to the school gates at 3 minutes to 9 a.m ( I will at least try ) and I totally understand why they need the 6 weeks holidays. In other words, we have a lot on our plates during any normal time and to throw in a pandemic & 2 child-sized spanners into the works is enough to see those carefully spun plates come crashing down.
Below are such suggestions from other Mums also in the same situation.
I love using my noise-cancelling headphones and listen to podcasts. This way I can disconnect from the current situation for a short period but still keep an eye on children while they are playing.
Use the garden as much as possible. Have your morning coffee outside and if it’s nice enough to make a picnic. Fresh air cures 99% of problems.
I think it’s important to have a routine which includes maybe half an hour alone and completely switched off from the media. Either in the evening when the children are in bed, or during the day if someone is around to care for them. The time could be spent locking yourself in the bathroom whilst having a bubble bath, or hanging a ‘do not disturb’ sign on your bedroom door whilst reading a book, listening to a podcast or watching a show. If everyone has the opportunity for some time apart then hopefully it will be respected by all.
Exercise. The gyms may be closed but stick on a Joe Wicks workout from Youtube or even better join in the 9 am one with the kids. Exercise helps you mentally prepare for the day & an evening Yoga session will help wind down at night.
You can’t push yourself to the point of a full burnout. Take some time off and sit back without doing anything. Put your feet’s up and enjoy a nice cup of tea with your favourite biscuit. Don’t even try to think or feel guilty. Just do it.
Hygge moments such as lighting a candle and watching it burn for some time, having a bubble bath or a snuggle and a cup of tea under a warm blanket – taking that time to relax and feel calm amidst anything else that may be happening.
Make sure you are taking time out to still do something for yourself. Being at home means you easily think you have to do all the chores but find something you enjoy such as reading a book, baking or perhaps doing a crossword and make sure you spend half an hour or so a day doing just that!
Decluttering is always a good thing to do and always makes you feel better! Get the family involved too and when all this is over you’ll have a lovely clutter-free house!
Give yourself a treat at the end of each week. It may be a fancy magazine or a new dress ( to wear in 12 weeks ) but reward your efforts each week.
We are going for walks every day. As I understand it, walking outside in non-crowded areas is still safe, and we have to walk to dogs anyway. We are also doing meditations to calm our minds and ease anxiety, and my kids’ therapists are offering phone therapy sessions.
Just like when they were babies and it got too much, it’s o.k to take yourself to another room for a 5-minute breather. It will stop you from becoming ‘ shouty Mummy ‘ and give you time to focus and start again.
Our family have found that putting this in writing rather than speaking often helps make this easier for both the person who wants to communicate and the people who are being communicated with.
Set yourself goals of what you want to achieve over the next 40 days and visualise how you will feel when you achieve them. e.g. perhaps to cut out negative self-talk or to swap negative words we use about ourselves for positive ones.
Join in when the kids do crafts. Colour in a picture, grab your paintbrushes. Art is therapeutic and if anyone asks about your dodgy work of art you can blame it on the 4-year-old.