During this time of COVID-19, we understand that trying to balance feeding the never satisfied mouths of your offspring, ensuring their schoolwork gets done in the 15-minute intervals you manage to gain their attention and packing away toys that seem to magically land up back on the floor half an hour later is enough to drive any sane person a little crazy. Then there is the job of keeping the house somewhat organised in case today is the day the delivery man knocks on your door, taking zoom calls while your kids decide to practice parkour in the living room and finishing up that excel spreadsheet report. This all can be more than a little stressful for any human. Self-care goes out the window, and you start living day to day because thinking of tomorrow provides a level of anxiety your fragile mind cannot handle at this time.
We have four words for you: YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
We are having to make decisions and sacrifices that we have never had to before. Physically and emotionally people are tired, they are stressed, they are overwhelmed. We must remember that we are going through a pandemic, we are facing a lot of change, uncertainty and perhaps a few too many disappointments. We have had to adapt and make changes that work for our families during this time. It is ok to feel the way you feel, and it is ok to not have accomplished learning that new language that you thought you would during the lockdown. Yet one thing you cannot afford to let slide, regardless of your situation, is self-care.
Self-care seems to be the one thing we let go of in situations of stress, amplified use of technology and workload increases but this is the most important time to be practising it. Self-care is any necessary human regulatory function which is under individual control, deliberate and self-initiated. These functions can include getting sufficient sleep, having a healthy diet, taking regular breaks, and exercising. The health of our bodies affects the health of our mind, and this, in turn, affects those around us.
You first need to decide that ‘me-time’ is essential for your health and for the health of those around you. You are a better parent and partner when you are looking after your wellbeing, and this is imperative right now. Do not volunteer to take on more than you can handle. Every now and again, veer away from your normal schedule and take time to do something just for you (make sure this is scheduled time and that you stick to it), spend some time outside, cuddle with a pet, get your calendar updated and organised, read a book about self-care, or phone someone who will uplift your spirits. We all need a good laugh at times – share a joke with a friend or watch a comedy.
Self-care is always important, but it is even more so when you need to deal with children who are unsure of how to react in the face of a pandemic and the regulations it brings. Click on the below link for Unicef’s advice on how to navigate COVID-19 with your children: https://www.unicef.org/easterncaribbean/tips-parenting-during-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak