Self-Care for Parents in the Time of Coronavirus
(Adapted from a childmind.org article)
For parents, prioritising your own well-being benefits your whole family. Self-care is vital during this difficult time. Here are some tips for self-care.
Make time for yourself
Create space for yourself where you can recharge your batteries and de-stress. This could be taking a bath, taking a short walk or a jog, reading a book, chatting with a friend via social media, watching TV etc.
Prioritise healthy choices
Keep eating healthy meals. Get a good night’s sleep. Take regular exercise – you may need to get more creative in this area.
Set realistic targets and goals as you adapt to being at home more with your children. Extend grace to yourself. Speak kindly to yourself as you would to a good friend, rather than beating yourself up over perceived failures or mistakes. Be compassionate and forgiving towards yourself. Remind yourself that you are doing your best at this difficult and unusual time.
There is a lot fear, anxiety and uncertainty around us, and we can absorb others’ fears, worries and anxiety without realising it. If you have a friend or family member who is in the habit of phoning you regularly or constantly sending you text messages that are always negative and full of fears and bad news, then you may need to distance yourself from them for your own wellbeing. If you feel it’s right you can explain to them that whilst you empathise with them you are needing to limit your intake of everything to do with the current situation for now as it is having a negative impact on your own anxiety. You can then reconnect once life has returned to calmer times.
Reconnect with things you enjoy
Now could be the time to reconnect with hobbies or activities you used to enjoy but didn’t have much time for. Or you could learn a new skill.
If you have young children and it’s hard to find time for yourself to do these activities you could include your children in them. For example, if you enjoy jigsaw puzzles, why not get one out for you to do and sit with the children whilst they complete their own? Or if you enjoy card-making they could do this with you.
Remember, when you practice self-care you will be in a much better place to take care of your family. You cannot care and comfort them if you are constantly running on empty. When you practice self-care, you are also modelling it for your children, you are showing them how important it is.
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