I know how it feels to be overwhelmed.
Today I was going to write a post about baby sensory stuff.
I had it all planned out in my head. The structure, the research, the timing.
And then we had the most horrendous night with our littlest one. Again.
Teething’s a pain. In more ways than one.
No-one slept, not even the 4 yr old.
So my post about baby sensory has been shelved for now. Fatigue has taken my brain power. Instead I’m focusing on parental wellbeing. The sanity of you and I – who can’t get a day off, or a break, because we are parents for life.
When the whirlwind of family life gets too much, it feels overwhelming. We often lose the self-care stuff. It gets sidelined, then we wonder why we’re not coping.
Especially during this pandemic, when we’re stuck on a relentless hamster wheel of constant, simultaneous work and parenting, often doing neither very well. And we push ourselves to do it all, because we’re good parents.
However, if we don’t look after ourselves, we won’t be good parents, because there will be nothing left to give. We’re at risk of burnout. Like a drained battery.
So I’ve rounded up some ways that we can restore balance in our lives. To look after ourselves. Because we’re not just parents, we’re people.
You Deserve a Good Pampering
Are you a bath lover? I have to say I’m not. I get twitchy after about 5 minutes! But for some people, the ultimate in relaxation is an hour’s soak with bath bombs and candles. If this is you – make the time, jump on in and enjoy!
However, a long, hot soak is not the only way to pamper yourself. Personally, I like face masks, painting my toenails and treating my hair to an intensive conditioner. That’s just me.
Whatever your favourite pampering activity, it’s not the act itself that’s important, but how it makes us feel. Taking the time to nurture our bodies has huge benefits, and makes us feel so much better about ourselves.
After all, our bodies carry us through life, so it’s nice to give them a little something in return.
Creativity can help us re-discover our identity
Whether it’s baking, making or painting by numbers, when we do creative activities, we become absorbed by what we are doing, and it takes us away from the stresses of life.
It also reminds us who we are beyond parenthood. When we get lost in the grind of work and parenting, it’s important we remind ourselves how much we enjoy being creative and make a special effort.
One of the reasons my husband and I first got together was our shared love of making music (NOT a euphemism!). We whiled away long evenings singing and playing guitar. Sometimes we forget how much we enjoy it. Easily done, but it’s so important to who we are as people.
Whatever your creative outlet, don’t lose it. It’s cathartic, restorative and will give you an instant lift.
Exercise gives us a boost
During Lockdown, those of us who preferred taking classes for more sociable forms of exercise, have had to learn to go solo. Lone pursuits like running and cycling have shot up in popularity over the past few months, for obvious reasons.
For many parents who nip out in the early hours to pound the pavements before the kids are up, exercise has been a Lockdown sanity saver. It brings a little alone time, and a rush of endorphins that can just give you enough of an edge to get through the day.
Which reminds me, my pelvic floor still needs work!
Escapism – just let loose
Don’t you just need total escapism sometimes? I’m such a fan of reality tv. It sucks me in and I feel compelled to watch. It’s funny, entertaining, appalling, and fab. Pure silliness. I know other people who play Animal Crossing, do TikTok dances or read bonkbuster novels. Don’t be ashamed! We all do it. Whatever floats your boat!
Speaking of boats, I recently discovered Below Deck on Netflix. I binge-watched the whole first series by staying up FAR later than was sensible. It was fabulously trashy. Although it’s probably not on the official list of recommended tips for psychological wellbeing. But hey – it works for me. Sometimes we need taking out of our ourselves- and being whisked off to a luxury yacht is just the ticket. Chin chin, darling 😉
Lockdown has been tough on us all. And millions of parents have been total heroes for juggling their work, childcare and homeschooling duties for months on end.
We’ve handled this crazy time in the best way we can. We’re amazing! So we deserve to be looked after too x
How have you coped with Lockdown? Let me know in the comments below 👇
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