Right now many of us have a lot going on. Increasingly when I’m talking to parents they’re saying “I feel busier than I did before, there’s so much more to do!” We are all potentially trying to home educate, work from home and still manage the household stuff. Maybe the things you normally use to keep yourself going and have mental health breaks aren’t an option at the moment.
Life is pretty stressful, so I thought I’d share my top 5 tips to help you stay sane through this new normal that we’re living in.
Have a routine
It’s really easy to have no routine and no structure and for things to get a little bit laid back. This can be great for a few days and there’s nothing wrong with having a day like this. Realistically a complete lack of structure will eventually become demotivating. Boredom is going to kick in, your mental health may start struggling and it’s not great for your kids. Putting a routine in place could be as simple as we all get up at 8am, setting a lunchtime, setting activities for during the day, keeping to a set dinnertime and bedtime. For those of you with teenagers who won’t get up until lunchtime. Let them get up at lunchtime and then give them structure for the rest of their day. Some children really need routine so they will benefit if you create some sort of structure. Keeping them happy and feeling safe will help your sanity. Don’t forget to include spending some time with your kids in your routine.
Don’t try and do it all. Take off your superhero costume and give yourself a breather. Home schooling doesn’t need to be rigidly sitting at the table for hours doing math. Or religiously swapping subjects every hour. Usually 3 to 4 hours across the day is more than enough for a secondary student. Build in exercise and time to be creative. Don’t expect them to sit there for 6 hours straight working. If your child is feeling really anxious or stressed it’s going to be difficult for them to learn. Try not to worry about it too much. There’s different ways to learn, watching an educational documentary for example.
Not too much tech
This goes for us as parents and not just the kids. I know it’s really hard, especially at the moment. I spend my life working on a computer, doing video calls, being on Facebook etc. It’s then really hard to say to my son you can’t spend all day on tech, you need to do other things because he sees me doing it. Make sure all of you as a family are having some tech free time. It does us the world of good. Break the day up so they’re not just sitting all day playing computer games. I know lots of parents have noticed too much time on tech impacts their child’s behaviour so it’s important they have regular breaks. Be prepared to put your own phone down and be the role model for your kids because you can’t’ ask them to do something you’re not prepared to do yourself.
Get some exercise
Go out for a walk, do some yoga, follow Joe Wicks on YouTube (I can’t anymore, he nearly killed me) or chuck some tunes on and dance around your kitchen. It’s incredibly good for your health – mental, physical and emotional. If you can get your kids involved brilliant, it’s about getting some movement in to your day. Try to do it throughout the day because it’s good at regulating everyone in the family.
Do something creative
You could sit and do some colouring in, knit, bake, read a book – whatever you prefer. It’s very relaxing and will make you feel so much better when you’ve done it. Doing something creative will calm you and that will help you stay sane.
These are just my tips to help you get through. If you start doing this now it will really help in the long run.
If you or your children are struggling at the moment, that’s ok – we are navigating new and strange waters. Please don’t feel isolated, help is still available. Come and join my free Facebook group, it’s a lovely, supportive group! https://www.facebook.com/groups/connectiveparentingusingNVR/
If you need a little extra help from me, I can be a Sarah in your pocket for as little as £15 per month with membership to the Connective Parenting Hub. There are loads of useful resources there for you. www.sarahpfisher.com/connectiveparentinghub.