I think it’s safe to say that some of us are feeling just a tad bit fed up of staying home to stay safe these days. Many people are feeling the loneliness, missing friends and family, sick of homeschooling the kids and generally struggling to feel positive and could just use a god damn cuddle!
It’s a little different this time around isn’t it, the first lockdown we had the glorious summer weather keeping us positive, we spent more time outside, finished off jobs that we hadn’t time to do before, we played games, had bbq’s.
It was pretty bliss!
This time around, we have the winter to face. Christmas has been and gone, there’s not much to look forward too, we’re all fed up of watching tv and the weather is pretty crap.
And let’s not forget about the kids. They’re doing so amazing! We probably aren’t giving them the credit that they deserve – but they’re getting bored just as much as the adults are. They want to see their mates go out and have a giggle.
Homeschooling at home can be hard with all the distractions – and it doesn’t help that the sleep routines of many have gone out the window and everyone’s feeling the strain.
Scrolling through social media lately has me seeing so many families struggling to stay positive and it really is heartbreaking. There’s so much help available out there these days. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We all need some help from time to time. It’s ok! Everyone is doing the best they can. Nobody is going to think any less of you for needing a helping hand. Some days you’re up, some days you’re down, it’s all completely normal. For everyone! The kids included.
So what can we do to help ourselves, the kids, our mental health, physical health and stay positive during these tough times? Sounds like this needs a lot of energy doesn’t it? Well it doesn’t, let me tell you. I am so lazy these days it’s unreal – wearing clothes is like some kind of special treat, honestly! – but there are things that I do in our home daily (that I don’t even think the kids realise half the time), just to make sure we (try to) stay sane, healthy and positive —
First up –
What to do if you are feeling lonely
I understand it’s tough for many people out there, especially those who are living alone right now and can’t see family or friends, but there are a few things you can try out that may help with the loneliness feeling, you could :
- Try calling a friend, family member, health professional or counsellor to talk about your feelings.
- You could also contact Samaritans, call: 116 123 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org if you need someone to talk to.
- Join an online group or class that focuses on something you enjoy – that could be anything from an online exercise class, a book club, learn a new hobby, a knitting club etc.
- You could consider adopting a dog from the shelter and going for short walks.
- Or even get a job in a supermarket, you’ll be with other people and out of the house. Just remember to keep your distance and stay safe.
- Organise a weekly zoom/teams party with friends or family. Hold a quiz night, murder mystery a game of scrabble or just enjoy a few cheeky vino’s and a catch up. It will give you something to look forward to and something to focus on if your organising a quiz etc.
This is a challenging and sometimes lonely time, but it will pass. You have to remember that. There will be lots of hugs, shared pots of tea, parties and celebrations in the future. For now, we need to be as kind as possible to ourselves and others.
Helping others who might be experiencing loneliness
One idea is to get in touch with someone who lives alone or might not have many relatives or close connections to check in on them. A message or a phone call could make a big difference to someone who hasn’t heard from anyone in a while. Even posting a letter or sending a bunch of flowers in the mail will brighten someone’s day. I had a ream of paper posted to me by a family member and you have no idea how much I loved it, ha, it really is the small things that can make someone’s day.
Looking after yours and your children’s mental health while you have to stay at home
I mean, I love staying home, but I’d kind of like to go out now, so if you could kindly **** off
Mr.Rona, that’d be great!
Ugh, looks like he’s staying for the long run, but … It will help if you try and see this time as just a different period in your life, and not necessarily a bad one, even if you didn’t choose it. It’s just a different rhythm of life. We’ll all be old and grey one day teaching our grandkids about how we survived this awful time.
You should try to create a new daily routine that prioritises looking after yourself. And stick to it! You could try reading more or watching movies, having an exercise routine, trying new relaxation techniques or finding new knowledge on the internet.
Use this extra time wisely.
Our home life is very different these days, we get the important stuff done first, homeschooling, work etc and then it’s our time. Our time that’s purely for us. Practising this everyday becomes a habit and I don’t even think my kids realise that we’re having our own “me time” any more. One child could be FaceTiming a grandparent whilst myself and the other child have an arts and crafts session. Or they both might be playing games with friends online whilst I can have a soak in the bath.
Involving our family and children in our plans for good health is essential. We need be alert and support our children, without causing them alarm.
I do try to minimise the negative impact this new way of living is having on myself and my children and explain the facts to them. I do discuss the news with them but try and avoid over-exposure to the coverage of the virus. Just being as truthful as possible has it’s benefits. They know what to expect, they know what we need to do to stay safe and they can adapt in their own ways.
This isn’t forever!
keep the vibes positive : I know it’s difficult some days and we all have our moments- but essential oils are definitely for the win here! I like to diffuse some positive essential oils first thing in the morning such as bergamot for energy and eucalyptus for stimulating the brain. The kids don’t even know it, yet they’re cracking on with their school work. It’s a win!
Cleanse the air : I do this every morning without fail, always have and always will. It’s simple, just open the windows in your house, especially the bedrooms. Let the drained, groggy, used up air out and the fresh, clean air in. Breathe it in. Yeah it might get a little chilly on the winter days, but it’s only for a few minutes whilst we change the air. The clean, fresh air will definitely help you to feel more awake, more alive and definitely less groggy in the mornings.
Set times : Setting boundaries, times and schedules are super important. Especially for the kids, they need the structure of the day. If it helps, give each child a schedule and write it on a board or print your schedule out and pin it to the wall. Make it clear and simple, no if’s and but’s. Follow the schedule and then we can have play time.
For kids that are throwing a hissy about having to do their school work, maybe try adding a small reward, such as, we get to have a treat from the shop, extra ipad time to play, your programme on the tv, bake a cake together or do something that they enjoy.
Remember to allow plenty of time to play. They’re only kids. Too much work makes for a dull time. Don’t forget to set break times and no screen time.
Daily Exercise : We all know it’s important to stay healthy and active, but with the weather being as crap as it is, we just have no motivation what so ever. But we need to!
Set yourself a goal. Want to lose weight? give it a date – I am going to lose this much by this date. Need to get your butt off the sofa (like myself) start slow, 5 minute workouts, or a bit of gonoodle with the kids. Walk around the block – or if you’re like me, walk to the shop, buy a chocolate bar and eat it on the way home. Madness!
Set up a daily goal, eg,10,000 steps. It can be tough being in the house all day and still hitting your target, but remember if you’re not burning what you take in your not going to sleep well at night.
Plan : Plan the day, plan the week, plan your laundry schedule, plan for the future. We may not have a date for when this is all over but we can still plan. Make a list of things you’d like to do or achieve, write a bucket list, write a kids bucket list and get them involved. Holiday hunt for next year or the year after. Plan a trip for the weekend, a new place to walk, a new lake to see, a new route to take, a drive around the city. Plan for the future, change your career, study, learn. There’s nothing like having a goal and aiming for it. It gives you something to focus on and something to look forward too.
The small things are keeping us going these days – my plan for this week that’s keeping me going is that we’re taking the new flask out at the weekend . . . Yup, I said flask! Seriously! Literally looking forward to leaving the house for a walk and a cup of hot tea in the woods. Oh how times have changed, ha ha!
Talk about your feelings : Sounds kinda lame doesn’t it. But it gives everyone the chance to understand. Some days I’m down and shouty for no reason, explaining how I’m feeling, fed up, tired etc to my kids gives them the chance to understand. That way they can help themselves out – stay out of my way for a little, they can choose to help out or they can simply just give me a cuddle. We’re all human. We all have emotions.
Listening first, talking second is a great rule of thumb when talking feelings with your little ones. Let them express how they’re feeling and see how you can adapt to help them.
Good sleep habits : I think it’s safe to say that we’re all a little out of whack when it comes to sleep patterns. The kids are staying up longer, us adults are seeing the early hours most nights and feeling the effects a lot the following days. Start today – make good sleeping habits – if you struggle with sleep there are a few things to try, including the kids,. Both of my girls and myself journal before bed. Just a few points each day, nothing strenuous such as, how they are feeling, what was good today, what was not so good, what’s worrying them, what do they have to look forward to etc. Getting all these thoughts out of your head before bedtime means that you’re not thinking about them in the night. And it works!
Set a time for bedtime and stick to it. Every night. My girls go to bed at the same time Monday – Friday. They’re school nights and they know that. Some nights there are exceptions, but sticking to the routine means that they know it’s bedtime.
Make sure you only use your bedroom for sleep. Your bedroom should be a calming place to relax and sleep. No tv. No devices. Just cosy sleepy vibes.
Use essential oils and calming lights. Lavender and Chamomile are amazing natural sleep aids which help you to drift off to the land of nod peacefully. You can buy or make a simple bedtime spritz to mist over the children’s pillows for a calming nights sleep. My daughters love this so much, I had to make them their own sleepy roll-on’s. Or even a few drops in the bath before bedtime is another good use. Chamomile tea before bed for the adults it just a no brainier for a restful kip.
Just remember, this isn’t forever, we’re going to pull through this. Just stick to what you know is working and if it isn’t working, then switch it up. You can take breaks. You can be miserable. You can be you!
Stay positive. Stay strong. Stay kind.
nay nay x