Hi all! Caitlin here to share with you this week about keeping ourselves mentally healthy for our kids during these uncertain times.
I know I’m not the only one feeling stressed by all the news about Covid19. There is so much change and uncertainty going on in all our lives right now. I think that’s why this is an important time to focus on taking care of ourselves.
For me, I’ve been away from my job for 4 weeks. I am staying at home with my two year old. I am also growing another person. I just survived 2 weeks of my husband isolating in our basement while he waited to be tested (its negative! yay!). Plus, here in Alberta it seems like Spring also got cancelled so we’ve barely even been in our backyard!
But we take it one day at a time and I’m learning how to deal with this new normal. I’m not learning new languages or mastering woodworking like some folks online (although I’m positive those folks don’t have kids).
I have, however, found 5 things that help keep me and my family mentally healthy during this time. If the days are starting to get long for you, I hope they help you too.
1. Get up before your littles
If your kids have a semi-predictable wake up time, try to get up even just 30 minutes before them. For me this gives me time to enjoy my breakfast and prepare for the day before the demands start. Its quiet time to myself and puts me in a better mood for the rest of the day.
2. Get outside
Vitamin D is so important to our health. I try to get outside or at least as much natural light as I can each day. It’s been so cold here, sometimes that means bubbles in our mud room, which has windows on each side. We can keep ourselves safe and still enjoy our backyards and balconies.
3. Do one thing each day that is just for you
Sometimes my “me time” is as simple as a shower. Sometimes its getting things ready for the garden, or crocheting, or reading. It is so easy for stay at home parents to forget to take care of themselves. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
4. Do one thing each day that is just about joy for your kids
The kids are alright, and they will be alright. Our kids will be ok if during this time they get more screen time than normal, and snack all day, and are simply at home, safe and loved.
Some days at our house we read and dance and bake and play. Some days we do just one of these for 30 minutes. Now is not the time we all need to be starting our own Harvard prep schools at home for our littles. Now is the time to let them know they are loved and safe, and let them remember this time not as a scary stressful one, but as a joyful one.
5. Do one ‘productive’ thing each day
When things seem really tough, I focus on just crossing off one to-do. Start the diaper laundry. Vacuum. Clean the kitchen (and check out Ariel’s post on how cloth wipes can change the way you clean). We don’t have to conquer the world. We just have to face today.
Go easy on yourself. Be kind. Share compassion with yourself and others. These things are the most contagious of all.