Mental Health Awareness Week is 18-24 May 2020. Self care plays a major part in looking after your own well-being, but it may often feel like your last priority. The practical tips below from parents might provide some inspiration if you could do with making more time for self-care in your regular routine. You can also find tips and useful links for promoting good mental health in children here.
Guest Blog from Charlotte – Calderdale Mumbler
We all love our kids – but don’t you wish you could get some time on your own? Just a little bit?
Don’t worry, you aren’t alone.
Mums and dads the world over are holding their households together, homeschooling – and some doing incredible work outside of the home as well – but not taking time out for themselves.
Gyms, bars, restaurants, spas – they’re all closed, and we’ve got our children 24-7!
So, what’s a tired, burned out mama to do?
Here are some ideas from lovely Mumbler parents who have shared their tips for lockdown resting, recharging and relaxing.
Home workouts:“I start my day with a Youtube workout – yoga or Joe Wicks. It isn’t particularly relaxing – all three kids climb over/under me at some point and I’ve even breastfed during yoga! It really helps fire up my body and mind for the day ahead though, and I can cope much better with the stresses of home schooling and fighting children afterwards”
Health smoothies, essential oils and getting up before the kids:“My husband is the main breadwinner in the house so I am taking on all the kids responsibility, plus my own work, the housework and looking after grandpa. Now we have shifts so I can exercise in the mornings, and I have a couple of hours to work when he’s not in a meeting. It’s made a big difference! I also wake up a bit earlier than the kids – which is so hard – but it means I can have a coffee in peace. I swear by health smoothies first thing in the morning, with lots of superfoods. That’s my “go to” feel good factor. I also love essential oils at night with a good drink of something and a good book.”
Adult colouring:“The other day I got up super early and went for a lovely long walk all on my own with a super new playlist and it was like entering another world! I don’t think I’ve been on my own once in the last 5 weeks! I came home feeling much better and ready for the day. I also did some colouring, albeit a kids colouring book with a cuppa, but it was awesome. The kids walked in and thought I’d lost the plot, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Also been doing quite a bit of diary writing, which I always aim to do, but never do. It’ll make an interesting Covid read for the kids when they get older. “Today I nearly killed you both…..””
An hour to myself:“My husband is understandably super busy with work, but I’m doing school, entertainment, bedtime and all the food buying and cooking! Hit a wall yesterday so he took them out for an hour in which I cleaned but had the radio turned so loud I feel like a new woman!!!”
Word searches:“I have started doing word searches to tune my brain into something other than the kids!”
Podcasts:“If I can manage it, I get up before the kids and listen to a podcast while drinking my coffee. If the kids wake up early too, I give them the tablet for an hour so we all get a bit of ‘me time’ before starting the day.”
Baths, books and face masks:“I love a long bath when the kids are in bed. Face masks and doing my nails help relax me, and I try go to bed early, or read a chapter of a book every day.”
Doing hair and makeup:“It’s so tempted to stay in pjs all day but I feel much more human when I get changed into normal clothes and do my hair and makeup.”
Getting outside:“Getting outside every day really helps to improve my mood and outlook. It doesn’t have to be by myself, I try move homeschooling to the garden whenever I can, I think it helps us all.”
Ordering takeout:“Once a week, we order takeout. It feels like a real treat and the whole family really enjoys it.”
Crafting:“I like knitting, or painting. My friend loves to bake and decorate cakes. It’s really relaxing and lovely to see the finished piece at the end.”
We hope that helps you to get a bit of time to yourself soon – even if it’s a sneaky chocolate biscuit in the kitchen when the kids aren’t looking!
Thanks so much to our guest blogger Charlotte. If you have family or friends in Halifax or Calderdale be sure to let them know about the Calderdale Mumbler site.