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This year has proved to be exceptionally challenging for basically everyone. It is, however, fair to say that parents are getting the shorter end of the stick. Not only do they have to work from home, they also have to do so with kids around. You have to keep checking up on them often and make sure that they have all they need to stay at home comfortably, while at the same time avoiding outside contact at all costs. It is easy to lose it and go crazy when you have to take care of all this and work at the same time. Here are a few tips to help you get around it while staying mentally healthy:
ASK FOR HELP
It is not easy when you have to work from home and still take care of the kids. Work-from-home moms and dads will probably have it easier since they have done it before, but it is going to be a lot harder with the kids out of school and in the house.
If you find yourself struggling with this, it is completely fine to ask for help. You could ask your spouse or partner to help come up with a plan that will be fair for both of you. For example, one of you could make lunch while the other takes care of supper. You can take turns looking after the children and doing house chores.
If you don’t have a partner around or maybe both of you are too busy, consider asking for help from relatives who will be staying in. This helps to avoid too much contact with the outside. You could also have a stay-in nanny to help with the kids and chores, as long as they don’t have to keep going out and coming in.
CREATE A SCHEDULE
A schedule is essential if you are going to manage your household and work in an orderly manner. It helps to create a plan that includes all factors you need to consider.
Scheduling helps to keep you on track with the day’s activities so that you don’t find yourself struggling with random things. Have a schedule for your kids too. It helps them know what they are supposed to be doing and at what time. If you have a toddler or a baby, include their wake, sleep and feeding schedule so that you can time them well without getting disrupted.
When creating a schedule, remember to put in some time to relax and bond with your family so that you can refresh your mind and prevent building up stress.
If everyone knows what they are supposed to do and at what time, you’ll have to do less supervision, and you can be more productive.
TAKE TIME TO REST
The lockdown has become an utter nightmare to mothers who were used to enjoying their days without having to mind their kids at school or partners at work. If you are not careful, you’ll find every single moment of your day occupied with housework, kids and work. This is dangerous because you can quickly build up stress and anxiety and end up in a terrible place mentally and emotionally.
When you wake up in the morning, take a nice long shower and use anything you can to set you in a good mood for the day. If your area is not crowded, you could go out for a quick morning run or do some yoga. Whatever you do, please do it for yourself before you give yourself out to the rest of your family.
As you go about your schedule, take time for little fun breaks. You could listen to your favorite music, take some fresh air on your porch, make a quick snack or watch a funny video. At the end of the day, take another long shower and throw in some bath bombs and if you feel like it, some scented candles. If you need to, go online and have fun shopping for some baby girl clothes and dresses for your little one. Such small things will help you rest well and refresh your mind.
MAINTAIN A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR FAMILY
Nothing seems to ruffle family feathers more than being locked up in the house together for so long. It doesn’t have to be this way, though. You could help your family take this time to make stronger bonds.
To help your family spend quality time together, emphasize the importance of spending less time on screens and more time doing family activities. You could all make dinner together at the end of the day, or maybe take a break at noon for a fun sport in the backyard. If your physical space is limited, you could try card and board games. If anyone seems to be harboring any hard feelings, you could have them talk about it and help solve whatever conflict they may be holding on.
Please make time to talk to your children and understand them better. Family time is often underestimated, but you’ll find that the less time your family takes to be together, the more likely that members, including you, will be dealing with anxiety and other feelings that may eventually lead to poor mental health. Get some toys for kids and play with them, then watch how well they’ll open up and have fun.
In conclusion, there’s only so much that you can take before losing it. You should, however, not let yourself be overwhelmed with work and family issues. Take some me-time to pamper yourself because you deserve it. Relax and take things at a pace you can manage comfortably. If you need help, ask for it from people you trust. The difficult times will be over, and you’ll be glad you took care of your emotional health.
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A family lifestyle blogger who left her corporate job in Cebu for a slower life in Iligan City, Philippines. Healthline – Best Mom Blogs 2017, ESCooped – Cebu’s Top Family Blogger 2016, Top 10 Blogs Voice Boks Comedy Edition, Bloggys 2015 – Finalist, Family and Relationships Category, featured on BlogHer.com and HumorWriters.org. Jhanis also works as a Freelance Writer/Content Creator and manages a small farm house decor business when she’s not taking naps.