So far, 2020 has been quite the year – and not the year any of us originally planned. Parents up and down the country have been juggling all the balls with childcare troubles, work and home-schooling thrown into one giant mix during lockdown. Since it’s National Relaxation Day on the 15th of August, TEMPUR® have asked me to share some of the ways I’ve been coping as a parent during this chaotic period.
Stress & Lockdown
I think I can safely say that going through a period of lockdown has been one of the hardest and most stressful things I have ever done in my whole life so far – and I bet I won’t be alone on that one! In February, when I first heard about the unfolding events, I had no idea what we had in store, and it has been quite the rollercoaster journey ever since.
When the school’s first closed, I found myself juggling childcare, work and home-schooling all while being told to stay home and isolate away from everyone else. Like many people, I have found this time stressful and worrying, and a significant cause for concern was my children and how they were going to cope. I had to focus on minimising stress for both myself and my family in order for us to cope with this transition.
The first thing I did was create a routine that gave us all some structure to our days. We are a busy household under normal circumstances with a work/school day and numerous extracurricular activities forming the framework of our days. Without this familiarity, our days felt a little lost so introducing a routine was essential. We woke up and had mealtimes and bedtimes at a consistent time each day. With routine, there is comfort, and it was reassuring to know that even when the world felt a bit upside down, our days still had some normality.
When I was younger, I always kept a journal, and I found the process of writing things down useful to help reduce stress. It’s not something I have done for several years, but since lockdown, I have found it therapeutic and useful to get out all the thoughts in my head. I find by doing this, it is helping both my mood and sleep.
Of course, it’s not just adults that feel stress and worry, and I could see that Henry was struggling with the implications of lockdown immensely. I suggested that he also try journaling in the evening before bed. He really enjoys documenting his day and feelings this way, and it’s useful for him to look back on and see how far he’s come too.
Trying to find time to work without childcare while also trying to home-school has been a battle. Initially, it felt like I was doing a bit of everything but nothing particularly well. Nothing was getting completed, and it resulted in us all collectively feeling overwhelmed. Both my husband and I are fortunate that our jobs can, for the most part, be quite flexible. We started to schedule blocks throughout the day when we could fully concentrate on work, and the other parent would take up the childcare and schooling roles. It required patience, balance and a lot of trial and error, but in the end, we were overall much more productive.
As much as we love the bones of each other as a family spending all day every day with each other for months on end is a challenge and a half. Initially, it was great! We had all the time in the world to absorb each other’s company which is something we struggle with under normal circumstances. Like with most things that novelty wore off and we found ourselves bickering more than we would like! I soon realised this was because we were NEVER apart. We were in desperate need of some time alone, so I created little personal spaces that everyone could escape to when they needed a little time by themselves.
Henry was easy – he loves reading, so I created him a reading den in the corner of his room filled with his favourite books and some cool fairy lights it was a little escapism without the need to leave the house.
For Ollie and I, we needed a little escapism of our own, so I made our bedroom a work and childfree zone. It was the perfect place for either of us to escape off to when we needed to press pause on life and have five minutes’ peace. It’s the only room in the house not dominated by children’s toys, and it was nice having an escape from work too. It’s definitely something I am going to keep and continue going forward! I’ve even been looking at a new mattress because ours isn’t the best which obviously disrupts our sleep too! I’m not sure if it’s worth getting a new bed altogether and going for something bigger. I’ve been looking at this mattress size guide, and I think we have the room for a Super King, so why not?
Good Sleep Routine
I know I’m not alone when I say that lockdown and the current events in the world have made sleeping difficult. It’s not just myself that’s been impacted both of my children had disrupted sleep in the beginning too. I have found that a good sleep routine is essential and we all do the same thing (just at different bedtimes!) It starts with a technology detox no later than an hour before bed followed by a nice bath then some reading before sleep time. Our bodies and minds need to wind down properly before bed, and this is really helping maximise the quality of sleep we have.
Although it took these unprecedented circumstances to initiate some of these changes, they are all things we as a family want to continue as we move forward. Now that lockdown is easing, and we are venturing into a new normal, I don’t want the stresses and worries to creep back in.
Thank you for stopping by! Check out my last post here.
Love as always!
*This post is in conjunction with TEMPUR® but all thoughts are my own.
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