Working your full-time jobs from home. Balancing caring for your children along with their educational needs. Learning hybrid school schedules and finding the motivation deep within to know what day it is so the kids don’t miss in-person learning days. Cooking, cleaning, laundry. Repeat. I see you. I AM you. Show of hands. Who. Is. EXHAUSTED?
Fellow parents, let’s take a moment. If we’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s hard to create the positive environment we all strive to provide for our children. Don’t be embarrassed! Self-care is the right care to keep us all adequately invigorated and maintain that impressive forward momentum for ourselves and for our families.
Compiled from an unofficial poll of colleagues who are parents along with online research, the list below contains six self-care tips for parenting during a pandemic.
Exercise. Walk. Run. Sign up for virtual workout classes. Download an exercise app. There are plenty of ways to keep moving, even if you can’t go to the gym. You can even involve the kids if you want. One dad answered the poll saying he and his teenagers regularly exercise together as a means of staying healthy and burning off stress.
Hobbies. Crafting. Journaling. Reading. Whatever it is that you enjoy, be sure to make time to still take part in those favorite activities. Don’t have any hobbies? Try something new! Used to have a hobby that you haven’t done in a while? Carve out time to pick up where you left off.
Me time. While “me time” can certainly be for exercise or hobbies, it can also look a little different. A long, hot shower at the end of the day to organize your thoughts before bed can work wonders. Deep breathing exercises or mindfulness practices can calm your mind and help you feel centered. Whatever it is, find a way to work it in.
Time with a loved one. Put the kiddos to bed early, order takeout, and have an at-home date night. Good food, a glass of red wine, a movie, grown-up card games – anything you enjoy as a couple without the distractions that come from having everyone home all the time.
Ask for help. This isn’t always easy, but self-care can sometimes be as simple as releasing the weight of even the smallest chore. That basket of clean laundry? Ask another household member to put it away. Dinner tonight? Ask your partner or even an older child to cook and give yourself a break.
Join a group. Spending time with other people who have similar circumstances can help you feel accepted and connected. One new mom mentioned a virtual yoga class she enjoys that is specifically for new moms. She said not only does she get to exercise, she has also found a ton of support from this important social network.
If you’ve tried methods of self-care and are still feeling overwhelmed, CDPHP offers personal assistance and a variety of resources. Call the CDPHP Behavioral Health Access Center toll-free at 1-888-320-9584 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Urgent after-hours need? Call the Access Center or the Crisis Hotline directly at 1-855-293-0785.
Follow this link to our thought exchange page where you can provide your own tips and give input on tips from other parents.