There is something quite different about this lockdown in the UK. Yes, the weather is way worse and much colder, but there is a greater expectation on parents with homeschooling this time around. Last spring and summer it was more about being healthy and getting through it, but this time, there is more to do from school with more live lessons and so on. Juggling more than one child at home with their lessons, as well as managing to get your own work done can be challenging.
Imaging going to a job interview and saying that as well as working full-time, you were going to homeschool your children at the same time. You simply wouldn’t get the job! So as parents, there is a lot of pressure and stress at the moment, juggling all that needs to be done. And as parents, our own challenges are often put behind those of our children, as we do everything to support them and their needs. But if you’re not too careful, it could lead to burnout and various health problems if you find that you’re not dealing with the stress and anxiety of this time all that well. In fact, it has been found in a recent study by the University of Oxford, that 3 out of 10 parents who have primary aged school children say they feel more anxious, 14% of the same parents say that they are crying more, 18% report sleepless nights, and 10% report more arguments with their partner, as well as a quarter of parents reporting that they are being much less patient with their children.
So what can be done? As well as sleepless nights there can be other issues for parents, from dads needing Tadalafil to help with erectile dysfunction from the stress, to both parents not being able to concentrate due to high levels of anxiety. Here are some things that you could try this lockdown, and for as along as you need to, to help you to cope a little better. It can be easy to think that you;re not doing your work well and not parenting well, when there is so much going on around you.
Speak to your child’s school
At the start of homeschooling again, I found the whole thing very overwhelming, as what was coming home from school was quite a bit more than last time, plus Zoom lessons here and there. It felt like a mission trying to get organised, and arranging who will be on what device, in order to get it all done. Then they wanted us to upload the work each day! As well as my own paid work! I spoke to my children’s teachers and it did help. They explained what was expected, and it was just me putting massively high expectations on myself. They emphasised the importance of the children being happy and healthy, so that needed to be more of a priority each day than a science experiment. if you’re feeling like it’s too much, speak to the school.
Speak to your employer
I have two roles that I do from home; copywriting for an agency that is a set amount of writing each day, as well as blog and social media work. I am lucky that these are both incredibly flexible, and as long as I meet deadlines, it is all good. I know that a lot of people will have strict schedules and have Zoom calls of their own to juggle, so again, if it is getting too much, speak to your employer about what is going on, and if there could be more flexibility to get work done later at night, for example.
I know that is sounds super cheesy, but getting out into the fresh air really works wonders for me and my stress and anxiety levels. It can be hard to get us out there when I think of the never-ending to-do list that I have, but I know that it does make a difference and really clears my head. The children, on the whole, love it too, and it burns calories as well as helping to give an escape – so a good thing all round.
Stick to a routine
I know, I know, it already feels like Groundhog Day as it is. But if you are feeling the lockdown blues, a regular routine definitely helps. If you sleep too much, or sleep too little, as well as miss some meals, don’t exercise, and generally neglect looking after yourself, then it is something that will simply feed your stress and anxieties. Even if you don’t have very much to do one day, like now it half-term, sticking to a routine will make a difference.
Eat mood-boosting foods
When we feel stressed, it is so easy to grab the foods that are going to comfort you. Although there may be some relief from these kinds of foods, they will tend to be full of sugar, unhealthy fat, and refined carbohydrates. If you team this with a lot of caffeine or alcohol too, then it will just fuel your stress or low-mood feeling. Instead, where you can, think about getting whole foods in your diet each day, to help to maintain a regular sugar level. Foods with omega-3 fatty acids can be good to have too, as they can help to lift your mood (and help your mind).
These are just a few things that I have found that worked for me so far. It is still a juggle, but with a routine it defiantly helps to know what we need to be doing and when. Is there anything else that you would add to the list?
*this is a collaborative post, but all words and opinions are my own.