As a busy working parent, I can totally relate to the struggle of juggling it all. Then throw a pandemic and homeschooling into the mix and there’s a perfect recipe for overwhelm and all the different ways that can play out for you. I’ve pulled together 7 simple strategies to staying well and feeling good to help you feel and manage the juggle a little better.
I thought I’d share some of my strategies with you for managing some areas that may be causing stress. None of this may be rocket science, but that’s the beauty of it. Sometimes we just need reminding of these simple things, and permission to do them.
Start by asking yourself how you’re feeling and whether you could tweak your habits and routine to make you feel less stressed, more energised and more productive both at work and for you and your family. Then take a look at the suggestions below and see which ones might just be doable over the next week for you. Maybe just pick one or two to start with if that works for you. Or maybe you’re more gung-ho and want to change lots all at once. Changing behaviour is very individual so just be sure that ‘you do you!’. Take or leave as you wish:
- Take regular breaks that involve moving your body and settling your mind – if tight on time, then a few stretches and a few mins of box breathing can benefit hugely.
- Coffee has been a lifeline for me over the last year. I’m not joking! But it can play havoc with your body and mind, we know this. So, reducing your intake to 1-2 cups a day, and trying to limit to before lunchtime is best. This will have a positive impact on your sleep too.
- Stay hydrated – this is one I have to consciously do because otherwise distraction gets in my way. My trick to consuming my 2 litres per day is to fill my stainless steel water bottle in the morning (or even the night before so it’s to hand while I’m getting ready for the day), and drink some with my breakfast and then the bottle follows me to my desk and on my breaks, refilling it frequently. I can accurately tell how much I’ve had. It’s a game changer to be properly hydrated.
- Set clear boundaries, if you can. This is a tricky one. But as much as you can, delineate between working and not working. And similarly with homeschooling, whatever the duration that works for you, set a clear time for it. Have the phone off and focus on the task at hand.
- Have healthy snacks to hand. It’s not to say you can’t have something unhealthy to eat, but to opt for a healthy treat will stand to you, your energy and mood so much better than a raft of highly processed sugary ‘treats’. You can download WellNow’s Snack Recipes and Ideas for some inspiration.
- Stay connected. Talk to at least one friend or non-work related person every day, eve for just a few minutes. It may be to have a laugh, vent or just simply to say hi. It will keep your spirits lifted in this tough time.
- Journal – putting down on paper how you feel can offer a great release. You can also track your small changes in nutrition or movement and how your feeling so you can see your improvements or when you might need to tweak how you’re approaching something.
As I said, there’s nothing revelationary here, but keeping things simple is just fine. I hope something here helps you feel a little better than before.
Stay safe and stay well.