Because parents need self-care too...
As the coronavirus continues to spread, most people who are used to working in an office environment suddenly face the reality of a new workspace – their own home.
Instead of interacting with the co-workers whose rhythms and foibles you’ve learned over time, you might find yourself listening in on your partner’s calls. Or trying to chime in on an important conference call while your kid whines for an ice cream sundae at 9 am.
The situation feels impossible for two-parent homes where both partners can work from home — and gets exponentially harder for single parents, kids with special needs, families experiencing homelessness, and essential workers who have to work outside of the home. Add financial worries, lack of proper technology for online distance learning, and logistical challenges like grocery shopping and managing outside time while social distancing, and it can feel overwhelmingly stressful.
In fact, new research from Sudocrem has found that mums feel stressed more often (49%) than dads (36%). It's a trying time for families these days, so the results are hardly surprising given the fact a lot of parents are currently struggling with trying to master juggling working from home and looking after their little ones.
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Further statistics show that 48% of parents mostly worry when their child is unwell, while 42% worry about keeping their child safe. To counter the worries that come with parenthood, Sudocrem also set out to discover how parents unwind and relax, even in the most challenging of times.
60% of parents find getting outdoors and enjoying the fresh air is self-soothing, while nearly half (49%) agree that getting exercise is a good way to relax. 37% enjoy listening to music, 18% enjoy cooking or baking, while 17% practice deep breathing or meditation to tune out the noise around them.
But if getting outside to exercise, finding a hour or two to bake some delicious banana bread or listening to music that isn't popular on TikTok is somewhat impossible right now, yoga and wellness coach Lydia Sasse is on hand to share tips on how parents can self-soothe, even in the most trying of times.
take a movement break every day
"Taking at least 15 minutes twice a day to move your body can promote positive changes in the brain that improve concentration and creativity but also releases endorphins that lift your mood and make you feel good," says Sasse. "This could be a simple yoga routine, some gentle tai chi or just dancing to your favourite music in the kitchen with your kids."
Find some time to slow down and connect to your breath
"Take a few minutes every couple of hours just to place your hand on your stomach," says Sasse. "Check that when you inhale, your belly fills with air and on exhale, your belly button is drawing back towards the spine. This can do wonders for a frazzled nervous system."
Create a nightly ritual before bed for better quality sleep
"The actions that we take in the hours before bed can directly affect the quality of our sleep and simple changes can make a huge difference," explains Sasse. "Things like switching off electronic devices an hour before bed, using lavender essential oil in a diffuser in your room or having a relaxing cup of chamomile tea are some of the ways we can build a pathway to a more restorative nights rest."
Ground yourself in nature
"Get outside when you can and stand with your bare feet on the earth," advises Sasse. "You can also connect with nature when counting daisies with your children or in the quiet of the evening while you gaze at the stars. Research shows that when we are grounded, our stress hormones reduce, our sleep and circulation improves and inflammation decreases."
Create a gratitude journal
"Make a list of things that bring you joy and do one every day," says Sasse. "It’s such a simple task and yet it can shift your whole mindset in a short amount of time. To get started, make a list of all the things big or small that bring you joy. This could be making overnight oats for your breakfast the next day, reading a favourite book or baking with your little ones."
Main image by @mrsgifletcher on Instagram