There’s no denying that 2020 was a tough year for parents. As we come to the end of the first month of 2021, it seems these challenges are still very much being felt by mums, dads and carers all across the country. However, there are still plenty of ways you can find greater balance amidst the chaos. Whilst none of us can control the outcome of the pandemic or how soon lockdown ends, there are still lots of ways to take back personal control and find greater joy, peace and gratitude in the everyday. Here are just a few ways to get you started…
With many parents now having to juggle working from home with never ending childcare responsibilities and homeschooling, domestic situations can start to feel overwhelming. Taking time for yourself, even just a few minutes at the start of the day, can make a big difference when it comes to feeling less stressed and more content at home. Meditation and journaling are two positive ways you can take a breath, centre yourself and take a moment to appreciate the parts of your life that you feel grateful for, such as your partner and family, even if they do drive you a little crazy sometimes too.
Creating a Home Haven
Whilst being home for long stretches at the moment seems unavoidable, now is the perfect opportunity to find ways to transform your home into somewhere you love to spend time rather than just feel cooped up in. Why not let your children pick a new paint colour or theme and help them to redecorate their bedroom? You can make the project as big or small as you like, providing the ideal way to upcycle your children’s existing furniture without having to splash out on new items. You can also take this time to declutter your own space too, which doesn’t just make your home feel more airy and inviting, it can actually earn you some extra money, with lots of apps and websites keen to help you sell your old items at a profit.
Let’s Get Physical
Although it may feel like the last thing you want to be doing, getting your body moving and doing some exercise is a great way to shake off stress and reconnect not just with yourself, but with the environment around you. Solo workouts can be a fun way to boost endorphins, or why not take an online class as a way to socialise with friends? Getting kids involved too is also really important, even for very young children. Baby carriers for dads provide an excellent way to take your baby out with you, so you can both enjoy the benefits of some fresh air and vitamin D as you walk. Best of all, the carrier leaves both hands free, so you can always take your phone or laptop with you to shoot off a few emails or make a quick call too whilst out and about.
Importance of Escapism
No matter how much you love your family members, it is completely normal and healthy to want to take a break from one another, especially when spending so much time at home. The importance of escapism cannot be underestimated and enables you to reconnect with what makes you feel good, so you can be refreshed and revitalised to show up as the best version of yourself for your family. Great grounding and easy escapist ideas include diving into a good book, watching your favourite TV programme for an hour or taking a long (uninterrupted by children!) bath. Whether you are in a couple or not, make the most of your childcare bubble to allow for some essential and guilt free time alone to escape for a little while.
Balancing the New Normal
If you are struggling to adapt to this new way of home life in 2021, then you should take reassurance from the fact that you are definitely not alone. Balancing this new normal is a marathon not a sprint, so it is important to take your time to adjust as you find ways that work for you. Don’t forget to take time for yourself as well as prioritising the needs of your children. If you are in a couple, why not try having an at home date night when the children are in bed? Or create your own home cinema experience with snacks and paper tickets when you want the children to stay up late for a treat and join in too. Whatever balance means to your family, remember that what you are doing is good enough, and that taking the time to reconnect with the everyday is really important for both your mental health and physical wellbeing too.
*This is a collaborative post