When did we ever plan and prepare for such a situation? Having a newborn at home doesn’t count. I remember when Maxi was born, I left my home regularly and hung out in department stores and friends offices to help me stay sane and it totally worked. Now, we can’t do that. Social distancing and all…
I am pleased to say however that during lockdown I’ve learned that there are a variety of things I can do to help me stay sane with a child in tow. (Although, Maxi is quickly running out of ‘muuuuum???’ credits!) You may already be doing some of these and some you might like to try. If you’re starting to feel the heat of being locked in with kids, trying to work, missing adult interaction, not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, trying to keep your entire family healthy whilst desperately trying to hold onto your mental health, then I hope these tips will help you.
- I’m seeing so many memes now about lockdown, kids and alcohol. My number one advice for staying healthy, sane, focussed and energetic is to totally avoid alcohol! I know #mumlife and alcohol is a common theme, but whilst on lockdown avoid it! Try to find something else to destress you like Bachs rescue remedy, a good book, cooking a cake, a hot tea, laying star shape on your bed, going for a walk – anything but a glass of something! Alcohol has too many repercussions that will only make the current situation worse, like hangovers, low energy, dehydration, anxiety and mood swings. Our children need us to be alert and calm and so do we.
2. Our body is 60% water so it’s no wonder that we thrive on the stuff. There are so many benefits to drinking water and the ones that will serve us the most now are; keeping us hydrated, helping us stay focussed (our brain is made up of 80% water!), keeping our energy levels high, healthy skin and healthy bowel and gut. If you’re not drinking enough water you’ll experience brain fog, you’ll feel thirsty, tiered, you’ll start craving sugary things and weaken your immune system. Aim to drink around 2 litres of water per day. Make it a fun (and healthy) challenge. Your body and mood will thank you.
3. Another group of memes I’m seeing a lot are snacking whilst on lockdown and some of them are really funny but for the moment I’m going to be the party pooper. Avoid sugary snacks. Instead, top up on a variety of different fruits. (It’s funny how the toilet roll shelves are empty but fruit and veg shelves are not). Sugar is one of the worst things we can eat as it can lead to weight gain, it can damage the teeth (it’s pretty tough to get a dentist appointment now), it can give you a quick energy boost but then drop your energy faster than you can say sweet, it can damage your skin, it can interfere with your immune system due to bacteria and yeast feeding on sugar, so excess glucose in the body can cause infections and that’s definitely something we can do without right now and finally, sugar can contribute to other health issues like heart disease and cancers. I know cakes, sweets and adding sugar to hot drinks is a comfort right now, but in the long run it’s really not worth it!
4. Technology is a life saver – more so now. We can do our work from home, make video calls to see the people we love and can’t meet right now and it’s our window to the outside world but it can also have it’s downside like killing our productivity, wasting time, reading and seeing negative things that does wonders for our anxiety and scrolling aimlessly which can lead us to comparing ourselves to other mums. I’m lucky if I get to sit down at my computer and do some work right now. I have to juggle my time to cook, clean, homeschool, workout and play with my son and when I manage to do some creative things with him, I share the results on social media. To other mums it may seem I’ve got everything under control! And I do to some extent but it’s freakin’ hard and I don’t get everything done everyday. We all have our own challenges and we must focus on our needs and what we can do to keep things as happy and calm as possible. Comparing what you’re doing and what others are doing during lockdown is counterproductive and a waste of time. Focus on you, your needs, your health and the health and happiness of your children.
5. I know this might sound like a duh! one, but honestly it’s a great anti-stress, toxin-flusher, energy-giver and mood-booster and oh, so simple. Take a shower every single day. I know we’re at home all day and no one to visit or no one to visit us, but taking a shower keeps your normal daily activities in tact, gives you some justifiable alone time and keeps you hygienic of course. I’ve actually resorted to having cold showers every day which feel amazing! Having a cold shower gives me such an energy boost and apparently can boost the immune system. Win-win-win.
6. Being on lockdown isn’t an excuse for putting our fitness on hold! In fact, it’s needed more than ever. Being unable to leave the house isn’t an excuse either. When Maxi was 9 months old, I bought an exercise DVD, some dumbbells and an aerobic step and I worked out at home with him next to me in the pen. What a great lesson! Working out at home has never been easier. Ensure you fit in some time to exercise so that you get your burst of endorphins which in turn gives you a major mood & energy boost as well as keeping your immune system working.
7. And finally… breathe. Lockdown has not freed up any of my time, I still only have 24 hours in the day, I still need to sleep in 8 of those, workout for 1, work a few hours a day, stay in touch with family and deal with my child. It’s not easy. When did we ever practice for a lockdown? And I sincerely hope we don’t need to learn for next time! If you have to cancel a few things in your day, do it! If today you didn’t do some work, or your children slept late, or you didn’t complete all the homeschooling activities – it’s perfectly OK. It’s very important to stay productive but it’s a hundred times more important to chill, cancel, rest and be ‘bored’ for the sake of our mental health!
There you have it – seven simple tips to keep you happy, healthy and energetic during lockdown. It’s no secret that this is tough. We are in a predicament – we feel like we’re losing it some days and other days we’re super happy that we’ve been told to stay at home! As they say, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. We can learn a lot during this time, we can achieve things too if we’re organised enough, take care of ourselves and most importantly, we will never take anything for granted ever again.
And just remember, when you’re feeling overwhelmed and isolated, close your eyes, take a deep, deep breath and remind yourself that ‘we’re in this together!’.
Let’s face it, this is tough!
Article by Hanieh Vidmar – Mum+More .
Hanieh Vidmar is a lifestyle and business coach at Mum+More. After having her son, she lost confidence in herself and struggled to get back on her feet in terms of both her personal and business life. It took her 3.5 years to get back to herself. She developed Mum+More to help mothers who are going through this themselves, helping them to regain their mojo after having a baby. Her ultimate goal is to help women everywhere regain their sparkle, zest, self-esteem, and confidence.