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COVID-19 has turned the world upside down. While it’s done that, it’s turned so many households upside down as well. Everything from finances, to child care arrangements, the world no longer looks as it did a few months ago.
When I first heard that school was suspended due to COVID-19, I cried.
I’m not a mean parent, I swear. I love my children. But, I struggle with my mental health so much that having three kids at home all day every day did not sound like a walk in the park to me. I recently started a new medication as well. So, well, that’s fun. All the side effects that happen from weaning onto new anti-psychotics, and then trying to home school and entertain all day.
So, I cried. It’s my go-to reaction. I quickly had to figure out a plan.
Here are my top tips for getting through the COVID-19 quarantine with kids while maintaining good mental health:
1. Be mindful of feelings and thoughts.
Being aware and living in the moment has helped me so much. Paying attention to how I am feeling has helped me understand my moods and how they are affected by my surroundings. I’ve been able to take a step back when needed because I was feeling too overwhelmed. I’ve also been able to teach my children by modelling. Taking the time and energy to understand my moods and feelings has shown my children that I too am human, and I too have feelings and that everyone’s feelings are valid and important.
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2. Eat healthy meals.
I’m still learning with this one, but when I can get to it, I find it so helpful with my mental health, and even my children’s mental health. Veggies are a must! They fill you and don’t give you an overload of sugars that can make your mood and energy level go all over. It’s been a great time to cook together and learn about nutrition and it’s effects on our bodies.
3. Keep a bedtime routine.
This one took some figuring out. In the beginning, it seemed as if the kids were on vacation. They were staying up late, and it took me a few days to get control of it. Keep a bedtime routine. This will give you time in the evening to unwind and relax. It is also good for them too! Sleep is so important. A good sleep typically makes for a good day.
4. Get creative.
Explore different creative outlets. Paint, draw, sketch, colour, build, and anything else around your house. This will keep you and your littles busy. There are many educational opportunities in everyday life skills.
These are extraordinary circumstances. Things aren’t going to go quite as planned, and that is totally okay! Laugh, smile, and have fun with the extended family time. Some things we’ve been enjoying are building forts, playing nerf guns, painting our nails, colouring, and so much more. We’ve been laughing every day, and that is so good for maintaining positive mental health.
6. Practice kindness to yourself.
These times can be very trying and are very hard. There is no rule book telling us how to do it. Listen to your body. Pay attention to your mind. Drink water and eat beautiful healthy food.
Related: Redefining Self-Care for YOU
You’ve got this!
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