Family life can be stressful at the best of times, but these are not the best of times for many of us in the UK. With that in mind, we asked some of the UK’s top parenting bloggers to share their top tips for reducing stress and including a little self-care into a stressful day.
Like many people I am finding cooking (and eating) a great stress reliever. Whether it’s making soup with leftover veg or baking a cake it’s good to use up all the food in your house before venturing out shopping.
I have been doing a bit of embroidery in the evening, leaving my phone and its news updates firmly behind! I find sewing is great for mindfulness because your attention is solely on the needle and thread and focusing on the here and now. It’s also great to have something you’ve accomplished when some days you feel like you’ve failed at everything!
I have been planting seeds in seed trays on my windowsill. There is something incredibly rewarding when you see them start to poke their first leaves up through the soil. Plus, I take pleasure in looking forward to fresh strawberries, cucumbers and tomatoes this summer!
I’m putting loud music on in the kitchen and having ten minutes of dance madness with the kids every day. It’s a fun distraction and it’s helping to burn off the anxiety adrenaline.
I’m using all the things that I was saving (for a rainy day?) That means I’m lighting the nice candles, drinking the special tea and using the posh bubble bath. And making time to do these things when I can squeeze them in.
Exercise has been was a great way for me to manage my hormone-related anxiety and insomnia. When lockdown was announced and all the gyms closed, I was worried; so I downloaded a yoga video and every morning I take 20 minutes for myself to go through the routines. It helps me to calm my mind and slow my heart rate and think through the day ahead. Having this control over my mind and body helps me to feel more in control of everything else!
I’ve been sitting at the piano and trying to get a bit of me time in that way. I’ve started a hashtag on my instastories to encourage others to pick up that old instrument or to learn a new one in this time to have a focus and to share their music using #MusicInIsolation I thought it would be nice to form a community, to enjoy ourselves by trying something new and to bring a little musical happiness into our lives.
I am absolutely making sure once a day I phone a friend and have a proper chat with someone NOT IN THIS HOUSE or I think I might lose it! Much as I love my family I need that connection with the outside world and to hear my friends’/family’s voices.
I am baking every day and teaching the children how to do the same. We even made a baking Tik Tok yesterday! This is something that is giving me great pleasure, both in the teaching and in the eating! I am also planning on teaching myself how to make Sour Dough and fresh Pasta as long as I can keep finding some flour.
I think it is important to have some sort of routine and schedule each day. It helps me to feel calmer and less stressed. We have a Monday to Friday schedule and then a more relaxed routine at the weekends. It seems to be keeping us all calmer as a family.
See more resources and articles to help children stay safe online.