How are your new lockdown routines? Are they working for everyone (children, parents, work)? What about yourself?
In times of crisis, we tend to look after others first. If we forget to nurture ourself, we risk impacting everyone around us. With everyone stuck in the same house, privacy is much harder to preserve. Some parents, in particular, may feel guilty for wanting to take time out for themselves. It is not selfishness; it’s essential; you must actively take care of your holistic well-being.
Here are some suggestions:
1. Have some ‘me’ time every day. At least 30 minutes (preferably twice a day) in a room, garden or better still out walking (as part of your exercise). If your favourite place is shared, have a booking system. For example, each morning
is available for household member to have their allotted time, to do whatever they fancy (reading, watching a film, etc.). I cannot emphasise strongly enough how important it is to take care of your mind.
2. If you can listen to meditative music or hypnosis, do deep, slow breathing. Anything that calms the nervous system (no, not wine) will
help the ‘whole’ of you to cope better. Stress will reduce, or rather, your response to it will, and you will feel in control.
3. When working with children, routines are essential. A friend of mine mirrors the school timetable, and even rings a bell to signal lunchtime!
4. When you sit down for a meal together, or before doing schoolwork, whatever the task, take a couple of deep belly breaths, making sure the exhalation is slightly longer than the inhalation. It will help the body to be grounded and calm, and the brain to dissipate scattered thoughts so that you can focus on the task.
5. Some people have a meal in silence, not even eye contact, it’s a Buddhist practice and having done it, I highly recommend it. Becoming aware of our internal chatter can be very insightful. It also teaches kids (depending on age) to take more control of their inner thoughts and feelings, to ‘notice’ what’s going on, and not be ‘run’ by it. I teach this when I do Mindfulness courses; it’s a great habit to develop. The more you practice, the calmer and more in control you feel, which then starts affecting others, who can’t help but respond to that calm energy. Do it for yourself, and be a great role model for others in your house.
You may want to download the free 15-minute meditation called “Calm Yourself” on https://denisebosque. com/managing- uncertainty/