Okay, so you’ve just heard there’s another lockdown coming….your heart sinks…here we go again. All those best made plans go up in a puff of smoke.
Those of us balancing kids, jobs, home schooling and school holidays just about managed the first time…but you’re not quite sure how you’ll cope with this round. And how do we just switch of and block out the endless, numbing news feeds increasing our stress levels all day?
I have found that routine and a little planning structure goes a long way. And building in time away from screens is a must. Here’s some options
- Prepare for your day with a timetable or list. Planning your day – including rest, cooking, washing, work, exercise gives us a sense of control and achievement. Don’t over commit and be realistic.
- Have your kids also plan their day, including lists of household chores. Every household member should pull their weight. Maria Montessori was one of the first educators to recognised that young children feel valued when they do similar work to adults, and their behaviour improves. Kids enjoy learning new things, hanging washing, folding clothes, packing away, setting up, cleaning the pool, putting on a wash, walking to the local shop for groceries. Lighten your workload and delegate, even if it’s not perfect.
- Why not learn some mind calming techniques such as Transendental Meditation. Research demonstrates that only 10 minutes of meditation a day creates a positive change in the brain which is visible on brain scans
“Transcendental Meditation gives me an island of calm in the midst of so much turbulence" Sir Paul McCartney. You can book a free information zoom session on this Australian site https://tm.org.au/
- Sing and dance – put on your favourite song and belt it from the top of your lungs. Dance like no one is watching,…because they’re not!
- Exercise EVERY DAY
- Spend time in nature EVERY DAY – lie in the park looking at the clouds, the beach, the bush, sweep the driveway, water the lawn, smell the local flowers. Nature is a powerful healer.
- Laugh! Watch some comedy – pick an old favourite or try a new comedian. Look for old YouTube comedy festival recordings. Our bodies fill with energy and happy hormones when we laugh. A laugh is as good as a tonic.
- Ask a good friend to send through a recent family pic, thinking of others removes us from our own anxieties and stress
- Post on social media asking people to note one thing that made them smile today.
- Do a good deed for a neighbour – take out the bins, bring in the paper, drop over a good book, or some left over desert.
- When you pass people on the street say hello and smile. Human contact and social gestures give us a sense of community and belonging.
- Hide your phone for 4 hours at a time! It works
- Read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
- Read ‘The life changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo and declutter, asking “Does it spark joy?” The cathartic process will help us focus on the present.
- Try some Huna Ha breathing.
- Download Calm app or any meditation app and listen every day for 5 minutes, or before you go to bed.
Whatever you chose, just keep a structure to your day and keep it simple.