The current social distancing measures in place due to COVID-19 can be challenging and isolating, especially with no definitive timeline as to how long the situation will persist. Not being able go about your usual routines can be stressful and unsettling. While it is important to keep your children busy and engaged at home, it is also important to take time out for you and ensure you’re looking after yourself. First Bridge has put together a short survival guide to help you ramp up the self-care during quarantine!
Accept Your Emotions About COVID-19
Social distancing measures have meant huge lifestyle changes for most of us. It is perfectly normal to feel uneasy and uncertain during this time.
Try using the following phrases to help you acknowledge your emotions about the pandemic:
“I am noticing that I am feeling…”
“I am having the feeling of…”
One of the best things you can do is to be kind to yourself when you notice how you are feeling.
Try telling yourself:
“It is ok to feel anxious and stressed.”
“It is normal to be feeling frustrated and uncertain.”
Establish a Quarantine Self-Care Routine
While your usual routine might be out the window right now, creating a new routine or schedule will help you to have more structure, feel motivated and be more productive. Create time blocks in your day for exercise, work, chores, activities and self-care. See Susan’s post “Home School Timetable and Tips” for more ideas and examples on this!
Stay Active While Social Distancing
Exercise can help to reduce feelings of stress, anxiety and depression, as well as release endorphins. Try to include one form of exercise into your routine each day. You may even be able to get the kids to join in!
Ways to exercise under quarantine rules:
- Walking (try the Active 10 NHS app to track your progress)
- Running (check out NHS Couch to 5km if you’re a beginner)
- Online yoga or Pilates
- NHS Fitness Studio workout videos or NHS Strength and Flexibility podcast
Focus on Your Health
Being tired and feeling unhealthy will lower your tolerance and make negative emotions feel much worse. Help yourself out by ensuring you are getting 8 hours of sleep each night. Plan a relaxing activity to do before bed, such as reading a book or listening to a podcast. Try to increase your water intake by using a water app such as Hydro Coach or a smart water bottle that reminds you to drink on a regular schedule. Take time to plan your weekly meals using a recipe site such as BBC Good Food and have healthy snacks available throughout the day such as fruit, veggie sticks or yoghurt. See if you can involve your child in meal planning and food preparation!
Stay Connected While Social Distancing
To avoid feeling isolated and detached from those around you, make the most of video technology. Organise a virtual coffee or brunch date, play an online game or quiz or call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. Commiserating with other parents can be a great outlet!
Unplug to Unwind
While staying connected with others is hugely important during this time, try to avoid the urge to constantly scroll social media and the endless COVID-19 updates. Instead, set yourself a time block each day to check the news, and try to stick to reliable information sources such as gov.uk.
Remember to Relax!
Keeping little ones busy and entertained is exhausting, which is why it is important to remember self-care during quarantine and beyond! Take some some time to yourself to chill out and focus on you.
Ways to relax during COVID-19:
Get out for some fresh air
Read a book
Watch your favourite film or TV show
Try a mindfulness app such as Headspace or Calm
Re-discover some of your hobbies, such as baking, arts and crafts, or playing a musical instrument
Take care during these difficult times and remember, in order to look after your children, you first need to look after yourself.
Be kind to yourself – quarantine self-care is not selfish!