Supporting Parents Mental Health through Lockdown

Parents, we know its tough! Its Monday morning, our fifth week of lockdown, its taking its toll on us all. Its hard, especially if you are juggling working as well as home-schooling. We all just want everything to return to normal and to see our friends and family. Its even worse knowing we can not go and relax in the garden in the warm weather and put on the bbq but summer is coming back very soon.

This last year has been hard and has had a big effect on our mental health to say the least. As parents we naturally put everyone else before us, but what about ourselves? We must ensure we look after ourselves and as the saying goes ‘ You cannot pour from an empty cup’, meaning look after yourself first to enable you to look after everyone else properly.

We have provided a few tips to help you support your mental health not just during lockdown but throughout the pressures of life.

· Exercise – you may think this is cliché but honestly, you cannot go wrong with exercise, just 30 minutes of exercising a day can improve your mental health, research shows that it positively impacts depression, anxiety and more. Exercising can relieve stress, help you sleep better and boost your overall mood. Do not think of exercise as running a marathon, take your time! Go for a short walk, there are You Tube videos you can follow (I join in with my son’s Joe Wicks workout videos in the morning). Be as creative as you like and set some small goals!

· Unwinding – doing something you enjoy that could be having a relaxing bath with a few lit candles and some soothing music, reading a book when the kids have gone to bed and my favourite – having a glass, okay maybe a bottle (sometimes) of wine. I understand time is very restricted for us all and it does not feel like there are enough hours in the day but sometimes set yourself an hour or two to just chill. Whatever you enjoy doing the most do that.

· Try to connect with friends & virtually, its so easy to get wrapped up in life but try and do something different. A zoom quiz night, this can be perfect for all ages and can even be done on a smartphone so a laptop is not necessarily needed. (If you need help setting this up get in touch)

· Consider virtual therapy – there is usually a stigma around going to therapy but having that support is more beneficial then you may think. There are a lot of services working virtually and can fit around your schedule. Free Online Therapy - 24 Hour Online Therapy Chat Room offer free counselling sessions so it is worth looking if this is something you want to explore.

On a brighter note, it is only 47 days until Spring time, the weather will start to get better and uplift our mood, we can get the BBQ out and hopefully safely meet our loved ones! Have a lovely week everyone and remember you can always reach out if you need support. Mica x

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