Lockdown, down to its unfamiliarity, lack of structure and our reduced sense of freedom have impacted us all. It’s no wonder that mental health rates throughout the UK have increased throughout the midst of lockdowns.
However, for parents and carers, this time has carried even more tests, even more responsibilities and even more adaptations, making it very difficult to juggle time.
From attempting to home school and involuntarily become a stay-at-home parent, to juggling work schedules, everyday responsibilities and self-care, this lockdown, especially, has caused concern for the mental health of parents and carers.
Are you a parent, struggling through the necessity of wearing multiple hats? Are you a caregiver, finding it hard to maintain structure and comfort? Whether you’re a parent or caregiver, it’s important that you’re in the best place possible to look after yourself and maintain your duties.
Lockdowns are all we know currently, which of course carry anxieties and worry. Yet, doing our best to maintain normality, to keep cool and to sustain balance will guide us through the next few weeks or months.
Here are some tips for parents and carers in lockdown, helping to ease work-life balance, helping to digest homeschooling, and helping to maintain personal mental health.
Lockdown effects on children, parents and carers
Adjusting to a new norm can be very difficult. We as an entire world have had to accept change, to a degree, throughout the pandemic.
We’ve experienced national lockdowns, soon followed by a sense of freedom, which again soon followed further lockdown restrictions. The unknown, the unspecified and the alien-like times have all contributed together to cause worry, isolation and an involuntary change.
Through that change, lockdown effects on children, parents and carers are a key worry. Reasonably, protecting the NHS and key workers is the aim throughout lockdowns.
However, by resulting in a shifted norm, schools are closed, workplaces are closed, normal daily activities are closed, yet expectations are still high.
Through the midst of lockdown regulations, homeschooling has been promoted, working from home has been promoted, and staying at home has been promoted. This alone highlights how tough the change in dynamic to home life has been on children, parents and carers.
Roles have merged together, schedules have more than doubled, stress levels have amplified, personal issues have increased, development has dropped, relationships have worsened, and mental health issues have intensified.
Understandably, keeping control of each hat and duty for parents and carers is testing, which has unfortunately caused significant pressures on home life.
To alleviate those pressures, here are some tips for parents and carers in lockdown, to manage, to feel comfortable and to most important maintain optimal mental health.
Tips for parents and carers in Lockdown
Lockdown will cause differing experiences for all. Yet based on the common pressures, for parents and carers throughout lockdown, here are some small yet impactful tips to adjust to change.
Set out a sustainable routine
If you are juggling multiple hats, whether that’s through homeschooling and working from home, or physically leaving home to work, it’s important that you set out a sustainable routine. From your mealtimes to blocking out timeslots for different responsibilities, this can help to reduce the pressure of a day in lockdown.
Making use of credible homeschooling resources will also be beneficial, providing reassurance that your children can be entertained and taught while you maintain your own routine.
Remember your routine should be sustainable and realistic. Do not attempt to excel in every task each day, as this will result in burn out.
Take some time to yourself
It’s easy to feel consumed as parents and carers in lockdown. Your responsibilities have heightened, meaning less time for yourself. Yet personal time and self-care are very important to offer clarity, rational thinking, or simply, a break. Whether that’s a walk, exercise or a longer shower than usual, take some time yourself in lockdown.
Prioritise health and wellbeing
This tip can benefit you and your children throughout lockdown, by boosting health and wellbeing. Make exercise a part of your routine, focus on your nutrition, aim to get enough sleep, reduce the use of technology and consumption of the news, and ultimately aim for balance.
Find some quiet time to switch off
Switching your mind off is very important while experiencing lockdown on a 24/7 basis. It’s easy to see why mental health rates have increased for parents and carers in lockdown, as it’s non-stop. This is why you must actively make some time to switch off from the news, from the pandemic, from the role of a teacher and look to be yourself.
Prioritise your to-do list
You’ll likely have a to-do list as long as your arm on a daily basis. One of the key tips for parents and carers in lockdown is to prioritise. You likely won’t get through everything and that’s fine. As long as the important jobs are completed, you are doing just fine.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed as a parent or caregiver in lockdown, there’s a strong chance that your peers will also feel the same. Staying connected to your loved ones, friends, colleagues, schoolteachers and any form of support you usually have will be beneficial. Remember if you’re an only parent, you can utilise a lockdown support bubble to share out a load of your responsibilities.
As adults, we can rationalise greater. Remember that this feeling will not last forever and a sense of normality will slowly creep back post-lockdown. In times of stress, try to stay grounded and appreciative, considering the benefits of lockdown.
Prioritise your mental health during lockdown
Through the whirlwind of lockdowns, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and drop your priorities. Yet, it’s important that as parents and carers to look after yourself to ensure that you can then support your household.
If you’re struggling with your mental health, support is available, both online and through treatment centres to help you through symptoms, crises and high-risk situations.
We at Cassiobury Court can provide direction throughout lockdown to ease your time as parents and carers.
Our tips for parents and carers in lockdown will hopefully benefit your next few weeks or months. Yet, if you are struggling, actively sourcing support will be recommended, helping you get through this understandably testing time.