With schools closed and the return to online learning, many parents are having to juggle homeschool, childcare and work which has brought additional stress and worry for many. Parents are finding it hard to find any time for themselves and many are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted as a result.
This Children’s Mental Health week, parents are also being encouraged to think about their own mental health and wellbeing during these incredibly challenging times.
10 Tips for promoting positive mental wellbeing:
1 Accept it’s tough and don’t suffer alone. There will be good and bad days, try to practice patience and compassion with yourself, express and regulate your feelings and ask for help when you need it. In doing so you will be able to be there for your children, too. One day this will end, just try and take each day at a time and remember you are doing enough.
2 Connect to others. Reach out to a friend or family member and talk about your thoughts and feelings.
3 Re-evaluate what is important. There aren’t probably enough hours in the day to get through everything on your to-do-list, so do the tasks that make you feel good.
4 Pay more attention to the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you.This awareness is called “mindfulness”. Mindfulness can help you enjoy life more and understand yourself better. It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges. Why not try this mindful breathing exercise video on YouTube from Every Mind Matters.
5 Create rules and routine. A daily routine and having structure can be beneficial for your wellbeing. Many parents feel that they are spread too thinly at the moment, juggling too many roles and are not doing a good job in any of them. Setting attainable goals and having a daily timetable so you know what to expect may help to boost wellbeing.
6 Get physical. Evidence shows that exercise can improve your mental wellbeing and improve self-esteem.Getting out into the fresh air and connecting with nature can also help boost your mood.
7 Take some time for yourself. Whether it be relaxing in the bath, listening to your favourite playlist, or going for a walk, it’s important to take some time out do something that you enjoy.
8 Get creative. Whether you love knitting, drawing, painting or cooking, now is the time to get the creative juices flowing. Creativity has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression and improve overall health and wellbeing.
9 Pick up a book. There is strong evidence by the Reading Agency that reading for pleasure can aid relaxation and have a positive effect on mental wellbeing. It has also been shown to increase empathy and promote sleep readiness.
10 Be honest. We promote our own wellbeing by knowing when we do and don’t get things right. Disagreements happen within all families especially at the moment with all the additional stresses. It is important that parents acknowledge when they are in the wrong and have the courage to say sorry. By being honest and open and admitting that you don’t always get things right will not only boost children’s wellbeing but your own too.
Image credit: Charlie Mackesy