Stop, breathe, be … repeat as much as possible
Literally that … stop whatever you are doing … let the kids scream if they need to … and breathe. Watch your breath in your body. Where are you most aware of it? Rest your hand there. Now rest your hands on your chest. Can you breathe there? Now your belly? Now simply watch your breath as it travels in and out of your body. You can take seconds or a longer if you can find the space but a moment’s attention on your breath is a whole lot of self-care.
Make a treasure box
This is one to do with the kids (or not). Collect some old boxes (one for each person) … shoe boxes are perfect for this but any box will do. Rustle up some wrapping paper, colouring in sheets, magazines, kid’s drawings and use them to cover the box. Cutting things out and sticking them on to other things is surprisingly soothing. Throw on a positive quote or two and you have your treasure box. Fill your box with things that make you feel good – your favourite shower gel or bubble bath, a good book, your favourite chocolate / biscuit, notes from / to your kids, photos, shells, stones – anything at all that makes you feel better. Whenever you need a moment’s self-care, bring out the treasure boxes.
Give up on perfection
Seriously, give it up. It is not going to happen … even good enough is a miracle right now. Use the TV to babysit your kids, allow them waaaaay more screen time than you might usually and do not worry about the nutrition value of every meal. So long as you all are still alive at the end of the day, you are doing great. We are living through strange times people … be kind to yourself and celebrate survival! My daughter loved a ‘picnic tea’ when she was wee … this consisted of whatever we could drag out of the fridge that didn’t involve cooking. It was her absolute favourite … just because it is easy doesn’t mean it isn’t ‘enough’.
Get outside every day
Rain, hail, sleet, snow … whatever the days brings, drag yourself and the kids out. As Billy Connolly says, ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes’. Wrap up to suit the weather and go for a walk. You might find some things for your treasure boxes, you might meet some other desperate parents to commiserate with and you will wear the littluns out enough that there will be the hope of them having a nap somewhere in your future.
Do some gentle stretches with the kids
If you are worried what the kids would do if you joined an online class, remember you can switch off your camera and mute yourself, so that nobody knows what’s happening and the chances are high the instructor will have their own gatecrashing children or animals and will be very understanding (even enthusiastic) about yours. Gatecrashers are my favourite part of this crazy year! If they really put you off, build some neck rolls, shoulder shrugs and stretches into your day … use your kids as weights (seriously), be lions, tigers and bears with them. One of my yoga kids favourite poses is ‘be a rock’ … you’re welcome haha.
Above all, remember, you are enough, you are doing enough, you will get through this and your kids will think you are amazing simply because they’ve had this extra time with you.
With love – D x