A JUGGLING ACT
These are crazy times! Its all a juggling act now – home-schooling, working from home, maintaining the household routine, and running the house – all seem to blur into one.
Throw in the kids fighting, wrestling, playing, getting under your feet – and into the fridge as they are hungry every 10 minutes and you have a whirlwind of emotions.
I know that I am struggling now – trying to look after myself and the kids, keep them quite so that my partner can get work done and prevent them from interrupting him every 10 minutes.
The kids are bored – “I’m sick of colouring, I don’t want to kick the ball, I want to go to the playground….” Sound familiar?
I know some days are a definite struggle.
Things that are keeping me sane at present include:
- Physical exercise – although gyms are shut there are numerous Youtube videos for yoga, aerobics, Pilates, and just general fitness.
- Moving – is essential for our bodies as it oxygenates our blood, moves our circulation, and also releases “feel good” hormones. If I wasn’t moving physically – I think I would be like a volcano every day – bubbling and seething and ready to explode. I have been walking – walking for me is like meditation as we have forest around us – so for me entering the “forest” is entering a calm place and the kids love it too. I am making sure that I am doing 10,000 steps a day – and walking up and down the hallway, or on the spot, or just doing step-ups on the bottom step of our stairwell. It is moving my body which helps to move my pent up frustration, irritability, anger, and stress. I also get the kids running up and down the hallway to use up excess energy!
- For children – I have found cosmic kids yoga to be amazing -especially the Saturday morning Yoga – as they have a story and yoga, a “disco” song, and then super yoga where the kids have to do all the poses. This goes for 45 mins. My eldest is much calmer after doing her yoga as well – which means less arguing, screaming, and fighting. My youngest – not so interested – so she gets storytime. There are also online library storytimes as well being recorded and streamed via Facebook – have a look at your local library to see what they have on offer. Other things to do include – making playdough together, build a herb garden – vertical herb gardens from Bunnings are amazing and really easy to put together!
- Breathing – counting to 10 and taking deep breathes in and out. Breathing helps us to regulate the flight and fight response – so when we are stressed – we are in “flight and fight mode” our adrenaline and cortisol levels increase in the body. In order to turn this off – breathing helps to regulate our nervous system and switch off the Fight and flight mode – to rest and digest. Deep breathing – by taking 4 deep breathes in through the nose and 6 out through the mouth stimulates the vagus nerve – which travels from our brain into our stomachs. So, you may notice that as you breathe in deeply – there may be gurgling or release of tension from the diaphragm and stomach area. After deep breathing, I feel more relaxed, calmer, and definitely more grounded. I am also teaching my children this method as well. Even chanting “ommmm” can have a calming effect and they love doing this at night when I read them stories.
- Colouring / Drawing – I hadn’t sat down and coloured for ages. However, wet weather and being stuck at home my husband printed out a whole lot of kids colouring pages. To do it as a family activity – I sat down with them. I had forgotten that I love to colour and draw (although not fantastic at it) but it is nice to sit down and colour in as a family and get some quiet time. I found my mosaic colouring book as well – which was given to me for my 37th birthday but had not been used. So while we are colouring I am also asking both girls the colours that they are using and how many pencils, textas do they have, etc to make it into a maths lesson.
- Cooking – we have been doing a lot of cooking lately. Getting the girls involved is can be stressful and a bit hard to manage but they love it. So, it was time to get out the Gluten-free recipe book and we have been busy baking bread loaves, bread rolls, bread and butter pudding, homemade scones, biscuits, and slices. But what I love about this is – childhood memories of doing this with my mother when I was little, and the girls face when they get to lick the bowl! Not to mention that we have staples in our house-made from scratch.
- Meditation – I don’t get much time to myself at the moment. And we have children coming into our bed at night – so sleep is not that great. However, getting up early and doing a quick 5 minutes of meditation in the morning helps with my stress levels and for me to start the day off calm. That doesn’t mean that I stay that way the whole day – and sometimes, I have to walk out of the room, count to 10 and breathe and then come back, but it does help with my stress levels and my sanity. I also put meditation music on at night to fall asleep to while doing deep breathing exercises – to allow my body to relax.
- Sunlight – if it is a sunny day – I need to be outside for at least an hour. Sunlight and Vitamin D helps us balance our hormone levels. Sunlight to me provides me with a feeling of warmth, security, nourishment, and joy. And I also find when it’s sunny – I’m in higher spirits and more joyful. The children and I have been going on long walks and finding lots of mushrooms – noticing that there a lot more butterflies around as well as more birds. It also gives us exercise.
- Epsom salts – soaking in a bath or foot bath – magnesium aids with muscle tension and sleep. And I have needed this!
- Tea – I have been consuming quite a bit of tea, especially the calming and nurturing tea, as well as the energy tea! To much coffee makes me jittery and when stressed, fiery and irritable I find the calming tea works well for me. As we have not been sleeping that well – the energy tea mixed with the immunity tea first thing in the morning is a godsend.
Lastly – we are all experiencing these uncertain times differently and what is getting me through this time is knowing that I am protecting my family and friends. It wont last forever and I can only do what I can. Counting my blessings and looking for things that bring me joy, is one way that I can help myself to stay calm and present.
These are some of the ways that I am helping myself and my family while juggling everything. I would love to hear what some of your stratagies are?
How are you travelling?
Please stay safe and healthy. We are offering online telehealth consults as well, so that we can assist you. To make a booking – please call Julia on 0412 789 772.