It's 8.13pm and my immensely energetic child is just about falling asleep. Only 45 minutes later than planned..
The Coronavirus and the consequences of the government's recommended restrictions have impacted on us all in different ways. This one is for those of you working from home whilst looking after your children and struggling to get to the end of the day without feeling completely burnt out. It's also for those of you who are feeling more and more down as the days go on. Without the structure of life as you knew it you're now spending your days scrolling through your Facebook feed or reaching for a drink at 3pm as there's nothing else you feel like doing.
Well... Here is a solution to both... SCHEDULE. My days at home completely transformed when I started making (and more or less sticking to) a schedule. I made sure that I attempted to achieve each day only what was humanly possible - by one person - and my daughter also seemed more secure and content knowing what her day was going to look like too. I made sure to schedule in time for me to relax. Unheard of in my pre-scheduling days, but they were not sustainable. And it meant that I got to the end of the day with a little more energy in the tank and a feeling of accomplishment of doing the things that absolutely needed to be done but also being the parent I wanted to be.
Scheduling helps us make a realistic plan for how our day will look and makes sure that we prioritise the things that we absolutely want or need to do each day. Scheduling also means that we can stay more focused in the day and spend less time doing things that don't make us feel good or achieve anything.
A friend of mine was telling me about her partner last week, now he's not working he is spending his time scrolling through facebook and drinking in the day and he's feeling pretty miserable. If this is you, creating a schedule of things that will give you a sense of pleasure (talk to an old friend, plant some seeds with the kids) or achievement (tidy the under the stairs cupboard, clean the car, go for a run) can help you find your motivation again.
I've been writing my schedule every morning, with my daughter. I make sure to give myself enough time for each task and to schedule time for cooking, tidying, working, doing something with my daughter and for me to relax. It's suiting us both and before the schedule everything that 'needed to be done' was taking precedence of the things I needed to do for my self-care.
If you're struggling to fit everything in, go easy on yourself and just do the absolute essentials. You will feel less stressed as a result and more clear headed and energetic. If you're not doing enough, getting up and active will boost your mood and help you feel more motivated as well. Give it a go...