Updated: Aug 18
In light of the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus, many things have changed. Students were sent home to finish school virtually and most adults are working from home if their jobs permits. Many parents may be struggling with maintaining a good work-life balance which may lead to the well-being of the family to suffer. Developing strong habits to improve your mental health can also improve the overall wellbeing of the family, especially during times of stress and emergency. Stress is known to increase cortisol which at high levels can compromise our immune system. We would like to share with you some ideas on how you and your family can reduce stress and partake in self-care activities together so you all can be happy and healthy. Being mindful of the way to move, the things you say and even the thoughts you think is a great way to stay on the path of maintaining great self-care to ultimately achieve work-life balance. The good news is, there is no shortage of self-care activities you or your whole family can do to at home. We will share with you our list of top 10 activities you can do later on so stick around. First we would like to explore the idea of being mindful. Now, we will go deeper into mindfulness in another blog, but for now we will go over the concept for you to take home and ponder. Being mindful is having a level of awareness that promotes self-regulation. One can be mindful during every activity they pursue, whether its giving a speech, teaching a class, or even cooking for loved ones. That is, being in the moment, which is great. We would like to expand on being mindful to a bigger level. We want to challenge ourselves to think of always being mindful and implementing the concepts that are practiced at anytime. Bringing awareness so that everything around you is present. That being said, how can we be mindful of the time we spend with our families during the current situation? Here is a list of 10 activities you can do with your family for more self-care. 1. Start a garden or get your current garden ready for the warmer months ahead. 2. Try a new baking or cooking recipe. 3. Exercise and stretch! 4. Do some spring cleaning and donate or sell old items. 5. Catch up on quality sleep. 6. Practice family journaling or gratitude writing. 7. Envision growth in your business or finances. 8. Go for long walks or runs. 9. Read a good book! 10. Play games that ignite creativity! Now get going! Use this time with your family. Talk with them, move your body, and stay hopeful. If you feel anxious, remember to breathe. Some deep diaphragmatic breathing can calm down your whole body. Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down and breathe deeply in through the nose and out through the mouth. Hopefully with some more structure in place, there is less likelihood for parents to burnout with new routines. When it comes to working from home, we have a few tips that can help maintain a good work-life balance. First, take many breaks throughout the day and do no work on the weekends if you are not required to. We already know that dealing with work demands are draining, but we can combat the negative affects by taking a step back and away from the desk. Take five to ten minutes to go out to the balcony or patio and stare into the distance. Or even get your heart rate up by taking a brisk walk, or doing some pushups or squats. Second, detach from work. After you put in your time for the day, close your laptop and walk away. You have to mentally remove yourself from work mode since you do not have the office to remove yourself from. Next tip is to meditate. Now that you are working from home, this may enable you to practice more meditation at the comfort of your couch. Lastly, practice mastery. Note that mastery is not perfectionism. At work, you need some level of control and measurement of performance which is normal. Mastering something outside of work is shown as a successful recovery tool and gives you the opportunity to let loose. With no pressure attached, look into mastering something such as an instrument or crafts. While these takeaways seem simple, you might need to go through some trial and error to see how and when to utilize the strategies listed above. We can all acknowledge our concerns, but we also have the great ability to make choices in our life. The goal here is to maintain a good work-life balance and improve the well-being of our families. Take your time with implementing the changes you want to make in order to provide for your family. If you are having a hard time coping with the current situation, please reach out to a therapist.