4 Practices To Keep You Grounded When It Feels Like Parenting During Quarantine May Break You
It’s 4:00 p.m. You just got off of a two-hour-long Zoom conference. The emails have piled up and you have a deliverable that’s due at 5:00 p.m. Your boss can’t seem to understand how you went from being a top producer to needing constant extensions. Your oldest two children can’t be in each other’s presence without bickering and your youngest is having what feels like her 50th toddler tantrum for the day. To top it off, your middle child’s teacher has reached out for a second time with concerns about how remote learning is going.
It feels like the walls are closing in on you and you forgot to thaw something out for dinner. You try to count your blessings because you realize how privileged you are to be working from home and you’re thankful that your family is healthy and safe, but parenting in quarantine is stressful and it’s getting to you. You’re definitely not alone and admitting that parenting during a pandemic is significantly more difficult than regular parenting doesn’t make you any less of a mother. Here are four practices that will help keep you grounded on those especially challenging days:
Establish quiet hours
You would be surprised how calming an hour or so of silence can be and how much it can help to boost productivity. Attention Restoration Theory suggests that silence can help refill your mental cup when you feel drained and are running on empty because silence comes with lower levels of sensory input. Quiet hours should be scheduled for the same time each day, which you can remind members of your household about by creating a sign or scheduling digital reminders that pop up on everyone’s electronic devices. During this time, everyone should retreat to their own space and refrain from speaking audibly to one another or listening to anything on their devices. All activities should be silent ones.
Have something that is just for you
It can be hard to indulge in certain hobbies while quarantined with kids, but that doesn’t mean that you should spend every waking moment catering to your job or the members of your household, leaving little to no time or energy for yourself. Consider the things that bring you joy and commit to fiercely protecting those things. It can be as simple as keeping up with your favorite television show or maintaining an in-home garden.
Body scan meditation
Body scan meditation is a simple technique that can help to relieve tension and stress. When practiced regularly, it can help to relieve physical ailments as well.
“Practicing mindfulness activities can be very helpful,” LCSW Marline Francois-Madden told MadameNoire.“One of the things I like to recommend for people is something called a body scan meditation. You’re just bringing awareness to your body from your toes to your head.”
“Aromatherapy is a complementary and alternative medicine practice that taps into the healing power of scents from essential oils extracted from plants in order to balance your mind, body, and spirit,” Dr. Marlynn Wei explained in an essay for Psychology Today.