As we settle in to lockdown 3.0, with many schools and workplaces closed once again, trying to juggle working from home, childcare and home schooling is a challenge that many of us face.

As parents, looking after our children tends to be our first priority. But what about looking after ourselves?

The mental health implications of going into lockdown again at this time of year, where the evenings are dark and the days are short, still unable to see our family and friends, are well-documented.

So perhaps it’s time to take a step back, and realise how important it is to make a little time for ourselves each day, and focus on our own wellbeing as well as that of our loved ones?

Here, we’ve compiled a list of simple self-care tips that parents can try:

  • Maybe try getting up a little earlier each day so that you can have 15 minutes to yourself to enjoy a coffee before the rest of the house descends.
  • Set yourself goals for the day, however small, and tick them off as you go – enjoy the sense of achievement when you accomplish them.
  • Don’t forget the important role that exercise plays in helping to lift your mood. A walk in the fresh air each day, even if it’s just 15 minutes in the rain, will release endorphins and help you to clear your mind.
  • Just because you can’t see family and friends in person, doesn’t mean you can’t have regular catch-ups. Arrange a video chat once a week (don’t be afraid to ask your children to help you set these up if you’re not familiar with platforms like Whatsapp, Zoom, Teams etc). You’ll be surprised at how involved you feel, and the laughter will make you feel much better! Why not add a competitive element too – a family quiz perhaps?
  • Be sure to make sure you take ample time away from screens, particularly before bedtime to help ensure a good night’s sleep. Reading the news just before you get into bed definitely won’t help!

IvyPanda has posted a really interesting article that ties into some of the ideas discussed above, from the viewpoint of mothers who are also students: