Are you feeling exhausted right now? Even though we are in lockdown in our homes and removed in part from the busy routine of life… do you feel like you just can’t catch up with yourself?
According to Dr Lea Waters this is a new phenomenon called COVID fatigue, and many of us are experiencing it in various forms right now. You can read more about it in her article:
Dr Waters focuses on children in her piece, suggesting that embracing gratitude is a wonderful way to try to combat this fatigue. We too have written many times on The Wellbeing Hive about the benefits of gratitude and how important it is in creating happiness and positive emotions in your life.
In this article though, we would like to offer the whole family some suggestions on managing COVID fatigue by acknowledging that the adults have to also look after themselves if they are going to be able to assist the young people in their lives who they parent, teach, mentor or coach to deal with the challenges of COVID too.
Here are some of our suggestions:
Acknowledge the Challenges
In our recent article on Conflict, we acknowledged that research shows that expressing emotions tends to have better long-term results that holding them in. Lockdown may be an ongoing feature of our lives for short bursts for some time… so we need to be honest about what drives us crazy and what we need to protect our own wellbeing.
Try to create opportunities to gently be honest and open about this – and with younger children especially, reinforce ways to express things in ways that are not personal. This is a good lesson in itself.
There is nothing like routine to provide structure during long periods at home. Routine helps you protect what you need to do, and embed what you want to do in your time in lockdown. There is a time each day for exercise, for tidying, for being creative, and even for switching off from screens!
Instead of viewing routine as boring, we should look at it as a valuable tool. You might even create some new rituals that you want to keep after lockdown ends… and many of the subsequent sections of this article might even provide you with some ideas.
Depending on how big your household is, you may be craving some alone time right now. And supporting each other to have this is an important step in terms of surviving!
Have candid conversations about alone time with each other and agree on how this can occur. There may be time and places in the household set aside, or just simply an understanding that when Mum reads her book before dinner, that is a time she cannot be disrupted, and that Peter can play his video games in peace at recess or lunchtime.
I would encourage you to do something mindful in this time as well. Although meditation may not be everyone’s metaphorical cup of tea, it can really help slow and calm our minds. An online yoga class could also be beneficial or even doing something that puts you in a state of flow… like puzzles or crosswords.
Create Constructive Time Together
As well as alone time, families need time to come together and do something as a team. With possibly more time on your hands (although we acknowledge this is not the case for everyone) you may be able to play a board game every night, or watch a movie together or each cook part of dinner and share in a feast. Figure out something that works for you, varied if you need to, but make sure this time helps bring you together as well.
In her assembly speech this week, Head of Senior Boys Lauren Cook suggested a key to lockdown was mindset. Time is either a blessing or a curse. This could be an opportunity to embrace a project you have been meaning to do, or take up a new hobby. YouTube is full of teaching videos that could set you on the path to mastering something you have always longed to do. Ukekele lessons anyone?
Whatever you do over what is hopefully a short period of lockdown – do it strategically. Think about how best to cope with each other in a time that will inarguably be challenging. And always appreciate the small gifts of lockdown too!
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels