For those navigating life as new parents it can be an overwhelming experience at the best of times, but with continuous lockdowns and being apart from family and friends, the feeling of isolation and the challenges of being a new parent are further heightened.
It is important to maintain self-care activities and prioritise yourself at all times, but especially during these uncertain times, to also maintain proper care of your baby or toddler. We have put together some tips below on how parents can provide themselves with some self-care during lockdowns.
1. Keep moving
It is well known that our body and mind benefit significantly from exercising, helping to produce and release endorphins. Thankfully, there are many types of movements and exercises you can do even during lockdowns. Ranging from walks around your neighbourhood, yoga, putting on music and dancing around your living room, or following exercises from online workout videos – all can be done with or without baby or toddler in tow.
2. Take time to zen out
During these long periods where we are isolated at home, with the stresses of caring for a newborn or toddler, ongoing news of Covid, along with general house chores, work, financial or health concerns our minds tend to race and we feel anything but calm, despite being mostly sedentary.
Committing even 10 minutes a day to practice meditation, mindfulness or grounding exercises will help promote a sense of calm and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed amidst life’s daily stresses.
Below are some relaxing and soothing sounds that will help transport you to a calmer state along with some other mindfulness tips.
3. Take a bath or shower
Submergence in water is known to benefit your brain and nervous system by reducing pain and inflammation and by calming the nervous system. It helps to reduce levels of stress and anxiety in the body and improve your mood. Add in some after-care once you have finished with water therapy by treating yourself with a nourishing body oil or stretch marks cream to smoothen, soften and improve skin's elasticity. If you also find it difficult to take the time on your own without a newborn by your side, the Cocoonababy acts as a great portable option to pop them in whilst in the bathroom and give you some extra minutes of relaxation.
4. Call family or friends
Sometimes the best way to keep ourselves from feeling overwhelmed and alone during these isolating times, is to reach out to family and friends by an old-fashioned phone call. Staying in touch and sharing your own experience with someone you trust, who can help support you and share a positive attitude to lift your spirits, is an important addition to include in your self-care plan.
5. Bake or cook something you love
Nothing soothes the soul more than a homemade meal that’s made with care and love. If baking or cooking is something you normally cannot find the time for, then what a better time than in lockdown to make something that is tasty and healthy (or a little unhealthy!). Homemade food is such a simple pleasure that we do not often appreciate as much when we have so many pre-made or food delivery services available at our disposal. Even allowing your little one to get involved with you in the baking/cooking process can make it a nice activity to help you all stay occupied.
The Babycook Neo or Solo are a great appliance to help make the process of baking and cooking simple and with the addition of Beaba’s cookbook and our blog of recipes, you will have no trouble creating something delicious for the whole family!
6. Turn off the news and get off social media
While it is important to stay informed during these unpredictable times, one of the most important things you can do to help prioritise your mental health and focus on yourself is to switch off the news and limit the time spent on social media. Especially when you are feeling saturated by negative or fearful information. If you are beginning to have obsessive thoughts and feeling as though life is becoming all doom and gloom, taking a break and spending time on other activities should help you see your overall mood improve.
7. Treat yourself with some beauty products
Another method of giving yourself an endorphin hit is by treating yourself to a pampering session. Although we may not be able to get out and dress up and see people as we regularly would, a simple at-home facial, manicure/pedicure or DIY hair dye can have you feeling rejuvenated and boost your mood.
We’ve listed some of our favourite brands that offer a more natural and care focused approach to beauty that offer a range of skincare, nail care and nail polishes along with natural hair dye products.
8. Pick one area of the house to declutter and organise
If you find you have any time in-between caring for your little one and looking for a distraction from feelings of worry, it can help to focus on creating an environment that feels comfortable and peaceful to you. Rather than overhauling your whole space at once, try decluttering an area for a few minutes a day – reorganising a linen closet, a shelf, cleaning out an overfilled cupboard or just picking a few things to put in a new spot in the home, are just some tips that can offer some self-care and interruption from unfavourable feelings.
9. Watch, read or listen to something light and cheerful
Any form of distraction can be a good thing when we’re stuck at home with nowhere to go (besides the occasional trip to the supermarket or for exercise). Watching, reading or listening to something that’s uplifting or funny will allow you to zone out from the worries of the world for even just a moment.
10. Take up something new
You don’t have to be Pablo Picasso or Frida Khalo to have a go at experimenting in the arts. Learning something new, being creative, learning a language, an instrument or even just getting into writing can be done from the comfort of your home. Duolingo is an awesome free language learning program you can access from your computer or phone and YouTube has great free online tutorials for pretty much everything to help get you started with trying a new hobby.
Just remember… this too shall pass. Things won’t always be this way, take one day at a time, enjoy the good moments and know that things will get better.