How to stay sane during Coronavirus

not so perfect mum

Whoa! What a year so far! I was hoping that I was going to wake up and find that our new reality was a very unpleasant dream, or waiting for someone to call CUT. As this hasn’t happened, like you I’m trying to do my best every day to navigate my way through this new normal and stay sane during Coronavirus.

Not to say I have all the answers, but I’ve come up with is a few simple ideas, thoughts, steps to help you keep yourself and family on track through this time. There are no facts, figures, how to flatten the curve, graphs or scientific research to be found, just some good old common-sense, honesty, support and love.

How to stay sane during Coronavirus

1 – Back to Basics

Looking after your health is vital. Making sure you have all the basics as well as everyone else is critical.

A few things to remember;

  • Keep yourself hydrated – preferably water more than wine!
  • Eat plenty of healthy foods as much as possible – although I will be eating carbs and cake.
  • Rest and sleep as much as you can.
  • Move your body regularly and exercise – anything from twerking to planks – dancing to pushups.
  • Laughter and fun is the perfect antidote, make sure you bring plenty of this into your daily life.

2 – Helping Others

Compassion, patience, support and kindness is what’s needed at a time like this, and nothing is better than asking if someone else needs anything, or offering some support.

A listening ear, sending an email or message, calling a loved one, or knocking on the door of an elderly neighbour are great ways to let people know you care. There’s no better way to improve your well-being – connect, reach out, or see if there’s a way to give back to your community.

3 – How Are You Coping With Everything?

Fearful?

Anxious?

Do you overreact?

Shout?

Panic?

Freeze?

Run?

We all respond differently depending on the situation, and knowing what your default will help you to gain awareness, and the opportunity to change if you wish to do so.

The next time you find yourself losing the plot because you’ve picked up another pair of socks, or highly charged because your child isn’t doing their school work – take a pause and leave the room. Put yourself in time out – seriously! No amount of shouting raised voices will help. I know because I’ve done it a thousand times.

Take a deep breath, count to one hundred if you need to and only return when you are calm. Self-control is the key – once this is mastered the quality of your life will improve beyond belief. You will need this skill more than ever with everyone being at home!

5 – Be Real

None of us knows when this will be over, and many of us are living in fear. Many of us struggling, afraid or worried, and this is all perfectly normal. I think over the last few weeks I’ve had every emotion under the sun!

It’s ok to say I’m scared.

It’s ok to say I’m worried.

It’s ok to say I don’t know what to do.

Showing vulnerability is not a sign of weakness, and can often give other’s permission to be open with how their feeling.

None of us has all the answers, and if you need support reach out to a professional, trusted friend, or family member. Do not suffer in silence.

6 – Keep To A Routine

With the schools temporarily closed and more people working from home, it could be easy to lose your routine. With a family, it’s essential to keep a routine, as this will help everyone to feel safe, have certainty and structure. Simple to do – Set your morning alarm to your usual time.

Have breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtime at roughly the same time in the weekdays. Schoolwork, play, downtime at the same times in the week and then everyone will begin to know what’s expected and give a flow to the day.

7 – Daily Rituals

Daily rituals are a great way to give your day meaning and purpose.

Meditation, journaling, yoga, reading, podcasts, or even a few deep breaths every morning are positive ways to begin your day. Journaling has the added bonus of dumping all of your unwanted thoughts onto a page and clears them out of your mind – giving you mental space, which you are going to need with there being very little external space!

stay sane during Coronavirus

8 – Family Plan

To say the least, relationships are going to be tested.

You’re going to firstly wonder why you got married to this person, and secondly why you thought having children was such a great idea. With kids home, parents working from home there is going to be little space, and you’d have to be Saint for tensions not to rise. Coming up with a Family Plan on how this is going to work is a great place to begin. Have a family meeting where everyone can have their say on how this will work, and if you want to get creative design an agreement.

Important to connect at this time, make sure everyone understands what’s going on and if they need some extra support or comfort. Then you could meet up once a week to see if any adjustments need to be made (they will!). This very much depends on the age of your children but working together will aid in a more peaceful home.

9 – Space

We all need space. Finding space, a moment to yourself could be challenging. However, you must find a little time each day to do this – even if it’s a case of locking yourself in the bathroom!

10 – Reduce time on social media

The news and your social media feeds are full of negativity. Words like death, self-isolation, pandemic, virus and lockdown are everywhere.

I prefer words like chocolate, holiday, bread and the beach!

Seriously though the news is draining and does affect our mood. Of course, it’s essential to stay informed, but if you’re anything like me looking at the figures rising every hour, this is not going to help.

Reduce the amount of time, to say a few times day, as this will help to keep your focus on the right things, and potentially improve your overall well-being.

11 – Support System

Just because we have social distancing or we cannot go out, doesn’t mean we can’t still meet up. Adjustments have to be made, but we can still arrange things.

Arrange a time once or twice a week to have a virtual coffee or drink with your friends and family.

Arrange a virtual party.

Arrange a virtual movie night.

Time to be creative and think how you and your loved ones can still see each other and be connected.

12 – Clutter-Free

There will be things you’ve been putting off, or haven’t fixed in your home and now is the time to get these things done. There are always drawers, cupboards that need tidying. Clothes that you haven’t worn in years, or hoped you’d fit into once you lost the weight – that need to go in a bag ready for the Charity shop. Garage or loft you haven’t cleared up in years.

Time to get our lives in order and this is a perfect time. The benefits of decluttering go beyond the tangible benefits as it helps you to take control of your home, life and improve your overall well-being.

13 – Think out of the Box

Being openminded, flexible, and the ability to adapt quickly is going to be another useful ingredient to succeeding at this time. We can all look at what we can’t do at this moment and get frustrated or upset.

But, this way of thinking is not going to get you anywhere. Instead, start looking in another direction.

What can I do instead?

What things can I do online?

What can I learn, make, create, bake?

There will be an endless list, as long as you are open to the possibilities.

14 – Blessings in Disguise

I could be pushing it with this one, but what the heck I’m going to brave and mention it!

We live in a fast-paced life, full of distractions and materialism. Rushing around from one thing to another often, without a thought for what or why we do the things we do. Time to put the brakes on and get your priorities in order.

Could this be the time to reassess your values, and what’s most important to you? Could this be the time to connect with people who you’ve lost touch with over the years? Could this be the time to work on your relationships and connections? Could this be the time to bury the hatchet with someone you fell out with years ago? Could this be the time to learn something new or let go of some old baggage. No matter what shows up in life, there is always a gift in there somewhere, if you’re willing to look for the blessing in disguise!

15 – Lots of Love

Patience, kindness, compassion and lots love for yourself and others is essential. Everyone will be dealing with this in their own way.

Some days will go better than others, and sometimes you’ll feel good, other times you may feel anxious. Some times you’ll want to put the kids up for adoption, and other times your heart will be bursting with joy.

Know there will be challenges, there will be highs and lows and things will be ok in the end.

THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN TRYING TO STAY SANE DURING CORONAVIRUS

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ALL YOUR BASIC NEEDS MET.

HELP OTHERS – TAKES YOUR FOCUS OFF YOURSELF & FEELS SO GOOD!

BECOME AWARE OF YOUR DEFAULT IN SITUATIONS.

PUT YOURSELF IN TIME OUT.

BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF AND OTHERS.

KEEP TO A DAILY ROUTINE.

BRING SOME RITUALS INTO YOUR DAILY LIFE.

CREATE A FAMILY PLAN.

GIVE YOURSELF SOME SPACE EACH DAY.

REDUCE TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND NEWS.

VIRTUALLY MEETUP REGULARLY WITH YOUR TRIBE.

DECLUTTER YOUR HOME AND LIFE.

BE OPENMINDED, FLEXIBLE, ADAPTABLE AND OPEN TO THE POSSIBILITIES.

LOOK FOR THE BLESSINGS IN DISGUISE.

PATIENCE, KINDNESS, COMPASSION AND LOTS OF LOVE.

ABOUT THE NOT SO PERFECT MUM

Teresa is the author of the forthcoming book “I should have bought a puppy; Parenting with heart, honesty and humour.” Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.

27 comments

  1. I am doing plenty batch cooking and baking, I’m working my way through a chest freezer full of meat trying to turn it into lots of lovely meals to freeze so we have a hearty hot meal on hand easily

  2. I’m doing arts and crafts, binge watching box sets, reading, practising self-care and lots of cooking and baking.

  3. I’m enjoying having time to do all the reading I’d always love to do but never seem to have enough hours in the day! Plus playing the piano 🙂

  4. I have a 7 month old so my days are pretty busy anyway. I always make sure we go for a walk with the pram everyday to set some sunlight and fresh air.

  5. My sister is pregnant for the first time and is finding this whole thing very dificult. She is trying to keep busy and see the positives but I think it is taking the shine off what should be a very happy time. She is handling it with such grace but I hope blogs like this can really help her feel safer

  6. I’ve been teaching myself to cook (with limited ingredients!) and reading a lot. I also have virtual parties with my friends every Friday eve.

  7. Trying so very hard not to eat my feelings! Going for looooonnng walks, and the house has never been so clean – stay safe all

  8. To be honest I find it very easy (goes with an old job I used to do). It’s a little different now with my son in tow, but lots of play, reading and playing games indoors and when it’s sunny – he helps me in the garden makes the day go by quickly. When I say help, it’s more of him scattering mud everywhere. 🙂

  9. We have been decluttering the loft, and was amazed at what we found up there that had been forgotten about. Have a stack of items for the charity shop when they re-open. Also spending a lot of time in the garden, making the most of the good weather. However, I am looking forward now to eventually being able to get back to work!

  10. ive been a bit teary the last few days think its just taking its toll me, it snuck up though! thought i would be fine but my brain had different ideas! i already struggle with anxiety and ptsd and the uncertainty of the future is some days too much to bear. i have two kids so have to keep plodding on, we will somehow get through this but its just gonna take time. keep positive everyone x

  11. The one thing corona can’t stop me doing, is my favourite pass time, hobby.. Is listen to music and I pop on the music channel and have a boogie with my hubby and daughter. Music is the best medicine.

  12. My first grandchild is six months old so, I’ve been missing him sooooo much. WhatsApp video chats have been the only thing keeping me from losing the plot. I have still been able to see him, play peekaboo & sing to him ect. He tries to climb through the screen to get to me which is, adorable, but, also heartbreaking. How did Grandparents cope before the internet?

  13. We have a routine with breaks in between the day of school work, 11+ plus practice and when the weather has been nice go for daily walk and fun in the garden. Kids like keeping in touch with friends on snapchat and tik tok 🙂

  14. I am keeping busy working in the garden and sorting out things in the house tha I have been putting off for a while!

  15. I make sure I stick to a routine, although mind-numbingly boring and mundane, it is something to focus on. Plus have been doing my mindfulness when I get panic attacks

  16. I’m quite used to being at home due to chronic illness. I always have a routine everyday as that’s what keeps me going. I’ve been planting veg seeds and get really excited seeing them grow. It maybe a small thing but it’s nice to appreciate nature. I’ve also been in my craftroom x

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