Life lately has become increasingly like Groundhog Day don’t you think? Except we don’t get to control what is happening – ha we wish! If you’re sick of the same routine, seeing the same faces, doing the same old thing day in and day out during this bleak lockdown then you are not alone. It’s hard to find a spring in your step when you’ve got that Groundhog Day feeling and every day feels drearily the same.
If you – like me – are sick to the back teeth of every day feeling the same, then today I’m sharing some tips from Psychology and Neuroscience Expert Ruth Kudzi on how to break the monotony of that Groundhog Day feeling….
Tips on surviving the never-ending Groundhog Day feeling that pandemic parenting, homeschooling and working from home has become…
Parents have been balancing looking after children, homeschooling, entertaining all whilst working from home and trying to keep on top of the housework, cooking and laundry. No wonder many of us now feel that it’s like Groundhog Day!
We have all been on an emotional rollercoaster over 2020 and now into 2021, with many of us feeling out of control and fearing the unknown.
Firstly, allow yourself to feel your emotions and sit with them – whether you are feeling; sadness, anger, frustration, responsibility…. give yourself permission to process your emotions. Every-time you feel angry, sad, despondent – allow yourself to JUST BE, you can even say aloud ‘it’s ok to feel this’. When you have allowed time for processing, go back to what you can control. What are the small things you can do which make you feel better?
Maybe this is a great time to introduce family meditation – a great place to start is Headspace app or you could all learn some breathing exercises and techniques that you can do together. A simple calming exercise is breathing in for 3 seconds, hold for 4 seconds and breath out for 5 seconds.
Find an empowering motto or quote that means a lot to you and your family
This is a great activity that you can do together – once you find a quote that resonates, put it everywhere – print the quote/motto out and stick it up in the house, have it on phone/laptop screen savers… you could maybe change this weekly/monthly…
Daily Routines and Family Plan
Plan the day so your children know what to expect. Having a routine and trying to schedule your day is really beneficial for all – many find comfort in from a routine and it’s particularly important for children. Routines provide a sense of control and stability. It may be that you use post-it notes on a wall to make the routine clear – this also means you can mix up the day a bit to make it not feel so samey each day.
Be Clear on Expectation with Those Who Are Supporting You
If you co-parent or if you have access to a support bubble – be clear on expectations. Have honest conversations about how you are feeling and what would work well for you. Try and share the responsibility. If your family live far away – can you call on their expertise? Could they deliver a specific lesson via video call or could they read a bedtime story over FaceTime? Also make it clear to your child when you’re working – you could maybe have a poster on the door?
Maybe try to introduce a ‘quiet hour’ in your household where the TV and music is off.
Clear the Space
If your are finding that your dining room table or living room has been taken over – buy boxes for each child and at the end of homeschooling activities, try to get them to clear the space and pop work in a box. This helps the shift between schooling time and home time.
There’s lots of parenting groups, ideas and crafts available to view online or download. CBBC is also a good place to turn to. You don’t have to start from scratch – be inspired by others.
Be Aware of Doom scrolling
Phone use has increased massively during lockdown as many people are looking for connection, support and thoughts on what is happening in the world – we’re all longing for answers, clarity and connection. We are faced daily with a constant stream of noise, thoughts, comments and strong beliefs on social media, news channels, conversations. This can feel overwhelming – yet, many of us find ourselves scrolling more and more…
We are often drawn toward this as we are hardwired to focus on the negatives and convince ourselves the worst will happen – it’s linked to our primal instinct for survival – to know everything in order to be prepared. We don’t respond well to uncertainty and therefore try to look at what we can control and try our best to fill in the gaps and try to find the answers.
You are in control of what you see – if there are certain people, channels, news outlets that make you angry, upset, frustrated, overwhelmed… you can mute them or hide them for a while. Maybe set yourself online hours and then hide your laptop or mobile or pop it back in its case… in order to try and ensure you’re not tempted to quickly check something.
Late-night when our brain is tired isn’t a great time to start to fuel your thoughts, yet it tends to be the time that most of us do, try and establish a new bedtime routine for relaxation.
Be kind to yourself
This is tough… like really tough… and some days won’t go well. Try to fit in some mood-boosting activities such as; going for a walk, preparing your favourite meal, watching a film/tv show or read a book, pamper yourself – facial/nice bath/paint your nails…
Set competitions and rewards
Children are used to rewards at school, star of the week, etc… could you put in place an exciting reward scheme at home? You included. We all need reasons to smile right now and sometimes it’s the small things that help – a new book, a bath bomb, a letter box brownie slabs or personalised cookies.
We hope the above tips will help give you some ideas on how you can break that Groundhog Day feeling because goodness knows we all desperately need it right now!
Have you been feeling trapped in a Groundhog Day feeling? Do feel free to let it all out below….
About Ruthi Kudzi
Psychology and Neuroscience Expert Ruth Kudzi, 42, is a busy mum of two from London – she is an author, a podcast host and one of the UK’s most successful Coaching Trainers, who is a development fanatic with an acute hunger for knowledge in neuroscience, psychology, neuroplasticity, personality and human behaviour, which she has fed for the past 25 years!
Picture credit: Hand photo created by wayhomestudio – www.freepik.com