Riding the waves of lockdown

Lockdown!

Prior to this year, lockdown was a drill that was conducted at school preparing the kids should there be an attack at school. Who knew it would become a part of our daily language… but for a very different reason!

As you probably know, Auckland has recently come out of our second lockdown. Melbourne is still in lockdown and as parts of the UK are heading back into lockdown and I feel my heart reaching out to friends and family living in other parts of the world. 

Many of you have been asking me, how did it go second time round. And this may not be what you want to hear, but frankly the second round was not as shiny. Our first lockdown, we enjoyed the stunning autumn weather and made our own fun. The girls learned to ride their bikes, we did loads of craft activities, and read so many books! We had fun, and the online schooling was a breeze.

The recent lock down in August/September was not as great an experience. This could have been a lot to do with the weather, there was a lot more rain for starters. But I think it was more about our energy levels. The term had started with a big bang, school had been very busy trying to catch up on what had been postponed, and a few weeks in everyone was tired. Attempting to then shift our focus to being at home again with online learning, it wasn’t as easy for the girls or for me. They struggled to sit for their lessons and then when it was break time we were stuck indoors because of the weather!

So as a parent, what can you do? When you’re in and out of lockdown, and you find that your energy levels are all over the place. 

Firstly, we have to strengthen our foundation, our anchor during these times. What’s my foundation, my anchor? 

My family. My family are the ones who keep me strong during tough times. My family are the ones who support me during those insane days. My family are the ones I turn to when it all gets too much. 

So how do we strengthen our family? We start by talking. Discussing the things that worry us. Discussing the opportunities that we have. Discussing how we can help each other. 

In addition, having a routine gives you and the other members of your family something to rely on, provides an element of predictability and gives you something that you can control. Think about your day in terms of chunks of time, rather than what you need to achieve each hour, consider morning, midday, afternoon chunks. This gives you freedom to flex with changes in demands and energy.

Once we have a strong foundation, we have to ensure we have the focus we need to achieve everything we want. How do we do that? 

Self care. No, I’m not talking pampering, although if a mani/pedi makes you feel good, make the most of it and enjoy it (when you are able to that is!)

I’m really talking about the basics – sleep, healthy diet and exercise.

You’re probably like me, between juggling work, the girls online schooling and the household, I don’t have time to think about exercise. And that’s exactly where the change is needed, you shouldn’t have to think, it should be part of what you do… every day. Recently I’ve started getting up earlier in the morning and doing some pilates before I start my day, as we head into warmer weather it’s a lot easier to make the most of the early mornings.

Be conscious to turn your device off earlier in the evening. Don’t allow screen time to impact on your sleep.

Instead of reaching for a cookie, grab a banana or an apple instead. Little changes can make a big difference 🙂

Stop now, and think about yourself and your family. Have you built a strong foundation? Have you been taking good care of yourself? What will you do differently tomorrow?

Although it sounds simple, it’s not easy, especially with so much change and uncertainty around us. But there is no denying how important all of this is.

If you ever want to chat, someone to sound things out with, do not hesitate to reach out to me – you can use this link if you want to chat. Or send me an email emily@expatparentingabroad.com, I can support you that way too. Please know that I am always here for you. 

No matter where you are in the world, stay safe and stay calm.  

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