During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all had to reorganize our schedules and figure out how to grapple with life inside the house 24/7. Some parents have not only had to work from home but take on roles such as teacher, chef, counselor, child-care provider, and now that summer is here, parents will soon take on the role of camp counselor. So how do we find a work, life, balance? Well, there is no right way to find balance, as it may mean something different for every individual. However, here are 4 tips that might help you find the balance that is right for you.
Change the Structure of your life:
Routines are not only great for children, but adults can also benefit from routines in their life. Take time to schedule out your entire week that includes daily activities. While planning, think about changes that can make your life easier. Is there a route in your commute that will reduce time? Can you use your lunch break to run an errand or indulge in self-care? Moreover, think about tasks that you enjoy doing versus the ones that you dread. Strategically organizing tasks can help you maintain energy and motivation throughout the day to avoid burnout. If possible, schedule your least preferred activities toward the beginning of the day or interchange them with your most preferred activities. In striving for structure, remember that perfectionism is not the goal. Let go of perfectionism and set personal goals based on what is realistic for your life.
Take care of your body:
Living a healthy lifestyle is constantly suggested in the media and on blogs to reduce stress, as we are encouraged to exercise, meditate, and eat healthy. The advice maybe redundant but it works! In these stressful times many may go to their favorite snacks to find comfort; however, avoid overindulging in snacks and make time to cook a healthy meal. Let me guess, you do not have the time? Make dinner a family activity and incorporate the help of your children. Although this may require more patience, it may eventually feel more like a fun activity rather than another task on your to-do list. Time for exercise and meditation can also be done in creative ways. Get active while playing with your children. Take a few moments between tasks to take deep breathes and meditate.
Make Time to Unwind:
Schedule time to complete activities that you enjoy. As it may be difficult to get alone time as a parent, especially during COVID-19, parents may have to get creative with their hobbies. Find a space in your house that brings you joy whether that place is in the garden, basement, or hiding in your bedroom closet. We all need personal space and time to reflect and re-energize.
Create Boundaries: (with tasks and people):
Identify what is important to you. This may look different for everyone, but it will help prioritized your to-do list and trim off things that aren’t necessary. Afterwards, create firm boundaries to devote time to the people and activities high on your list. Trust me, its okay to say no. Creating boundaries allows us to have more time to get things done on our to-do list, as we aren’t constantly adding or stopping to do things that were not originally planned. Boundaries also help us to avoid wasting time on activities and people that do not add value to our lives. If social media and emails prevent you from being productive, then unplug. That may mean turning off email notifications and replying in batches during limited times each day. Create rules and reminders for yourself to keep on-task, whether through phone alerts or sticky notes. To some, setting boundaries may be difficult and seem selfish. However, taking care of yourself is “self-full”, we can’t care for others if we are not we don’t take care of ourselves.