Home > Health > Mind > How To Keep Your Cool As A Mum While The World Goes To Sh%t!

Between Omicron, Boris Johnson party-gate and overall January blues – it’s been an intense couple of weeks. But while the world continues to bicker and implode, it’s important to prioritise your mental health and take regular breaks from the stresses of everyday living. We offer 5 top tips on how to remain relaxed, calm and centred when the world is losing the plot.

How many of you wake up each morning feeling as if you’re living in an awful dystopian thriller with bad actors and never-ending plot twists? We surely can’t be the only ones. Between news of new Covid variants, politicians behaving abysmally, the constant threat of our lives being restricted yet again, and the cost of living going through the roof, we’ve quite thankfully had enough.

And when you consider that amidst all of this, we are tasked with raising children and sheltering them from the instability of the world…well frankly Mama, you are a superstar, and you should give yourself a huge pat on the back for making it through. But we were put on earth to do more than survive, right? So, if you are ready to use that New Year energy to carve out space to calm your mind, body and soul and tune out all the noise, then we hope you can take inspiration from our list.

1. Minimise screen time

There was once a time when social media offered a bit of respite from all the harrowing and weighty subjects covered in the mainstream news and daily press. But that sadly is no longer the case. It’s now becoming increasingly difficult to avoid the onslaught of scary headlines, predictions of gloom and horrifying situations that’s happening across the globe, when you log onto social media platforms. In fact, the phenomenon became so pronounced during the start of the pandemic that it led to Oxford dictionary proclaiming ‘doomscrolling’, as one of their words of the year, described as compulsively scrolling through social media for news that is depressing or worrying. While we in no way suggest you give up social media entirely, as we recognise it can also be a fantastic source for good when it comes to championing worthy causes and creating communities of like-minded individuals. Having said that, taking regular breaks is one of the fastest ways you can improve your mental health. Study after study has shown that if left unregulated, constant use of social media can lead to anxiety, and low self-esteem. So, to provide some balance why not go old school and commit to reading 1-2 hard copy books per month? Or perhaps instead of just resorting to text messages and voice notes to communicate with your friends, actually pick up the phone and speak to them from time-to-time. We often think we have to implement huge changes to our lifestyles to harness change, but small acts of this nature can improve your mental wellbeing exponentially.

2. Declutter your mind

The overuse of social media is also a contributing factor when it comes to mind clutter. In addition to the hundreds of minutes we spend per week on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, if we add our daily tasks/responsibilities to the list – homework schedules, extra-curricular activities for the kids, home décor projects, holidays to book – it’s. a. LOT! When our mind is on a constant loop of information overload combined with a never ending ‘to do’ list, it’s easy for feelings of overwhelm to take over which can induce stress, anxiety and even feelings of depression. When was the last time you took even 5 minutes to sit in complete silence? While that’s not always a possibility especially when you have small children, you have to try and find ways to declutter your mind. Meditation apps like Mindspace, Calm and Buddhify are great sources for helping you stay focused during your quest to quieten your mind, and most of them offer free trials and membership costs that are equivalent to a daily cup of coffee from the local café.

3. Schedule in silly time

We often state that children are resilient, and this couldn’t be more evident in how they’ve conducted themselves during the pandemic. Yes, there’s no denying that the mental health of children and teenagers have been negatively impacted and rightly there are calls for the government to address the fallout from lockdown as incidents of anxiety and depression among the young have increased over the last two years. However, for many children (young children in particular), they must be commended for how much they’ve adapted to the challenging times. Children are definitely torch bearers when it comes to helping us to come out of our heads and embrace living in the present moment. So, every day for at least 10 minutes commit to pressing pause on the never ending ‘to do’ list and immerse yourself in unbridled, silly playtime joy with your kids.

4. Sleep! Sleep! Sleep!

We’ve said this before and will continue to drive the message home until you take heed – don’t skimp on your beauty sleep. One of the easiest ways to fast track to a healthy body and mind is to get as much quality rest as you can. Of course we acknowledge that there may be impediments that prevent you from getting unbroken sleep like your baby or child waking up repeatedly through the night, and if this is the case, we definitely recommend you taking action to make up for your sleep deficit like hiring a Night Nanny. Truthfully, we should view the importance of sleep in the same manner we do with other things we deem crucial to our health and wellbeing like our eating habits and keeping tabs on our alcohol intake. Sleep is insanely good for us, helping to rid our bodies of toxin, improve the function of our brains, and lessen the chance of us developing health conditions like diabetes and obesity.

5. Find something to look forward to – book that holiday/weekend trip

Mid-late January is considered the most depressing time of the year due to the abysmal weather (if you live in colder climates), and the likelihood of having low funds in your bank account due to the big expense accumulated during the festive season. Having something to look forward to will definitely help to induce feelings of happiness and peace of mind. Booking a holiday or spring/summer excursion is one of the most effective ways to overcome the winter blues. Take advantage of the January sales by putting securing those seats on a plane (or you can even just leave a deposit if funds are low). With many travel restrictions being lifted now we’d say this is the perfect time to do so.

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