As a parent carer, we've reached out to anyone in our community who has the double whammy of a caring role and a homeschooling role. Of course, many of us also have a 'working' role too! It's a lot of hats to wear. And we've been wearing them for a long time.
So this blog is to say,
"'we see you and you are not alone"
We're sharing tips from our community, that might be helpful for you. And I've included some insights from my experience as a Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner (mindset stuff), which quite honestly have (mostly) saved my sanity.
Firstly, everyone's situation is individual - from whether we have access to support and respite, if we work, have access to a support bubble, or if we (or our children/cared for) are extremely clinically vulnerable.
And not forgetting, we each travel through life with our own (limiting) beliefs about our capabilities, our own emotions, and our own level of mental health right now.
So be kind. But mostly, be kind to yourself.
We each have different pressures. But what we do have in common, is that we have taken a large step up in responsibility, and in demands for our time and attention.
Many of us describe our situation as a "pressure cooker". And what does a pressure cooker need? A valve - to release the pressure and stop us boiling over! So what are our valves?
Three ways to release the emotional pressure
1. Put ourselves first
Yup, you heard that right. We cannot help anyone if we're knackered, burnt out, exhausted - or whatever word fits. We also exacerbate problems, when we're in this 'place'. When we're depleted, we understandably can find ourselves feeling resentful. Perhaps acting from an unbeneficial emotional state such as 'victim' or 'martyr'. Anyone recognise those? I know I do.
And what's more - our energy and moods are contagious. The good and the bad.
There are so many quotes that recognise that we must look after ourselves and no doubt we've all hearted them on social media from time to time. But what are we actually doing about it?
"You can't pour from an empty cup"
"Put your own oxygen mask on first"
But what does putting ourselves first even look like? And how on earth do we find the time? Valid questions. Take care though - these questions can easily become excuses.
I've deliberately avoided the words self-care and self-love so far, but no doubt you've worked out that's what we're talking about here.
Firstly. It's not selfish - it's essential!
Secondly. There is always time, I promise you (as a Mum of three). We sometimes need to think creatively, but there are many ways to rest - it's not just sleep. Keep reading! We just need to identify it and then allow ourselves to benefit.
For ideas on what self-care can look like, especially for those very short on time, our blog "How to care for yourself when there's not time to care for yourself" could be your lifeline right now.