Fall can be wonderful…holiday traditions, family gatherings, travel … and new germs. “I don’t feel good,” is a line parents never like to hear from their children. Especially not before the busy holiday season. Unfortunately, once your child is sick, preparations begin for the inevitable parent cold. How to parent like a champion when you feel off?
Here are some self-care tips on how to parent like a champ when you feel off to help prevent going there:
CALM YOUR NERVES. Incorporating simple breathing techniques into your daily routine will help to maintain a sense of well-being, calm, and focus. Deep, slow full breaths have a profound effect on resetting the stress response, and stimulating the vagus nerve activating your rest and digest system. Creating a daily practice, even for a few minutes a day – while waiting in the coffee line, or while on hold on the phone– creates a skill that, in time, you will be able to turn on as needed.
GET SLEEP. Studies show that people who don’t get enough quality sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus If you have babies or toddlers, nap when they nap. If you have older children, implement quiet time. Aiming for consistent bedtime hours and staying away from electronics about an hour before retiring will also help you get more restful sleep.
STOCK UP. Keep supplies on hand, such as frozen bone broth and veggies, vitamin c packs (like Elderberry Efferr C) and coconut water w/o added sugar. Also, look into N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) if you’re feeling a little depleted.
BRING OUT NEW TOYS. Keep a stash of new small toys for days like when you are sick so your kids can quietly play while you rest. Try printable coloring pages or have coloring books available, and playdoh ready.
LOWER YOUR STANDARDS. Your goal is to keep everyone alive. The house will be messy and dishes will be piling up. You can clean later.
KEEP A GRATITUDE JOURNAL. Every cell in your body is constantly listening to your thoughts. We are what we think. By writing down the things that you are thankful for you can increase your positive thinking; value what makes you happy and reduce stress.
TAKE A SHORT WALK & LOOK UP. According to Dr. Conn, awareness of the sky can help anyone under stress experience their situations in a larger context. So go outside, take a stroll and notice the blue sky, clouds, and any flowers you pass by.