How to help your kids survive a second lockdown
Victoria started Lockdown 4 this week. Only essential services and businesses are allowed to operate. Victorians have to wear masks when they are out in public and cannot leave during curfew hours (8pm and 5am).
In Sydney, the number of new COVID-19 cases have remained stable but the recent rise in hotspots are causing concern to many Sydneysiders. No one wants to return to a Stage 3 Lockdown.
Our students and parents are naturally concerned so we thought this week we will discuss some strategies to help you and the kids survive a second lockdown. We looked to a recent ABC report on how Melbourne parents are surviving their second COVID-19 quarantine.
1) Look for the positives
Remote schooling will be every parent’s biggest concern. If our kid is social and loves interacting with their school friends, being told he or she has to study from home again will be difficult. We’ve struggled with the first round of online homeschooling. It will be hard to have to repeat it all over again.
When the first wave of lockdown happened, many of us were caught by surprise. We didn’t have a decent table in the house we could work from. We thought it was okay for our kids to sleep in – on school days. We went a little crazy with our grocery shopping. We got angry with the dog. We watched far too much television.
But it didn’t take us long to realise we were doing it all wrong. So, we adapted. We outfitted our homes for work from home and online schooling. We created schedules for the kids to study. We started having real family time. The dog had more walks in three months than it did in its entire lifetime. We stopped bingeing on reality TV and started watching movies that our children could enjoy. We were inspired by celebrities cooking on television with their kids and started doing the same at home.
We coped – and dare we say it? We have some treasured memories. Remember all those lazy afternoon walks with the kids on their bikes or scooters? Easter Egg Hunt at home? Mother’s Day brunch cooked by dad and the kids?
Ask any parent and they will say the silver lining in this tragedy is the extra quality time they had with their children. As parents, it is our role to be strong and supportive of our kids. If we spend all our time feeling sorry for ourselves because of all the activities we cannot do in a quarantine, our kids will also start feeling the same. Our kids love all the times they spent with us in the first lockdown. They are going to love the second round of it. So, stay positive for our kids.
2. Find some ‘me time’
‘Me time’ is important in a second lockdown. Even if it’s only for a few minutes a day. It is a special time that can help us decompress and unwind.
Here are some ideas for the perfect ‘Me Time’:
● A relaxing bath
When the kids are in bed, run a warm bath. Light an aromatherapy candle. Add a few drops of lavender oil into the bathwater. Enjoy. Want to take it further? Try our homemade essential oils blend here.
● A warming cup of tea
A cup of tea is excellent for unwinding after a difficult day in lockdown. Our suggestions: chamomile, peppermint, lemon balm, passionfruit and green tea.
● Mood music.
Those superior headphones you invested for your office Zoom meetings can be put to good use if you want to play some relaxing music to calm your nerves. Spotify has a good range of music for a small subscription.
● Tome sweet tome
Quarantining in winter is a great time to catch up on some reading. This winter, we are recommending four Australian writers: ‘The Life to Come’ – set in Sydney, Paris and Sri Lanka by Michelle De Krester is a mesmerising story about migrants. The Yield – is a powerful intellectual read by young aboriginal writer, June Tara Winch. ‘The Ben Book’ –by new author Michael Galvin is a poignant parent story set in South Australia. Tim Winton’s latest bestseller ‘The Shepherd’s Hut’ is a ‘must-read’ Australian odyssey with confronting themes.
Yoga is great for relaxation and calming. Our favourite beginner’s yoga pose you can try at home:
Dirga Pranayama – A simple three-part breath exercise that does not require any special poses.
Sit or lie down in a comfortable position on the floor, in a chair or on a bed.
Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your rib cage.
Close your eyes and breathe deeply, naturally.
Focus on your breathing. Feel your belly lift and your chest expands as you inhale.
Slowly bring your bottom hand (the one on your belly) to your chest, just below the collarbone. Breathe in slowly. Let your chest rise slowly. Exhale and relax.
When you inhale, your belly lifts, your ribs expand and your chest lifts. When you exhale the reverse happens – your chest drops, your ribs contract and your belly relaxes..
Release your arms. Focus your mind on your breathing. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes. You will feel the difference.
3. Stay connected
Staying connected with family and friends are important in lockdown. Random Zoom times and just having a yarn may seem trivial but it gives us a sense that we are not fighting the battle alone.
The kids should know all about personal hygiene and online safety by now but there’s no reason why you cannot have that conversation again the second time around. Kids do not need sugar-coating in the coronavirus emergency. Frankness and open dialogue will help them survive better.
4. Know when to get help
It is normal to feel overwhelmed and anxious about a second lockdown. You will need time to readjust. If after a few weeks and things have not improved, it may be a sign that you need to seek help. Some symptoms to look out for:
Anxiety or panic attacks
Lack of appetite
You must seek help even if it is with a friend, a family member, a work colleague or your GP.
We don’t have a choice. If we have to experience the apocalypse again, there’s no better place than Sydney to do it.
Stay safe. Be well.