As coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread across the globe, Britons are being advised to stay at home to self isolate - even if they only have mild coronavirus symptoms, in a bid to "flatten the curve" of infected people.
This not only includes working parents but also school children, which can be very challenging for parents who have children at home too, who need to juggle work and childcare.
More related articles:
But how do we as parents cope with a lockdown and what can we do to ensure the home stays as happy and peaceful as possible in these difficult times?
Although you don't have to be out the door by a certain time, it's important to maintain a routine for your day. So while it might be tempting to stay in your pyjamas all morning, try to wake up at your usual time, get dressed, get the family dressed and have a productive day.
If you have time, make a fun timetable for the family. It doesn't have to be strict, it can just be a list of jobs or ideas to do that day and can be a good resolution to the constant 'i'm bored' moaning you'll be hearing.
Despite the doom and gloom in the news, the weather seems to be on the up with spring just around the corner.
Although we've been advised to stay indoors, it's important to make sure the whole family is getting enough fresh air.
Go for a walk each day, do a bit of gardening, wash the cars or even have a game of eye-spy outside. Any way you can get them outdoors and away from screens is a good idea!
On those days when the sun isn't shining, there are loads of online exercise videos you and your little ones could do together in the living room or open space.
Have some alone time
Whether it's your drive to work or those few hours it's just you in the house by yourself, you won't realise how much you miss (and need) this alone time with yourself before it's gone.
Try to dedicate an hour in the evening for some you time, maybe just after you've put the kids to bed for you to relax, unwind, read a book or have a bath to find your happy place.
There’s a lot going on right now...a lot to be anxious about... . The most stressful information for our mind and body system is that which is uncertain, unknown, and out of our control. With the most recent travel bans and precautions being taken all over the world, it makes sense for our “threat” alarm to go off, completely throwing us off balance and creating dysregulation in our whole system. . These suggestions are here for you as just a small reminder of the things that are within our control. I can also acknowledge the privilege in my words. It is truly a luxury in our culture to have the time to soothe, distract, and adjust our finances, especially for those who are barely making ends meet. . There will be so many of us affected by the changes that will roll out over the coming weeks. I wish I had words of wisdom to share, or answers, but there are none. Just the thought that this is a time to connect, share our human struggle, and support one another in the best way we can. . How are you keeping yourself calm during this difficult time?
Having that little yay dance inside is very important for both you and your children and while you might usually get that feeling of achievement from work and they might feel it at school, it's important to maintain having those little feelings of accomplishment.
Both you and your children can mimic these feelings at home. Whether they have a really good clear out of their bedrooms or you FINALLY clean out the oven! Try and do something each day that will give you that feeling.
How are the mums on #mumtribe coping?
Alisa Adams says: "I highly recommend the calm app for a moment out if you are feeling really anxious and I sometimes do it with my children, we all lay on the floor and deep breathe listening"
Andie Langridge: "I'm really struggling to get basic medicine for my toddler because panic buyers are grabbing it all. My daughter has a nasty cold and is also teething and finding Calpol in shops has been a struggle so i'm using honey and lemon to soothe her."
Kelly MacDonald: "We are just carrying on as normal for now. My husband is a training instructor for the fire service. The building alongside his has been shut down so they are working from home but my husband is currently just still going into work until they know anything further about working from home. He’s also an on call crew manager firefighter so won’t have much choice about attending calls since it’s part of the emergency services. We have six children and I have asthma. I have sent my children to school as normal since I feel that's the safest anyway at the moment. My worry is school closing and as my husband has to go to work anyway attending vulnerable people that we are more likely to get it being isolated..."
Tiffany Fitzpatrick: "I’m worried about my two nans! Both have loads of underlying conditions and both in their 80s. My mum is her mum's carer, but even mum's 60 with health issues herself! And quite a few people look after my dad's mum, again all over 70!"
Celia Stanworth: "I’m a Church bellringer and the big national competition has just been cancelled (eliminators next weekend, final in June). However the thing that's hitting us hardest is our local groups are shutting down, as has the local mental health café. We aren’t self isolating, but we’re feeling isolated."
Emma Dart: "For now we’re carrying on as normal but being extra vigilant with hygiene...trying to make sure the kids do the same - wiping down the high chairs in our local coffee shop etc. For now our baby groups are still running and we’re starting a drop off point at the local school for supplies to distribute to the elderly and vulnerable. I do find people stock piling incredibly selfish as there are many families who can’t afford to do this and live day-to-day. A month ago people were spreading the hashtag #bekind because a celebrity had taken their own life and the sentiment seems to have been quickly forgotten by many."
Neha Lau: "Having to carry on as normal, I work for the NHS so have no choice. Worried if schools and nursery close as they are my childcare, and we have been told it would be unpaid careers leave if we have to stay at home to look after them! Plus with an 18 month old I don't think I will able to get any work done at home. Will have to work something out with the hubby. It's crazy seeing the shelves empty. I had to try several big supermarkets before I could get nappies. Feel so sorry for the people struggling to get basic medication like paracetamol or baby formula. It's crazy!
Alexandra Bufton: "I've made the decision to take my daughters out of school and nursery. My 8-year-old is asthmatic and and I have 6-month-old who was premature and born with respiratory distress syndrome and had breathing support. I’m not willing to test her lungs and immune system just yet. My husband is self employed but luckily he works alone 90% of the time and we can’t afford my daughter bringing it home and stopping him working until necessary."
If you need further advice and information about coronavirus (COVID-19) please visit the NHS website.