Being a parent during lockdown is tough. Being a new parent is even harder. The early days and weeks of parenthood are full of self-doubt, panic, euphoria and a whole lot of other emotions in between.
Having loved ones close to hand who can call in whenever you need them is huge. Not having that physical support network around you is hard. Facetime and other types of video calling are great, but sometimes you just need a hug. A bit of physical contact to let you know you’re doing ok. Covid-19 means we can’t have that at the moment from anyone outside our household.
So, to give a helping hand to new parents, Sheridan Smith has put together eight ideas to give new (and not so new) parents a helping hand.
Breath control has been used for centuries to calm the nervous system and reduce stress. Studies have found these techniques can help to alleviate symptoms associated with anxiety, insomnia and depression. The app offers ‘Daily Calm’ sessions which focus on guided breath control and meditation. The sessions have exclusive music tracks designed to help you unwind, sleep or get energised.
If falling asleep is an issue, try listening to a Sleep Story. It has a multitude of dreamy, nostalgia inducing tales to choose from, all read by well-known actors and actresses with melodic voices and sure to help you drift off.
The Calm App is available for use on Android or IOS.
Containing lavender, Vetiver and Chamomile, this extra strength version of the award-winning, 100% natural pillow spray is the perfect last step to your bed-time routine. Spray liberally on your pillows or pyjamas before you turn in and the motion activated technology will release the mind-calming fragrance continually throughout the night, setting you up for a deeper and less restless sleep.
This Works also do a baby sleep spray (for six months onwards), which is safety approved and formulated to help settle your little one. A great addition to your routine when creating a regular sleep pattern – for both you and your little one.
Take Advice on the Chin
As any parent will know, when you bring home your little one, everyone and their dog wants to give you their advice. With family and friends unable to visit during the lockdown, you may receive more of these unsolicited opinions than usual. While much of it may be incredibly beneficial and comforting, don’t feel you have to accept or integrate all of it. Trust your own gut and take advice or opinions with a pinch of salt.
In the first few months, as you exist in that glorious little bubble of new parenthood, your idea of a delicious meal will likely be a shared bargain bucket and a full fat fizzy drink. After a few weeks though, you may start to feel that you’d like to introduce food sources other than ‘beige’ and ‘microwave friendly’ into your diet.
However, the last thing you want to think about when you’re a new a parent, is creating perfectly balanced, nutritious meals. Wouldn’t it be fab if someone could send you all of the ingredients for a range of healthy and delicious meals, perfectly measured out with no waste, and easy to follow recipe cards, straight to your door?
Whilst some recipe box delivery services are not accepting new customers during this period of lockdown, some still are.
Simply Cook, provides four easy to follow recipe kits. Each one contains balanced, authentic flavour pots to be combined with a few ingredients you’ll likely already have in your fridge. Which means you don’t have to source and buy all of the spices, herbs and pastes. All of the meals take no longer than 20 minutes to do.
Gousto is another fantastic option for new parents. You choose from a bucket load of delicious recipes, with all ingredients perfectly portioned so there’s no waste. You also choose how many servings you need, the frequency of deliveries and the day of the week you’d like them delivered. It’s a fantastic way to take the weight of food shopping and coming up with recipes off your shoulders.
Memories for the Future
A diary or scrapbook to document every milestone, collect photographs and write letters for your child to read in years to come is a beautiful way to pass the time in lockdown and create a unique gift for your child. There are many sellers on Etsy, such as Life of Sprout offering handmade or custom books ready for you to start filling in.
Without any form of structure, our lives can feel chaotic and unproductive. Implementing a consistent daily routine will shape your day. This can go a long way to managing anxiety or overwhelming feelings during this time.
Creating a schedule can help everyone feel more secure. Get older children involved in planning a timetable of activities, screen time and meals.
Another fab way to engage older kids and also enjoy some precious bonding time is getting creative together. Hobbycraft have a fantastic blog where they list endless children’s craft activities, from simple paper crafts, to painting projects. Creating works of art is a great way of learning through play too.
Getting active is also a great way to have fun together whilst lowering stress levels and dispensing any pent-up energy. Now that the lockdown restrictions have been relaxed a bit, it’s easier to get out and about in the fresh air.
For days when you don’t feel like going out, there’s a wide range of activities available online. Some celebrities like Oti Mabuse have been doing free dance classes for kids like this one on YouTube. Joe Wicks has been streaming free live exercise sessions – P. E. with Joe – for kids (and adults) since the start of lockdown.