This is tough.

For those that don’t know me, I’m a single foster dad to three kids (primary and secondary school age).

I’m writing this because what’s happening right now is tough. For the most vulnerable. For the key workers. For everyone.

And it’s tough for us too.

This isn’t a ‘look how amazing we are’ post (please see my Instagram for those). This is a ‘we’re struggling too, and these things have helped’ post.

I hope they help you too.

  1. Build some structure.
    For kids like mine, a lack of routine is a huge red flag. For the rest of us, we can cope with change or lack of routine, but not normally for too long. Decide what time you’ll wake up. Stick to a bedtime. Eat 3 meals a day. Build yourself a new routine.
  2. Set a timer.
    I wrote about this before. Set a timer for an hour and go do something. When the timer is up go do something else.  When you take out meals, showers/baths, a daily walk, and a bit of TV before bed, there aren’t many one hour blocks in each day.
  3. Spend time apart.
    Whilst we’re on the timer… with 3 kids, I also use it as a chance to give them time apart (so one kid can go watch TV in the playroom for an hour while the other two play in the garden, etc.).
  4. Eat well.
    Eat as well as you possibly can. This doesn’t mean no treats. It means eating fresh, home-cooked meals as often as possible. Batch-cooking also allows you to keep some quality meals back for tougher days when you can’t face cooking.
  5. Get good sleep.
    Eating well (and ideally within a restricted window of time) fuels this perfectly. It’s tough with kids (I know). If you eat well and sleep well, life becomes easier.
  6. Limit news, social media, and gaming.
    And how do you sleep well? Beyond what you feed your body, think about what you feed your mind. Some things are only good for us in small doses. Some things are just bad for us. (The timer can help here too).
  7. Exercise.
    It’s no secret that a bit of exercise can help us all. Aside from instantly feeling better, you’ll sleep better, and you’ll be more likely to eat better.
  8. Get outside.
    If possible, exercise outside. That might’ve been a bit embarrassing before, but the social rules have changed. Already done your exercise (or, like me, still recovering from yesterday’s!), have a cuppa in the garden (natural morning light is best for minds/bodies).
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