Flu season comes in all-caps for most parents. Every day dreading that call from school or daycare asking you to come and pick up your child.
When it happens your life easily turns into chaos and all you can think of are all the things that now won’t get done.
If this is you, you are not alone! Here are 6 tips to better manage during flu season. Tips that will help you stay sane, get done what’s really important and of course, care for your sick child.
Let's get to it!
1. Worry gets you nowhere
Are you a worrier? I’m not a natural worrier, which means before having kids I don’t think I ever worried about anything. Becoming a parent turned this on it’s head though and it was all a bit of a shock.
All of a sudden there was little person to worry about... a fever what does it mean?? He’s coughing - could it be pneumonia?? And so my thoughts went on.
A mom’s worry can range of course, everything from a mild twinge of concern to heart-thudding panic. Now with three kids I eased a bit but I’m still probably somewhere in the middle.
Then with the likes of Google and social media, that little spark of worry can easily turn into full-blown anxiety inferno. The truth is, doing research online makes us feel like we’re doing something productive - like we’re problem solving - when in fact we’re just fretting.
My conclusion is, worrying does nothing but taking your time and energy away from better things, like making a plan...
2. Planning makes perfect - or near enough, anyway.
Be prepared. You want to make sure that before you get that call, you take some time to figure this out.
What will be your plan of action? Can you take time off work? Sometimes? All the time? If not who can help, your partner, a family member or a friend? Is there a service you can use?
Make a plan now and you can prepare the people involved, talk to your child explain what will happen, brief the person that will be in charge.
Do it early and you can remove heaps of unnecessary stress from your life.
3. Sleep when you can.
As a mom, you know all about disrupted nights. During flu season the sleeplessness can quickly go into overdrive and if we’re not careful we can run ourselves deep into the ground.
The trick here is to acknowledge the facts. It’s flu season, there are going to be disrupted nights!
The sooner you acknowledge this the better, and you can start to get some sleep when you can. Try to go to bed 15 min earlier. Skip that extra episode of your favourite show. Do what it takes to get some extra sleep!
I know it’s not fun, the little downtime you have you now need to swap for sleep - but trust me it can make the difference between complete exhaustion and manage quite well.
You’ll be more well-rested, which not only means that you are less likely to get sick yourself but you will also be less stressed and therefore more able to actually see the enjoyment in life.
These are strategies to think of before that dreaded call, next I share a few tips on what to do when your kid does get sick.
The first thing to do when you learn that your child is sick and needs caring for is to reset. Instead of rushing to fetch your child, quite likely in a state of panic thinking of all the things you have on that day, take 5 minutes to stop and reset your day. Look at what you have on and decide what is most important.
Don’t try to do them all in miracle time, instead decide what is most important and then delete, delegate or move the other things to later.
Remember here to focus on what is most important - leave the urgent but unimportant things for someone else to sort.
Do this and you will be able to get the most out of the day instead of feeling that you are constantly running behind.
5. Let go of your standards.
Okay, we’re in flu season, time to let go of your ideal image of parenting and do what works.
If your child likes tv, let them watch it - all day if it helps. Having pizza for dinner three days on the trot - that’s okay too. Ease into whatever works.
Your years of good parenting will not unravel just because you let go a bit. Instead, it’ll take heaps off your stress barometer och you can regain some sense of control.
6. Look on the bright side.
Yep, here we go. I am going to ask you to look on the bright side. Trust me, there are upsides with this. You only need to look beyond the stress and anxiety to see what it is.
Is it that you get a bit of extra special time with your child? Maybe this is an opportunity to clear that kitchen cupboard once and for all? Or simply you might feel grateful that it’s not worse than the flu. Whatever light there is look for it and enjoy it.
So those were my top tips for staying sane through the flu season, which one will you try. Share in the comments below.
In today’s consumerist world, it’s easy to accumulate unnecessary clutter in your home that leaves you feeling distracted, stressed out and even anxious. If this sounds like you, perhaps it’s time to reorganise and get rid of all that extra stuff.
Decluttering can feel time-consuming and exhausting but it’s well worth it! To prove our point, we’ve put together a list of our top five reasons why you should tidy and declutter your home and life.
1. Mess causes stress.
Studies have shown that the more stuff you have, the more stress you experience. This is particularly true for women who are more prone to high cortisol (stress hormone) as a response to excess clutter.
Perhaps this is because, as women, we tend to associate an untidy home with personal failure, inevitably drumming up feelings of guilt and anxiety.
On top of this, messy environments signal to your brain that your work is never done, opening you up to feelings of anxiety and helplessness. Although the thought of decluttering your space can seem daunting, research shows that the less time spent dealing with your belongings, the more relaxed you will be.
So, putting in the effort today can help you become more happy, calm and relaxed in the future.
2. Clutter in the home is clutter in the mind.
Have you ever found that having a messy desk makes it harder to get stuff done? This is because your brain has a hard time differentiating between what is clutter and what is actually important.
We don’t know where to start so we end up doing nothing at all.
These feelings of being overwhelmed not only make you less capable of effectively processing information, but also make you more prone to frustration.
Research shows that decluttering your work and living spaces makes it easier for your brain to focus as you no longer have clutter competing for your attention. By surrounding yourself with order and tidiness, you’re more likely to have a productive and focused mind.
3. It wastes your time.
This one is simple; the less clutter you have lying around, the less time you’ll spend cleaning. In fact, studies show that getting rid of clutter reduces household cleaning by a whopping 40%.
Plus, when every item has a purpose and a place in your home, you’ll be able to avoid countless time-wasting tasks such as searching for your keys, or sifting through an endless wardrobe of clothes you no longer wear.
Reduce your possessions and you’ll quickly notice how much more efficient and manageable your daily routine becomes, without the usual snags that trip you up along the way.
4. Flex your decision-making muscles.
In decluttering your space, try to be as selective as possible, choosing wisely to keep only the most important and necessary items.
Deciding which things to keep and which things to get rid of is a great opportunity to practise your decision-making skills. A skill that will serve you well in all aspects of your life.
5. Clutter is unhealthy.
Do you have old clothes hanging in the back of the closet, or discarded toys in the corner of the garage?
Items you no longer use are quite literally collecting dust and making your space unhealthier. Junk items make it more difficult to clean, inevitably leading to a build-up of dirt and dust that directly affects air quality in your home.
A thorough spring clean (regardless of the time of year) will purify the air you breathe, impacting your physical and mental wellbeing.
Now you know why it is important, it's time to take action. Would you like me to tell you about the easy way to start decluttering your life and surroundings, then grab our free Declutter Challenge and start today. It only takes 10min a day.
Imagine your life away from stresses and frustration to happy and in control. Download your declutter worksheet here.
HANNA GIRLING, wife, mother, business owner, mindset coach, sport enthusiast and forever an optimist.