For many parents, it feels like the lockdown may never end. A lot of us are starting to buckle under the pressure of being full-time parents as well as doing a full-time job from home. It’s not just the stress. It’s the uncertainty. It’s not knowing when you’ll be able to return to normal life, much less feel safe returning to normal life. It’s not knowing which words of reassurance to offer our kids. It’s trying to remain loving and chipper, even though the effects of cabin fever can make our spouses seem intensely irritating. It’s feeling alone, no matter how many people live under your roof. It’s feeling sluggish, unloved or unattracted. It’s feeling as though our emotions have run out of control and that we feel alternately angry, sad and exhausted every day. 

The good news is that when lockdown gets you down, there’s always something you can do to pick yourself up. 

Dress to impress (even if you’re a single parent)

A couple of months into lockdown and many of us haven’t worn “outside clothes” since we left the workplace. However, while wearing your PJs all day every day may be comforting at first, it can actually have a detrimental effect on your health and self-perception.

Let’s face it, it’s hard to feel desirable in a Spongebob Squarepants onesie. 

Dress to impress. Wear something that makes you feel confident, empowered or sexy. Give your legs, armpits and other areas a shave or try one of these alternatives to waxing. Style your hair or wear makeup just for the fun of it. Don’t just to it to impress your significant other. Do it for you. You deserve to feel good about yourself. 

Pamper yourself 

Parenting is never an easy ride. But under lockdown, the trails and stresses of parenthood can be all-consuming, to the point where your only reprieve comes in those stolen moments where you go to the bathroom. 

Now, more than ever, it’s important to get your daily dose of “you” time and find an opportunity to relax. Whether this is a relaxing lie down with a facemask, a long soak in the tub or a foot bath while you watch a movie, it’s important to pamper yourself and give yourself something to look forward to every day. 

Make yourself a smoothie!

While it’s tempting to turn to sugary, fatty and salty comfort foods when we’re feeling low, the fleeting comfort they give us can be offset by hours of self-loathing. When you feel down, you need a hit of natural nutrients to reconfigure your brain chemistry and help you to feel nourished and energized. But if you don’t have the time or energy to cook, try making one of these mood boosting smoothies to give your mood an all-natural pick-me-up. 

Tell yourself “soon… but later”

Finally, it’s easy to think of things solely in terms of what you can’t do and whom you can’t see. But perhaps the words we say have meaning, even if we only say them in our heads. Instead of thinking about what you can’t do , think about what you can’t do yet. Tell yourself you’ll be able to do those things soon… but later.