It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, or so the saying goes. And if you drive along the streets with their cheery, twinkling lights, you’d be forgiven for thinking that there’s nothing different. Thoughts should be turning to the festive period, of winding down and spending much-needed time with our loved ones. Sadly, for most of us, Christmas isn’t the only thing on our minds this year.
There’s no doubt, the arrival of Covid-19 has radically changed everything. How we live, socialise, work, exercise and even how we celebrate. As a parent, it's especially hard. Many of the usual Christmas traditions are on pause this year. With long nights and cold winter days, it’s even more difficult to entertain kids and stop them, and we're going stir crazy!
For parents, the reopening of schools in September has brought new challenges and concerns. Those with pre-existing medical conditions are naturally concerned about their children coming into contact with others. Working parents worry that at any-time, their children may have to self-isolate, signalling the return of the often-dreaded ‘home-schooling.’ At some schools, this has already happened on a regular basis, disrupting children’s education and parent’s jobs.
Then, there are parents with mental health issues. Imagine you’ve got OCD about hygiene issues. You don’t know what your children touched that day, who they’ve sat near or how much they washed their hands. Did someone in the class cough near them? All these thoughts would race through your mind continuously. Every single day is beyond stressful and must feel scarily out of control.
Christmas Cold and Flu
The reality is that all parents are feeling anxious to some degree. We’re more concerned about the normal winter bugs than usual. At the first cough or sniffle, our mind turns to Covid-19. Should we tell the school? Should we be self-isolating? Do they need to take a test? The reality is that it’s probably just a cold or the flu, something that happens every winter. Something we don’t normally pay that much attention to, and having kids, winter bugs would normally be water off a duck’s back. This year’s different though. Tough decisions are having to be made. We’re desperate to see our loved ones, especially grandparents at Christmas, but is it worth the risk?
How to Cope with Anxiety around Christmas colds, Flu and Covid-19
Follow all of the government’s guidance, wash hands regularly, cover your face, cough and sneeze into your elbow, keep your space from others and if you can, book a flu jab. That way, you can minimise the chance of catching colds, flu and Covid-19.
It’s so important to maintain a connection with family, friends and the community during this pandemic. Whether it's regular phone or video calls, Marco Polos or a Whatsapp group, make it a priority to keep in touch with loved ones. KEEP TALKING. It’s what keeps us sane, gives perspective and a feeling that we’re in this together. Make plans for something to do together when it becomes feasible. Taking control and doing something positive can definitely help you feel better. Reaching out and helping in the community can also be beneficial in that way too. Don’t dwell on your fears. Talking and doing something positive to tackle fears diminishes them and makes them lose their power.
Anyone feeling particularly anxious or worried should seek professional advice from their GP. The NHS has also published advice for people worried about Covid-19 which has some great tips.
Avoid News Overload
We all want to keep up with the latest news but limit it to once or twice a day. You don’t need to have Sky news on a 24-hour loop or news alerts pinging on your phone every 5 minutes. Too much ‘news’ about Covid-19 can exacerbate anxiety and fears. Also, stick to the facts, listen to credible sources rather than what’s being said on social media.
Have ‘Me’ Time
The lead up to Christmas is such a busy, and often stressful time for parents. To top it off, we’re thoroughly depleted after a year of uncertainty. Know that you’re not alone. Be assured that every parent is feeling the same. There’s never been a time where self-care is more important. You need and deserve it. Looking after yourself will help you take stock, make rational decisions, and be a better parent. Relaxation time shouldn’t be optional. It’s a must. Whatever your thing is, schedule it in.
Aromatherapy is also a quick, effective and remarkably powerful tool to use when anxious. Our remarkably soothing Destress blend will help you juggle more throughout your day, keeping you calm and in control. Try our DE-STRESS Aromatherapy Balm for instant calm or our DE-STRESS Aromatherapy candle, ideal for burning whilst you take a bath or relax after a long day. We won’t apologise if you feel thoroughly pampered and relaxed afterwards. You earned it!