6 tips to improve working parents’ mental wellbeing

Back to school: 6 tips to improve working parents’ mental wellbeing 

From this week onwards, parents can lay down the lesson plans and laptops and breathe a sigh of relief as their little darlings return to school- hurrah! Finally an opportunity to improve their own wellbeing - even if home-working looks set to remain for the foreseeable future. The global pandemic has affected everyone in different ways, but working parents have been hit particularly hard having to absorb the responsibility of home schooling into an already packed schedule. Those running their own business or managing a small team have spoken of daily challenges taking an emotional toll, so the relative relief of an empty house during the working day will no doubt provide a boost for millions. 

Here are 6 top tips for working parents to help improve mental wellbeing, courtesy of small business insurer, Simply Business.

1. Own your diary 

Ever noticed that you’re more tired after lunch? Or more focused at 10am? Research shows that on average we’re more productive in the morning, and our ability to take on new information diminishes throughout the day. Pay attention to your natural energy levels and manage your workload and meetings around these times – that means being smart with your schedule and realistic on deadlines. Need to chat to a client on Zoom? Why not arrange it for the afternoon so you can focus on other priorities first, or consider whether it can be an email instead to combat the real issue of ‘Zoom fatigue’.

2. Get some fresh air 

We know that getting outside really helps our mental health and breaks up the day. If you can, go for a walk, find a green space, or even just open your window and breathe in some fresh air. Is there a meeting you can have on the go? Or can you meet a friend for a socially-distanced walk during your lunch break?

3. Move your body 

With gyms and sporting facilities off limits during lockdown, we’re moving a lot less and staying home a lot more – so to keep active, we need to get creative. There's so many opportunities online for helping you to keep in shape; if you want the flexibility to workout around your busy schedule, consider heading over to social media for a helping hand! YouTube is superb for the popular PE with Joe Wicks or Yoga with Adriene. Or, if you need a little motivational nudge from a close knit group of friends, organised zoom classes by the likes of PT and Coach Nicky T Fitness is a great solution and a fun alternative to enable friends to work out together.

4. Practice flexibility and empathy 

Just like you, be aware that some of your clients, suppliers, and any employees may be juggling a lot right now, whether it’s kids at home or heightened anxiety.Things may take a little longer and emails might not be answered straight away. Check in with them to understand where they're at, and adjust your expectations accordingly.

5. Connect with people 

Being self-employed and not having a team around you can be challenging at the best of times, but particularly during Covid-19 this can spark feelings of loneliness. It’s important to think about what positive connections you can make, especially if you aren’t talking to people regularly. Can you join any virtual networking groups for self-employed people? Or why not gather a group of friends to talk about your favourite books, films or records?

If you’re a small business owner with employees, make sure you’re listening to how they’re feeling too. In terms of promoting health and wellbeing in the workplace, put wellbeing on the agenda of your team meetings and one to ones. It's good to talk and it’ll help the team feel better connected. 

6. Write down your goals for the next day 

At the end of your working day, it can be helpful to set your goals for the following day. Writing down just three key things you’d like to achieve the next day means you can jump straight into the productive, meaningful stuff in the morning – rather than being distracted by emails and meetings. It’s also a great way to feel a sense of accomplishment in your work when you tick an item off your list.

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