August 18, 2020

Navigating the New Normal - Working From Home with Kids & Managing Stress

For many, stress has become a constant in our lives - especially in the current state of the world. The combination of working from home and meeting deadlines, while being responsible for caring for children, making multiple meals and snacks, doing heap after heap of laundry, and so on - it can all add up, leading to chronic stress. 

Read on to learn how I’m navigating our new normal, and managing stress while working from home with kids. 

Navigating the New Normal - Working From Home with Kids & Managing Stress

The consequences of chronic stress? A constant feeling of being overwhelmed, nagging irritability and anxiety and insomnia.

Sound familiar? Ya, me too.

Although we talk about stress, it isn’t often really clear what it means. When your body is under stress, it is effectively triggering the flight-or-fight response. And when your body is literally just trying to get through the day, it is not restoring and healing. It wears on you - on your mood and on your sleep. 

Lately, my stress has come in many forms, from many different forms. No daycare or school means daily routines are off, and sleep routines have been pushed later and later as if we’ve been on a constant vacation for the past five months. I’m consistently waking during the night to make sure one goes pee, and then comforting the other who heard us and wanted to join the party. Night time is often a time of musical beds in our house, and it never ends with me winning. And then, there’s work. I love my job. I am extremely grateful to have a job, especially during the current times. But working a full work week from home, hopping between Zoom calls while managing snack time, lunch time, nap time and everything in between, is not an easy task. The ongoing monologue in my head is constantly reevaluating my mental to-do list, checking one item off and adding another. And then, there’s the guilt. The biggest stressor of all - not being able to give my girls the attention they deserve because I’m locked into my computer. The amount of screen time we’ve racked up the past month is not something I’m proud of, but some days, it’s the only thing getting us through.

You could say this “new normal” is extremely stressful. 

Navigating the New Normal - Working From Home with Kids & Managing Stress

So, how am I navigating it?

There are many healthy ways to help manage stress in our everyday lives, including eating well, exercising, sleeping well and being mindful. One of my favourite ways to help manage stress is by getting outside. There is just something about the fresh air and green space that instantly calms me.
By getting outside I don’t mean getting lost in the middle of a forest. No, it can be as easy as just stepping out the door. There’s good evidence that just looking at a green space has positive effects on people’s mental health, helping them relax and de-stress. While we do enjoy completely submerging ourselves in nature, lately, we’ve found peace in simple neighbourhood scavenger hunts, walks around the block and even dinner at the beach.

But you want to know the one surprising place I’ve found the most peace the past few months? 

In my garden.

Navigating the New Normal - Working From Home with Kids & Managing Stress

I never considered myself to have a green thumb, but over the past few months I’ve enjoyed spending time pulling weeds, cultivating a vegetable garden, watching the pollinators do their work and just being surrounded by the flourishing greenery. When I begin to feel overwhelmed, when the irritability and anxiety start to creep in, when I lack focus - I walk out the back door, and into my garden.

If I’ve learned anything during this global pandemic, it is that being able to eat what you grow isn’t the only benefit of gardening - it’s actually really good for your mental well being. Gardens are special peaceful spaces with restorative qualities that can work wonders when we are stressed and under pressure. And while gardens can be relaxing, they can also be places where our efforts result in a real sense of achievement, boosting confidence and self-esteem. Something I’ve been lacking thanks to that mom guilt. 

Navigating the New Normal - Working From Home with Kids & Managing Stress

Another approach I take to managing stress lately is through the supplements that I take. Remember when I said eating well, exercising, sleeping well and being mindful helps to manage stress? Supplements can also be included to help support the body - providing key nutrients that promote relaxation and can help relieve mild symptoms of stress and exhaustion, and aid in longer, better sleep. And that’s something this mama can appreciate. 

New Roots Herbal is a leading Canadian manufacturer and distributor of high-quality natural health products, with a goal is to provide quality-of-life–enhancing products to everyone. They have a line of products related to stress, sleep and mood - including Chill Pills, Sleep⁸ and D-Stress.

When I want to make the best of the sleep I get, I turn to New Roots Herbal Sleep⁸, which helps rebalance my body’s natural circadian rhythm with a dose of melatonin.

When the girls test my patience and irritability runs high, I turn to New Roots Herbal Chill Pills, which use natural ingredients that reduce nervous irritability and induce relaxation so I can calm down and concentrate, helping me work more effectively. 

And finally, when I have a million things on the go (including a racing mind) and just need to slow it down, I turn to New Roots Herbal's D-Stress softgels which contain organic lavender oil that boasts an impressive profile of active constituents useful for coping with restlessness and mental stress.

Pandemic or no pandemic, life is stressful. Period. Managing stress looks different for everyone, so it’s important to find something that works for you. And when it comes down to it, don’t be afraid to ask for help. We’re all in this together, and I’m here if you need to talk. 

You can find New Roots Herbal products at your local health and wellness product store

What are some of your tried and true stress management techniques? I’d love to hear!

*Disclosure: I have participated in a paid partnership with New Roots Herbal. Opinions in this post are not my own.


Navigating the New Normal - Working From Home with Kids & Managing Stress

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