Practically speaking, the lockdown life has been quite an adjustment for me, and I am sure for everyone that is reading this. Navigating being a parent, a teacher, working from home and managing a household, has really been a huge juggling act! My shopping list has been subject to many revisions. Do we need more toilet paper? Canned tuna? How much is necessary? Should I be leaving the house? There is the extra laundry, the extra food prep, and the firm commitment to making sure everyone gets to sleep on time to keep their immune systems in high gear and keep up some form of routine. Managing kids, a job, and a house is work. Emotionally, it is exhausting. Personally, it has been testing trying to work out how to adapt my personal training business and alongside my partner Hayley, our business Sandown Sweat, to a world where we can no longer have face to face interaction. Where we now need to rely on technology and must learn to become more tech-savvy and find avenues to perform our jobs online in a short period of time! I have most certainly been pushed out of my comfort zone having to adapt in this field. Every business and family has been financially impacted in this period, putting further pressure on our emotions.

It has been extremely easy to get wrapped up in feeling panicked, feeling of being overwhelmed and feeling stressed. Managing these feelings and anxiety, the act of parenting, or “parenting well” at least, performing my job in the circumstances and managing daily life in lockdown, has required some form of introspection for me.

It has been a priority for me to find a sense of order amid the chaos of the coronavirus. Establishing a revised version of my personal and family’s normal routine has been both refreshing and helpful. I have focused on setting aside work time, housework time, exercise time, schoolwork time proper mealtimes, and free time. This has created a sense of stability and calmness in our household. While most kids are feeling nervous to some degree, as we know kids thrive on stability and routine. When it goes away, it is up to us as parents to model how to cope. By creating some sense of routine, I have noticed my children settle into a calmer emotional state. Most importantly, I have taken this opportunity to appreciate the gift of TIME amongst this period of many unknowns. Time to appreciate quality family time, time to prepare meals together, time to sit at the table, and eat together. Time to create new goals and work on my business by finding new ways to add value to my clients. Time to read and watch TV. Time to enjoy my home and get to projects I could not before.

I have learnt over this time, that it is important to do what you need to lower your stress levels, whether it is carving out alone time or more necessary, exercise time. Maybe you ease up on your television and video game policy with your kids or accept the power of sweets as a bribe to help them comply with instructions some days. Create some structure that you can realistically commit to and on most days, achieve. Most importantly, make sure you are enjoying some parts of it!

To survive, we all need to both commit ourselves to some sense of order, and at the same time, yield to the chaos. Take time to ‘smell the roses’, take time to exercise and feel the endorphins, and most importantly use this time to appreciate one another and this precious gift of time.

Yours in Health & Fitness

Megan Seymour