Home schooling has been going on for 5 days in my house so far. I love teaching, so I find myself excited by the opportunity!! The chance to road test my romantic dream of home schooling without any actual commitment to stick at it if it all goes terribly wrong!! I have found, like many of us, that my mental health has been suffering somewhat.
The bombardment of information during this time is fairly overwhelming and I have had to delete and reinstall WhatsApp three times already this week!!
The information overload is just too much.
Each time I go on my phone I have multiple notifications to consume. Messages, email updates, Whatsapp groups & HouseParty invites are flying out of my ears. Then I click on Facebook or Insta and there is a tonne of material to read. Kids activity ideas, timetables, videos, art projects, mum boasting, yoga videos, dance videos, videos of someone reading a story and someone else doing a PE lesson. Honestly, I’m struggling to breathe through it all.
Someone’s intention when sharing is to be thoughtful or helpful, I’m sure, but it doesn’t help me at all. As a creative type of thinker, I don’t struggle with ideas, in fact, they never stop coming into my head. What I do struggle with is implementation and routine. If I don’t have spreadsheets, timetables and lists of things to-do, I simply fall into an abyss of ideas and can spend whole days being super busy but achieving nothing at all.
Add two young children into the mix and all of a sudden, I find myself utterly paralysed by information. I have spent the last few evenings creating timetables and schedules and de-briefing on what went wrong that day. How can I tweak things to make tomorrow better? What is really important and what can I afford to let slide for an easier life?
Then there is the panic of what to do with my business. I could release online lessons, create new vocal re-arrangements, produce DIY videos and dance routines, run 121 Skype vocal coaching, sing live streamed gigs, record Corona parody songs, and on and on and on, the ideas are endless.
STOP. BREATHE. STAY AWAY FROM YOUR PHONE.
The answer to information overload?
Yesterday, I left my phone upstairs until 11am and I had the best day. I was engaged in my children and able to focus on what I had planned instead of getting dragged off to answer messages, read articles or take phone calls. When I’m not busy doing other things, my children are way better behaved. It also allows me to say (guilt free) that for an hour or two in the afternoons it is my time. They know during this time they must amuse themselves and give me some space so I can reflect, plan and think.
This message from me isn’t particularly new. I’m always preaching about how we need to cleanse ourselves of technology and strip back to less stuff and more time outside, but right now this is more important than ever.
We are doing an amazing thing for our country by staying away from each other and allowing the NHS to keep up with what it throws at them. Let’s take every step we can to protect our mental health while we do this. I have struggled to cope with this and hope by sharing some of you can try what has worked for me.
How can I help myself?
If your mental health is struggling right now, please try having an electronic break. We are utterly addicted to our phones and now more than ever are turning to them for all the answers. The answer lies in you. You don’t need any more information. Trust your instinct and go with the flow. Enjoy your children and be kind to yourself.
In the meantime please bear with me while I get my family together and I promise classes will resume as quickly as I am able to 🙂
Thanks for listening,
P.S. If you’d like more information about phone addiction, here is a link to a very good book; ‘How to break up with your phone’