Are you a father pulling in double duty? Having to adapt to new routines brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic means balancing one's time managing the kids and striving to excel at work, all while keeping sane. That said, being both a parent and a hardworking employee in a work-from-home (WFH) situation can be stressful for many.
This Father's Day, here are some tips to help you combat the stresses that come with juggling WFH with kids, and learn ways to maintain yours and the family’s overall wellness.
1. Plan & Conquer the Day
Before you begin the day, or even the night before, plan your schedule around your most productive periods and if possible - when your kids are less active or napping. A good strategy is to clear your hardest work during these time slots such as the early mornings. This allows you to be more present with the kids after and offer them undistracted time to feel seen and secure. Doing so prepares your kids to play more independently for the day ahead so you can focus on work.
2. Dedicated Workspace
Specially segregating an area just for work is just as important as your planning. If possible, dedicate an entire room for work and ideally, keep your workspace as clutter-free as possible to reduce distractions and boost focus. A home office setup will also help to induce efficiency by putting you in a productive headspace. This is especially helpful if you only have certain hours before the kids are up and running again! Having a dedicated workspace ensures you separate your workday from family time, in turn setting clear mental and physical boundaries.
3. Prioritize your Mental Health for Better Immunity
Working from home can be stressful and draining especially when you are stretched on ends. Be unapologetic to put your mental health first and include self-care to avoid burnouts. Stress causes elevated cortisol levels, known to have profound effects on weakening the immunity which may trigger chronic illnesses or inflammation overtime. One tip is to enforce personal space by allocating quiet family time for an hour for a short breather. During this time, make use of massages as a form of me-time reward to wind down and relax. Massage therapy has been known to lower blood pressure and alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, improving one’s overall mental health. A relaxing massage can also bring down cortisol levels, in turn boosting your immune system too.
4. Plan Easy & Healthy Meals the Night before
When time is not on your side, meal prepping the night before is one way to get in the daily nutrition intake for you and your entire family. Studies show that having a diet high in fruits and vegetables  is vital in strengthening the immunities of growing kids. A pro tip is to find easy one-pot recipes that include a good mix of greens and proteins such as creamy spinach lentils with chicken or chicken stew. You can even start the day right by surprising the family with superfood smoothies! Now, who says eating healthy is unachievable for busy dads?
5. Play Time Fun
Set a routine that weaves in exercise breaks such as running, or indoor playtime - a fun way to wear out your kid's high energy while clocking in a workout. Owning an elevated treadmill like the OSIM uTrek Smart is one way to get in a full workout that saves on time and gets your heart rate pumping. Challenging your kids to see who can complete the longest distance with uTrek Smart is one idea to bond and clear your mind from work stress too.
6. Set a Date Night
There's a saying that goes: Happy wife leads to a happy life. Although family time is a priority, your relationship with the missus holds equal importance too. The last thing to do is to put your spouse on the back seat. Experts have highlighted the key to a successful marriage lies in open communication and spending quality time . Rekindle the romance by dedicating time for weekly date nights and level up your love through acts of services. Consider treating each other to a 'spa night' by recreating those massages you both enjoy using the OSIM DIY massage chair. Consisting of uJolly 2 for the entire back and uSqueez 3 for the legs, the DIY massage chair is easy to set up anywhere in the house for a much-needed destressing massage for 2.
7. Celebrate your Achievement
For many, especially parents, navigating through this pandemic season is akin to entering uncharted waters. Don't be too hard on yourself and learn to celebrate small successes or accomplished tasks. Unwind with a 15-minute quick break if your kid finishes his or her meal! Little rewards such as a quick massage are beneficial to your mental health, and it keeps you motivated too.
8. Learn to be Flexible
As the world continues to adjust to a post-COVID-19 environment, there is no magic formula to juggling work and parenting. However, with proper planning, structure, creativity and flexibility set in place - you can create an environment to stay productive, healthy and keep stress at bay.