by Katy Edgington 
AUK Adopter Support Manager 

Now that we have a week or more of isolation under our belts, it's time to focus on establishing that all important self-care.  
If your family is anything like mine, your partner will be called off of furlough just at the point where we've got a decent routine established, therefore upsetting our daily schedule once again. However, unlike how we initially planned our first week with the children where we put their education first, this time we're getting a little bit selfish - how can we possibly keep our heads above water while WFH, educating our children, safely food shopping, and preparing regular meals throughout the day? Well, we can do it with a little self-care.  
I always chuckle when someone mentions the anecdote of securing your oxygen mask before helping others. I laugh because I think "yes, but the pilots flying the aircraft are locked away in the flight deck with no one around them" Unlike a pilot however, I'm flying this proverbial aircraft which seems more similar to the aircraft from Snakes on a Plane but with far less stable leading characters who let the snakes loose themselves - but yes, let me first think about that oxygen mask first. 
Nevertheless, self-care is undoubtedly imperative to the success of isolation and keeping sane during it all.  
On my first trip to the shop since isolation, I stocked up on tons of fresh fruit and veg to keep our family healthy - but I. was. miserable. I needed snacks, I needed coffee, and I needed ice cream to unwind with at the end of the day while the kids are finally asleep.  
My most recent trip still had quite a bit of the fresh things, but also have far more of the "good for the soul" treats, too. I feel more sane being able to grab a snack I hid in a frozen vegetables bag in the freezer and hid away in my room for 2 seconds - absolutely devilish and absolutely the best 2 seconds I could wish for.  
As my partner will now be back to full time working hours, away from home, education for my children will become less of a priority, as will many of the tasks of my role at work. I will be taking the advice from Becky Brooks, our AUK Education Policy Advisor, who home educations her children whilst also retaining a full-time job. Becky has given us some valuable insight into how she structures her days and how she ensures she can steal away from work for moments just to spend some downtime with her children.  
All of this information from Becky can be found on the AUK YouTube channel here along with many of her other incredibly useful videos. I personally have been astounded at how many ideas she presents that seem so simple but I just had not considered. Definitely worth checking out - even better, set some self-care time aside to sit and watch her videos with a coffee or tea and some of your favourite chocolate or biscuits.  
Stay well and stay sane!