In today’s VETgirl veterinary CE blog, I have to admit, I have a confession.

I’m crispy right now. As we all know, 2020 was a rough year, and I’m trying to start the new year with a positive attitude. Between curbside veterinary practice, being slammed in the veterinary ER, having daycare close on and off again, having to COVID quarantine, being locked in social isolation (I’m an extrovert, so it’s really hard!), to bickering with the spouse all the time (I mean, you’re really not supposed to be together 24/7), it’s been tough. With all the veterinary conferences cancelled, I missed connecting with my veterinary colleagues. I miss lecturing. I missed hosting VETgirl U 2020 and connecting with my friends and veterinary industry partners, to having to postpone it until 2021 under safer conditions. 2021 can only be better, right?

So, here, a few tips to surviving the New Year, as it looks like curbside, homeschooling and life is going to be the same for a few more weeks to months… (BTW, please don’t assume I’m rocking it right now, because I’m not, but just trying to survive! If you have any tips, please share them in the comments, as I feel we could all use as much help as possible!). You can also check out our previous blogs on things to do with kids during COVID, the top 10 things to come out of COVID, psychological care during COVID (kid edition), and calming the anxious mind during COVID, handling the anxiety of COVID life here.

1. Make date night happen.
I haven’t had a date with my partner in over 9 months, as we aren’t opening our home right now to babysitters. But rather than curl up to Netflix or a good TV series (The Newsroom, Cobra Kai, anyone?), consider sitting down to do a puzzle or play cribbage or sit outside around a campfire (with baby monitor in hand). I’m based out of Minnesota, and if it’s too cold? Consider splurging on a heater for your deck or sitting inside your garage for an atypical date night.

2. Up the ante for your kid’s stimulation. My kiddo is 4, and seeing his mind develop with marble runs, PLUS PLUS, and Legos has been amazing. Plus, it gives me a whopping 15-20 minutes of lone time while he self-plays. #ad

As a scientist, I also lack in creativity when it comes to kid-friendly ideas (well, aside from playing with syringe cases and 60 ml syringes). This book? Game-changer. 150 screen-free activities has been awesome for ideas for the kid… but terrible for the wallet. Who would have thought I’d go through 2 gallons of Ehmer’s glue, 1 gallon of vinegar, and 8 pounds of baking soda in one week!?

3. Cut yourself some parenting slack and ignore your parenting guilt. You don’t have to play with your kid constantly. You guys know that I battled with infertility, and I’m happy to have one kid. But having one kid 24/7 is HARD, especially when he has no buddies to play with. Having to be his play buddy 24/7 has been exhausting through COVID 2020, but I found some great resources here:

When kids want to play with parents all the time

Transitioning from play when your child wants to play more

How to set your parenting child play expectations

Image by Esi Grünhagen from Pixabay

4. Learn to be more efficient during curbside veterinary care. In a previous blog on being an efficient veterinarian, I talked about how your OWN quality of life and work-life balance improves dramatically, the more efficient you are in the clinic.

5. Implement good self-care and wellness. I know it’s more than just a hot soak in the tub and eating healthy food, but I’m in survival mode right now. Here, some tips on how to implement good self-care and wellness. And some life hacks to boot.

Hang in there. The VETgirl team is pulling for you. We love you. You are rockin’ it and saving lifes. Be well.

What suggestions do you have?

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