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May 2020

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The key to healing your Nanny heart during Covid-19

Hey Nannies, I just want to start off by saying I am here for YOU. I am aware that hundreds of Nannies have either lost their jobs, been furloughed or laid off during the Corona-virus pandemic and you may be struggling to manage feelings about the uncertainty of your future, the well-being of your family and the fact you’ve lost touch with the heart of your role – your Nanny children. I know many will be worried about fiances, healthcare and finding a new job, all while coping with the loss of routine and sense of security. Below are a list of key things you can do to help heal your Nanny heart and maintain your mental health during this difficult time.

Allow yourself time to grieve

While loosing a Nanny job unexpectedly is devastating, there also comes the added loss of loosing a child/children that very much felt like yours. However you must remember that your Nanny family most-likely wouldn’t of told you, you no longer have a job or furloughed you if it wasn’t for the corona-virus. I am sure them, themselves along with their children will be grieving the loss of you at this time.

You may be feeling heartbroken, sad, upset, angry and possibly shocked given how fast this pandemic has affected our lives and changed everything that was ‘normal’ to a ‘new normal’ around us. It is natural to grieve from job loss, for you it does mean a change in lifestyle and daily routine. However, it is important you don’t hide how you are feeling, express your emotions just how your body and mind naturally wants to – in doing so will allow you to heal and move on.

Focus on what you can control

dream job

The Corona-virus pandemic and your unemployment is out of your control, so instead focus on what you can control. Can you use this time to update your Nanny portfolio, check out online courses and see if you can find something new you haven’t learnt before or an area in your line of work you’d like to extend your knowledge on. You can be adding to your Nanny tool belt, helping you become more employable when all this is over. Remain updated with the facts on corona-virus, your rights as an employee and what it means for you going forward. If finance is your biggest worry, take a step back, review your spending and see where you can make cuts to save money. Look into government resources and consider applying for unemployment benefits.

Maintain a daily routine

While staying in bed all day is optional now you don’t have to go to work, it is not healthy. Keeping to a regular routine is important for your mental health. Try maintaining your usual morning, afternoon and evenings the same as if you would when going to work. Have set wake-up times, shower times, exercise times and bedtimes so you don’t sit on the couch staying up too late binge watching TV and then sleeping in. Get into the habit of getting dressed into normal clothes as if going to work – now I’m not saying that you should be in a suit walking around the house, although I don’t know any Nannies that do wear suits to work. Just don’t stay in your pajamas all day as this will make you feel lethargic, less motivated and you will accomplish less. Practicing self-care and good hygiene will boost your mood and overall sense of optimism.

Move your body

gym

Exercising regularly can boost your immune system and change your mood. If you don’t have access to exercise equipment, find things around the house as substitute, like tins of beans. In-fact, you don’t even need equipment to get your body moving. Find some form of exercise that you enjoy – it could be dance, yoga, functional training, circuits, running, jogging, walking. All of these things can be done by just using your own body weight. There are many free apps available on smart phones that give you access to thousands of different workout routines to get you moving during this time. The Nike training app is one I have been using. Alternatively you can find many personal trainers, yoga studios and influencers on social media running free fitness classes on zoom or Facebook live.

Focus your mind

center

Practicing mindfulness is something not many people make time for during their day, yet it can really help us to focus during times we feel anxious and unsettled. Use these ways to help practice: Breath mindfully, take a few minutes during the day to focus on your breathing, close your eyes if you feel comfortable and focus on your breath. Be aware, of your emotional state and take a moment to pause and examine the sensations of all five senses – sight, touch, taste, hear, smell. Taking this moment to focus on these can help bring you back, when feeling out of balance. Start a gratitude journal and write down 3 things each day that you’re thankful for during this time.

Limit your time job searching

Nannies I can understand your worry about finding your next position quickly, however your health is more important. Set your mind at rest knowing there will be a continuous increase in Nanny jobs when all this is over. It is predicted there will be a baby boom and Nannies will be the most sought after employee around. Spending all your time searching for a new job can be stressing and depressing so limit your time. When deciding on your daily routine set aside a few hours during the day to send in applications to proper Nanny agencies. Agencies are there for a reason, to safe guard Nannies and families. Stay up to date with the government advice to ensure it is safe to go back to work or start a new job.

Pursue a new hobby

planting

We will most likely never experience this time again where the whole world was on pause and everyone is made to stay home. Take this as an opportunity to complete that project you never had time to finish, rearrange your bookshelf, learn a new skill, photography or crafting, get out in your garden and grow some vegetables. With more and more businesses and entrepreneurs going online offering classes, many of them free, you have no reason why you can’t take up a new hobby, to help lift your spirits during this time.

Sleep well

Make sure you are getting enough sleep. This is important to help reduce stress and improve your mood. Your chances of getting sick are lower and it can help you think more clearly when planning your isolation days.

Stay connected

chat

We live in a time where social media and keeping in-touch virtually is at it’s peak. Social distancing does not mean social isolation. Make sure you take advantage of all the possibilities given to us online to keep in touch with family members, friends and Nanny families. The possibilities of keeping in touch without the physical touch is endless. Video chat, call, write letters, send photographs and videos, play multiplayer games online, host a quiz or virtual party from your home, use social media to share what you get up to, go outdoors and spread out while you hang out. You do not have to go through this tough period alone, remember to ask for help.

Five ways to find your dream Nanny job

1. Decide what your dream Nanny job is! Grab a piece of paper and write down exactly what your dream job is. It could be that you want to work internationally in another country, or it could be you want to work close to home. Do you prefer hot or cold countries? Perhaps you have a favourite age group you prefer to care for, a maximum amount of hours you’d like to work and have a certain amount of income you’d like to earn. It could be the type of family or experience that would make the job a dream for you. Write it down and then…

2. Get Qualified! Depending on what you’ve decided to be your dream role, will determine the qualifications you need. There are many colleges that offer a variety of childcare courses and distance learning and you will be able to quickly determine which ones would suit you. Families do prefer a Nanny who has a recognised childcare qualification as it shows a passion and willingness to undertake training. 100% you need to have been DBS checked and complete a Pediatric First Aid course. These two things are vital to get established at a Nanny agency.

3. Create a Nanny portfolio! Ensure you have a stand out CV with all the correct details added, if you are unsure on how to set it out you can find my CV template here. Although it isn’t common in the UK to have a photo attached to your CV, many Nanny agencies do request one so make sure to take a clear, head shot of yourself – Remember more than likely this photo will be the first thing the family see’s, so make sure it’s appropriate. Gather your certificates and qualifications together in a folder and take clear photographs or scan them onto a computer. Your Nanny portfolio needs to remain updated throughout your career so that when agencies request your documents and details you have them ready. Remember the more prepared you are for interview, the higher your chances for securing your dream role quickly.

4. Network and Apply! Connect with other nannies online already in the industry, especially with those already in positions you’d like to be in. So many Nannies are willing to help others get connected with a job that truly fulfills them. Not only that, the nannies already in positions may know other families who are looking for someone. Research and contact the agencies that deal with the type of position you want, take a look at the vacancies on their website and star the ones that interest you.

5. Go where that job is! If you’re not already packing your suitcase ready to start your new position and you’re still struggling to get interviews, maybe you need to take the leap and move to that different state/city in order to secure a role. Many families would prefer face to face interviews and by you making the effort to go where that job is (before you’ve got the job) it makes you look even more enthusiastic about wanting THAT job.

If you’re still stuck, download The Suitcase Nanny Guide for more in-depth help into finding your dream Nanny job.