It’s been several weeks since our lives changed. We’ve been cooped up indoors, many of us taking on the role as parent, teacher, and devoted home office employee. On top of everything else, there are still dinners to be made, groceries to be bought, and bedtimes to meet. It can be easy to give so much of yourself right now that you forget to take time for self care.
We all need a break from time to time, even under normal circumstances. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Instead, it should be celebrated, especially as a parent right now. You are navigating your ship of humans through uncharted territory. Each day is a new adventure filled with new challenges. But, you should remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup. That’s why we need to take a look at some self care tips.
Right now especially, it’s tempting to stay tuned-in 24/7. Technology is the only way we can stay in contact with our loved ones right now. Technology is an incredible thing for that exact reason, but too much tech can wreak havoc on your mental health. The news is mostly gloom and doom. The numbers are alarming. There seems to be no end in sight and no light at the end of the tunnel.
Challenge yourself to disconnect from electronics for a period of time every day. Even just an hour is a great start. Use this time to go outdoors, even if it’s just to your backyard. If the weather isn’t ideal, then curl up on the couch with your favorite book or play a game with the kids. Get back to what’s important and give your mind a break from the screens.
This may sound silly, especially if your commute is simply a short walk to your living room, but this is so important. Wake up in the morning and get ready just as if you were going to work or getting ready for a normal day.
The simple act of taking a shower and putting on a fresh pair of clothes can boost your mood more than you’d think. Shave, paint your nails, and put on some make-up even if the only people you’ll see today are your kids. You’ll feel so much better inside and out.
Did you get a load of laundry done? Your kids got caught up on school work? Did you get in a good exercise session? Maybe you just made it through another day stuck indoors but everyone is still healthy. That’s a pretty amazing thing to celebrate!
It’s so tempting to grab a comfy blanket and veg out on the couch with a TV binge session day after day as you’re stuck indoors. Resist the urge to fall into that cycle. Whatever you or your family did today to take a step towards productivity or health, find a way to celebrate. Every day is a victory.
The chances are high that we will never go through something like this again in our lifetime. Your kids’ memories will likely fade over time. Keeping a journal right now will not only help you work through your own feelings, but it will also allow you to document this moment in history. Your journal and the thoughts it contains may be read by your great-grandchildren someday. You never know if your strength and courage during this time will inspire future generations!
Dinner is a way for the entire family to come together at the end of the day. It signifies another day that was successfully completed, another day for the memory books, and another day on the horizon for life’s adventures to continue. Making dinner together is a fun way to learn about cooking but also learn about each other.
As you gather around the dinner table, try not to talk about current events. Talk about something fun. What adventures do you want to take when all this is over? What exciting things can you try tomorrow? Live in the moment and enjoy the conversation, and hey… eat the dessert. You deserve it.
You aren’t selfish for wanting time alone. You aren’t neglecting your responsibilities for taking a break. You must learn to respect and validate your own thoughts and feelings just like you do for the people around you. Taking care of yourself is the only way you can keep taking care of your children and the multitude of other responsibilities in your life.
Plus, you have little ones watching you. Teach them to love themselves by setting the example. Remind yourself daily that you are worthy of self-care and the opportunity to refocus as needed. Remember, you aren’t alone. We are all in this together.