As a mother, sometimes the role of providing daily care for the family can get a bit overwhelming. Now, enter a pandemic. School-age kids are at home; spouses are at home; everyone is at home. We’re all in close quarters and not able to get out and do things that just weeks ago we took for granted.
How do we as moms keep ourselves healthy and sane, so we can be our best selves and care for others to the best of our ability?
Self-Care: At Home Edition
Here are some ways to take care of yourself in times of uncertainty.
Make Nutrition and Sleep a Priority
- Make healthy food choices to keep your energy up. Load up on whole grains, nuts, lean meats, fruits, and veggies.
- Drink plenty of water. It is recommended a person drink half their body weight in ounces of water (for example, someone weighing 150 pounds should optimally drink 75 ounces or more per day).
- Get adequate rest. This can support the immune system, alleviate stress, and also boost memory.
Be Physically Active
- Get your blood pumping and endorphins up through exercise at home.
- Go outside to walk, run, or bike and get some Vitamin D as an added bonus!
- Strength training can be done at home with free weights and there are many options for workout videos available online. I personally love yoga and use YouTube videos for instruction. Some of my favorite channels to stream are Yoga with Adriene (great for beginners), Boho Beautiful, and Yoga with Kassandra.
- For more on getting active outside of the gym, read Exercise at Home: Tips to Remain Active and Strong.
- Make an effort to connect with friends and family.
- Use technology to interact remotely. Communicate through phone calls, group texts, and video chats. Some of my favorite resources to use are Snapchat, FaceTime, Skype, Facebook video chats, Zoom, and Instagram.
- Take time for hobbies. I have indulged myself by reading, knitting, baking, crafting with my kids, and catching up on TV shows and my Netflix queue.
- If you’re feeling motivated, now could be the time to learn something new. Perhaps a new language, new instrument, new craft, or maybe just a new recipe.
Get Your Brain Working
- Keep sharp by exercising your brain. Some ideas for activities are reading, writing in a journal, working on a puzzle, watching a documentary, or completing a word or number game. Anything that makes you think and keeps your creative juices flowing!
Have a Positive Attitude
- Think toward the future and try to keep things in perspective. It can help to find encouragement through reading a Bible or other uplifting book, prayer, and mediation.
- Practice gratitude. Try to see the good in others and find joy throughout the day. See Finding Peace Through Gratitude for more help.
- Although it is good to stay informed on current events, sometimes it can all be just a bit too much. I have had to step away from the phone and computer and all the news so as to not get discouraged. I now greatly limit the time I spend reading news articles and it helps improve my mood.
- Music can be a real mood booster and sometimes some calming classical in the background can set the tone for the day.
- Take time to relax and care for you. Some days when you’re stuck at home this might just mean taking a shower! Other ideas are giving yourself a facial or a mani-pedi, running a bubble bath, or sneaking in a nap.
- Bring more hygge into your daily life. Hygge is a Danish concept about creating contentment and well-being through coziness and comfort. For me, this is having a cup of strong coffee, lighting a candle or diffusing lavender essential oil, and eating some good chocolate.
- Maybe do a little online shopping and buy a little something for yourself for once! Sometimes even a small indulgence can bring joy.
Take Time for Fun
- Get silly. Have a dance party to terrible kid’s music, play favorite board games, or invent new games. You have time now!
- Watch something that makes you laugh out loud. There are many stand-up comedians on Netflix along with other online platforms and tons of funny TV shows and movies.
- Realize you don’t need to do it all on your own and ask for assistance if you need it.
- Lean on your significant other, family, and friends. Sometimes I just need someone to talk to or someone to watch the kids so I can find some “Me Time.”
- Get outside help if you need it. A therapist, pastor, or mental health professional can be very helpful in turbulent times. See Online Counseling: Putting Your Mental Health First for resources.
Be proactive and take time to practice self-care! Time is something many of us have more of. Time to really be present with our families and ourselves.
Hopefully putting into effect these practices will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to take on the challenges that each day brings.