I feel like it was not long ago that I was happily making the effort to introduce new and effective ways to better myself, for me and my family. I did yoga on Wednesday nights and if I missed a class here or there, I forgave myself for choosing much-needed rest instead. My family was eating healthier by taking the time to cook meals from scratch on the weekends. I took solo walks with my dog. And every day I would give myself reminders to just breathe. It’s quite depressing to think about how that has all quickly flown out the proverbial window. Nothing feels like my normal life right now and it has me wondering: what happened to ME?
Life got hard. For everyone. And I think I was fooling myself when I thought that being isolated from people wouldn’t bother me. I mean, we are very blessed. We live in a home with multiple rooms. We can afford to buy food. We have Netflix. It’s interesting, though, how small those rooms become when your entire family is in ONE of them at the same time. As humans, we all need space, and my anxiety kicks into high gear when there’s too much noise to take in all at once.
Now, I’m not going to talk about meditation, eating a plant-based diet or diffusing essential oils (although those are amazing for you if you have the time), but perhaps I can share some more achievable ideas that can get you through the day. Here are a few things I’ve learned to do along the way that help me stay at ease with my new normal:
Take a bath. It’s not a shower and it may seem like the lamest trick in the book but there’s a reason why people have been preaching about it for centuries. You get alone time and it’s proven to benefit your muscles, joints and bones all while reducing stress.
Bribe your kids. When we were stocking up on groceries, I got a handful of treats for my kids and a roll of $2 coins. I don’t typically use this strategy in my house, and they don’t get an allowance yet, so it's worked wonders for me. My kids can earn money by giving me a massage, a pedicure or completing a chore. But if you’d prefer to go another route, I highly recommend trading chores for device time!
Watch something funny. Do you have a favorite comedian or actor? Do you enjoy funny animal videos on YouTube? Whatever it is that gets you laughing, turn it on! There’s so much negative news right now and we all know that laughter really is “the best medicine”.
Walk the dog (and your kids!). I have a girl and a boy. My boy needs to run, so we take 15 minutes after dinner to walk around the block. They usually race and I get fresh air. Win-win!
Unplug and read a book. We are overloaded with information, and most of it doesn’t sound pleasant right now. Force yourself to turn off your phone or social channels to allow your body to recover from the day. And if you like reading, try picking up a good book instead.
Just remember moms (and dads!)… doing the best you can IS enough right now. Your kids love you, need you and deserve a happy and healthy version of you.