We all have different needs. Though I am an extrovert to the core, I enjoy having time alone for self-care as well. I never knew the power of developing as an individual until my late twenties. There were many years where I didn’t think of my alone time as a need but more of a selfish luxury that only single people without children had. I was very wrong.
Having time to breathe and just be me–I mean, the “me before I was a mom“–is incredibly rewarding. Creating healthy thought patterns of the things that bring me joy in those moments is the exact recipe for a rewarding life. I always tell my husband that when my cup feels empty, it’s difficult to pull something from nothing.
The days we are living in are uncertain, to say the very least. I’ve had to force myself to pull away from becoming all consumed with the obsession of finding out how many more people are sick, how many more people have died, and how many of our favorite places are closed down. I never thought I would see a day like this. So much isolation and distancing can really cause the mind to wander.
Below I’ve put together a list of some very practical steps to stay in a better headspace while you’re at home with your family. Being a mother is no easy task. Throw a pandemic on top of it, and the walls will start to close in. Believe me, because I’ve been there. I am there.
- Exercise (alone). When I say alone, I mean completely solo. Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need an audience at every waking moment of the day. Put on that early 2000’s self-care gangster rap and just walk it out or party like a rock-star the way you darn well should. Either way, you’re moving your body, getting those endorphins going, and literally creating the energy you need to get through the day.
- Get out of the house. What I’m not saying is to go against the government’s recommendations. I’m a big believer in social distancing for sure. Sometimes all it takes is to get into your car and drive to Starbucks. Sometimes it’s a walk around the block. Sometimes there’s no destination. For me, knowing that there’s still a world outside of my four walls sends mental ease my way that I just may not be so alone.
- Shower/take a bath every day. I’m a big believer in the power of a bath. Light some candles, pour yourself a drink, get some fancy bath bombs, and just chill. Make sure to let everyone know (if they’re still awake) that if they bother you, doom and destruction will happen. Well, not really, but you know. Make self-care a priority.
- Meditate. Whether it’s reading Scripture or penciling your thoughts for the day down on a piece of paper, taking time to reflect is such a healthy practice. I enjoy taking a few moments while my kids are still asleep in the morning to get my mind right for the day. I write down my thoughts as well as five things I’m thankful for even if they’re as silly as a great pen!
- Stay in touch. I miss my friends. The weekday play-dates, the downtown dessert strolls, and the comfort of being in another human’s presence are a few of the things I’m most excited to get back to. My kids and I have been Facetiming our friends and family on a daily basis. We even met with our mom group virtually and planted lemon seeds! We are checking in with each other to see how our little sprouts are doing. It’s fun, and it gives all of us something to look forward to.
These past few weeks have been long. And hard. And lonely. And scary. By practicing these quick tips of self-care to create a better mindset for yourself, I can guarantee you will feel a shifting mental dynamic. There isn’t a definite end in sight, but there will be an end. You might as well find your joy in the meantime. When you’re better for yourself, you’re able to be better for everyone else.