Well, that’s what it feels like anyways. As 2020 starts getting going, here comes the Coronavirus. Covid -19. Or as I call it, the Rona. (Sounds a little less scary that way) It’s a time where fears and anxieties are at an all time high. We are told to stay in and socially distance. We can’t go within 6 feet of non family members, or those we aren’t quarantining with. For those of us with kiddos that means no adult time and all the kid time. In our homes. All. Day. No one is really sure when it will end. As of now we are told 3 weeks. It could be longer. How can you get through this unprecedented time and keep your sanity? As a mom of a 4 and 6 year old who lives with anxiety and depression, here is what I’m finding helpful. Besides my Zoloft and occasional evening glass of rosé.
Wash your face.
This may sound silly, but how many times have you found yourself at lunch, still in pjs, with a greasy face? This can’t just be me. I get so caught up in keeping the kids happy and busy. When they do leave me alone for a few minutes, instead of taking care of myself, I do whatever house chore needs to be tackled the most. I stopped doing this. I tell the kids before we can do anything that mommy needs to wash her face and get dressed. Have them brush their teeth and get out of their pjs too. This is letting everyone know the day is beginning. Wash your face. Moisturize. Put on an spf of some sort. Some days I even do my brows and mascara. No matter what this one little thing really helps me feel better. Self care as small as washing your face can start your day off on a positive note. Plus it’s letting my kids know that taking care of myself is also a priority.
Have (or get) a hobby.
Here’s the thing, on top of being a mom, wife, housekeeper, and general bundle of fun, I now have to also be a teacher. Super. With so many hours in the day you’re probably thinking, ‘Exactly when should I take up this hobby??’. I’m not saying start making pottery in your spare time. It can be as small as a WordSearch before bed. (One of my many loves in life) Anything that is just for you. Each year I plant a small garden. I caught wind of stories shutting down and quickly gathered my items to start our yearly garden. This year I incorporated some of my favorite flowers. Sitting on my back porch, watching things grow, knowing soon enough I’ll have fresh flowers, helps my mental state in ways I can’t describe. It’s like my own mini oasis on my back porch. Don’t have a yard or porch? Get a couple of small pots to put up in a windowsill. Lots of houseplants that don’t require much light are out there. Find some and add a little greenery to your day. I love candles. So I got online and ordered a few starter items to make my own candles. Read a book you’ve always meant to. Journal. Color. Sing. Meditate. Pray. Do a devotional. Try cooking recipes that take a bit longer (you have the time now!). Whatever it is you choose, make sure it’s for YOU.
Choose a schedule (and stick to it).
This is something I’m awful at. I love seeing where the day takes us. Having mini adventures. Staying outside on a beautiful day as long as possible. The idea of a schedule I love. It’s the follow through I lack (story of my life). My oldest son’s teachers sent out an example of an at home schedule to follow during the week. There is lots of free time incorporated, and maps out academic time as well as quiet time. I’ve noticed it helps the days not blend together in a never ending rut. The kids miss the structure of school and this helps them as much as it helps me.
Limit media coverage each day.
Seriously. There is so much information out there you can make yourself crazy. Some of the headlines are enough to make you want to curl up in a ball and never leave the house again. We do need to stay informed. However we don’t need to submerse ourselves in everyone’s opinion of the situation. Or every sensationalized headline. Instead choose a source of information that is based in facts and helpful tips. Check that one source each day. I limit myself to 10 minutes. Then I move on with my day. My husband and I will discuss what we’ve heard or any new developments. Then we soak up family time and focus on the here and now in our lives. To help combat feelings of helplessness we’ve also made donations to organizations that are helping. Mine will always be food. Before restrictions went into place for limits on dry goods I stocked up so I could donate them to be passed out. Somethings our neighborhood has done is write inspirational messages on sidewalks in chalk, and putting teddy bears and pictures up in windows so as you walk you can look for them. There are lots of things you can do to make someone’s day brighter while redirecting those feelings of
My hope is that one of these things will resonate with you and make a difference. I definitely feel that an attitude of gratitude and trying to focus on any silver linings you can find will truly help. If you find yourself going into a dark place, reach out. A family member, friend, or even a stranger online is most likely dealing with the same feelings you are. Don’t be afraid to reach out. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.
Stay safe and feel free to start a discussion or share your own tips below.