Let’s be real, even in the best on times it is beyond difficult for moms to disconnect and focus on unwinding and relaxing. There is always one more thing that needs to get done: meal prepping, folding the laundry, planning a child’s birthday party, picking up toys, catching up on emails, and the list goes on… and on. It is even harder to find space to disconnect during the current situation because we (and the kids) are always home – we can’t just walk out for a hair appointment or for dinner with friends. I, for one, feel like I am constantly cooking and cleaning up after my toddler while trying to balance my personal and work projects.
To ensure that I maintain focus on my mental health, I have had to change my definition of self-care and find quicker and simpler ways to relax and recharge over the past eight weeks.
Here is what I have done (or am trying to do!):
- Avoiding screen time and constant news updates
This has been a big one for me. I am usually hooked to my phone, trying to stay updated on what is happening in the world and staying in touch with loved ones around the globe. Unfortunately, since our lives are now confined to our homes and surrounding areas, overuse of screen time has had a large negative impact on my well-being.
Throughout the day, I make time to physically step away from devices to try to be present in the moment. Instead of looking aimlessly at my phone, I go on a walk with my toddler or play outside to enjoy some sun and the fresh air – without it on me.
I have also avoided constantly reading news updates and stories on social media about the current situation by setting specific times to check updates such as after breakfast and after lunch – never after dinner or before bed! This has helped me focus on being in the moment instead of worrying all the time about what is next or how long this new reality will last. I have noticed a big change in my mindset!
- Squeezing in a simple beauty routine
As I am sure many of you can relate to, I am desperately missing getting my nails done, my eyebrows waxed, and my regular facials. Unable to do these things that regularly give me space to breathe, I have introduced my own beauty routine instead of simply moving to the next thing on my list.
I obviously cannot do this every night, but once or twice a week, after my little one is in bed, I forget about my to-do list and enjoy an hour or two for myself.
My new beauty routine consists of a long, hot, shower, exfoliating and moisturizing, applying a quick mask (I usually mix it up between a sheet mask from Sephora or a homemade mask of Coconut Oil and Honey), plucking my eyebrows, and embracing my naturally curly hair. Adding a few candles or essential oils is an added treat!
- Prioritizing quiet time
I am a Type A person that is always on the go, and being home has not changed that – quiet time does not come naturally to me.
Most days, I am busy doing something until bedtime. I have to actively prioritize small pockets of quiet time. A few examples I have found helpful: taking 10 minutes between tasks to stretch, short guided meditations (I alternate between choosing short meditations from Love Your Brain or using the Smiling Mind App), starting my day with a prayer instead of reaching for my phone, or even sitting down to color a picture after dinner instead of turning on the TV.
- Staying active
Since becoming a mom, working out has not been a priority and these last few weeks have made staying active even more challenging. To maintain a peaceful and positive mindset, I am trying to use my time with my toddler throughout the day to stay active. I have been running in our backyard, partaking in Cosmic Yoga, and walking around the neighborhood much more than I used to!
I have also been able to fit in prenatal yoga sessions by using the Fit Pregnancy App. Sunshine Family Yoga is also offering virtual prenatal yoga classes that are amazing. There are many apps, You Tube Channels and Instagram accounts, and virtual workout sessions that you can follow from home.
How have you prioritized your self-care during these unprecedented times? Feel free to share some of your strategies below!