The novelty of self-quarantine and social isolation has long worn off for most of us. Parents are still nimbly navigating virtual or hybrid schooling with their kids — many doing it while trying to balance their own remote work. The stress is enough to make one feel as though you aren’t doing any one thing well — and several things wrong. Don’t let those feelings of self-doubt snowball because you are mom (or dad) enough!
You’ll come closer to believing this by taking just a few extra measures aimed solely at you. Incorporating a few moments of self-care into your day — and a reasonable splurge here and there — go a surprisingly long way to quelling negative thoughts, alleviating household tension, and even staving off depression.
Create Your Space
Create a “me” space for you, both figuratively and literally. Even young children can understand that, sometimes, a parent needs to be alone for a few minutes of quiet time. Arrange for your partner or a relative who has followed self-isolation and social distancing guidelines to watch infants or really young children for even just 30 minutes a day. Claim a room that is “yours” for that time for a nap (or just a “bed break”), meditation, yoga, or reading. Aromatherapy using an essential oil diffuser is a nice touch.
There are ways to do this safely while exercising social distancing — or just exercising. The outdoors is a wonderful healer, and it’s fairly simple to select a walking or running spot that steers you clear of others. Even a walk down your block or some porch time in the evenings when neighbors out allow you to bestow socially distanced greetings and revel in a feeling of normalcy will be cathartic. A few quiet moments on a park bench or exploring a local outdoor attraction is rarely a mistake. If the local health situation and regulations allow, enjoy a latte from your favorite coffee shop with an outdoor table. When you’re pressed for time, try moving your laptop or reading material onto your porch or outdoor patio. A gentle cacophony of birds and a warm breeze provide a good dose of mental medicine.
Dress Like It Means Something Without Spending Everything
If you are now part of a remote workforce, it can be tempting (and perhaps liberating) to not worry about office wear — except, perhaps, for those video calls! However, as this article indicates, avoiding the urge to merely shuffle around in slippers and flannel pajama pants can make you feel better and work better — without needing to fully don typical office attire. You don’t have to sacrifice appearance for comfort. Even better, you don’t need a big budget. Some high-quality but comfortable leggings pair nicely with a tunic or breathable lounge dress, and if you need to leave the house, they pair well with boots or comfortable sneakers. New undergarments that sweep your skin in gentle comfort can be an antidote for tension or anxiety. And for those days when sleepwear-as-daywear is in order, finding that just-right robe can motivate you to help with Sunday pancakes for an enjoyable family activity.
Don’t forget skincare and makeup. Keep it simple: a foaming cleanse with the occasional do-it-yourself exfoliation, a luxurious moisturizer, and a quick application of mascara and lipstick is healthy for your skin and good for your mood.
No Occasion is Still an Occasion
Paying attention to yourself is something you can control, and that can mitigate some of the helpless feelings we can encounter in a self-isolating and socially distant world. Enjoy that you don’t have to appear at your professional best while ensuring that you indulge just enough to keep you at your personal best. Doing so also benefits those around you and is a quiet tactic in the fight against succumbing to the apprehensions related to uncertainty. It’s a reminder that you are, indeed, enough.
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Cheryl Conklin is a freelance writer and tutor by trade. She is also a blogger, adventurer, traveler, and creator of Wellness Central. She uses wellnesscentral.info to share her thoughts on wellness along with the great resources she finds on her own wellness journey.