I've had so many conversations over the last week with people both online and offline where they have told me they feel like they have been on an emotional rollercoster the last few weeks. People are feeling mentally drained, emotional strung out and our bodies are filled with tension. This is a completely natural reaction to what is going on around us! With more and more countries going on lock down or heavily restricting free movement, it is very normal to feel panicked, stressed or claustrophobic. The fact that many of us are also trying to work from home and look after our kids full time is also overwhelming. It's a lot for the body and mind to process!
Now more than ever we need to look after our mental health. It is precisely because we are dealing with so much that we need to prioritise self care. No matter how busy and overwhelmed we are, if we don't carve out a little bit of time for ourselves every single day we will only feel worse and worse as the days go on. Without looking after our mental health this situation is going to be so much harder to get through. We owe it to ourselves, our partners and our children to look after ourselves and model that behaviour for them.
Ways you can practice self care in isolation:
- Only check the news once or twice a day to give your brain a rest in between times.
- Limit time on social media to avoid the panic, theories and general craziness.
- Try not to work when you have the kids. Mentally switching back and forth between work and caregiving is very taxing on the mind and can stress you out. If at all possible do the majority of your work when the kids are with your partner, napping or gone to bed for the night.
- Wake up and go to bed at the same time each day.
- Keep a routine Mon-Fri and switch it up at the weekends.
- Eat well.
- Drink enough water
- Get fresh air every day - sit in your garden or on your balcony if you have one, or even just by an open window.
- Workout at home - YouTube is full of amazing free workouts and lots of people are doing free classes on instagram at the moment too.
- Practice yoga or do some simple stretches before bedtime.
- Have a dance party with the kids!
- Video chat with family or friends once a day.
- Play board games with your partner rather than watching tv some evenings.
- Take an online class in the evenings to allow your mind focus on something new - personal development, a new language, a new skill, anything!
- Practice a neglected hobby - the piano, hand lettering, baking, whatever makes your heart sing.
- Declutter high traffic areas in your home to help bring some calm to your environment.
- Do those DIY jobs around the house you've never had time to tick off the list.
- Watch stand up comedy.
- Singalong to your favourite songs out loud!
- Listen to funny podcasts.
- Bring the outside in. If you have plants or flowers growing outside cut a few blooms to put in a vase inside where you can enjoy them.
- Play relaxing music in the background.
- Gratitude journalling.
- Read a feel good book.
- Listening to meditations (I love the Buddhify app).
- Slow down, and practice your skincare routine in a mindful, calming way.
- A hot bubble bath with your favourite Netflix show.
There are so many things you can do for your mind and body at this time. Try to do a least one thing every day. It will really help get you through this challenging time, and you may even find yourself thriving after it with your new skills and commitment to exercise, consistency and calm!