Running on Fumes–Here are some self-care tips to practice during COVID-19

Running on Fumes

Have you experienced days when you feel a mix of emotions? It could be overlapping zoom meetings or homework problems that are hard for you to understand? Maybe you miss seeing your friends and connecting via Zoom or Facetime doesn’t provide that closeness you seek...

We relate. Navigating the new normal of living during a pandemic can cause a whirlwind of emotions. That’s why you need to take time for yourself.

It can be said that in times of crisis, self-care goes out of the window.

Truth is, taking care of yourself is not a luxury. It is essential. And during this difficult time, when children are at home and stress is running high, it is more important than ever.

Here are a few self- care tips that can help:

  • Take a walk: Take turns with your spouse or co-parent and go for a stroll or a jog. Sure, family walks are great, but you each need the time to take a stroll without worrying about whether the kids are running into the street or straying into a random shop.
  • Get more sleep: Agree with each other, to go to bed 30 minutes earlier or take turns indulging in a midday nap. You will be surprised at just how refreshed you feel with an extra 30 minutes.
  • Breathe more: Take 10 minutes just to focus on breathing and encourage your partner to do the same. This is harder than you can imagine if you are not used to it, but what it does, is help slow down your thoughts so that you can focus better when you return to your daily tasks.
  • Make time for yourself: Right now, much of the personal time that was part of daily routines — commutes, time alone at home or at the shops, social time with friends — is no longer available with kids at home. We therefore have to be more intentional about creating space to recharge and decompress. This could be as simple as taking a shower or bath, walking around the estate alone (or with your pet), designating time to read or simply zone out after the kids have gone to bed.
  • Practice Compassion: Being a perfectionist and the Corona Virus don’t mix. Try setting realistic expectations and giving yourself grace if you cannot meet them. Practice forgiveness and self-compassion. As a parent, remind yourself that there is no playbook for this. You are doing your best during a very difficult time.
  • Set boundaries: With so much worry and uncertainty floating around it can be easy to absorb other people’s fears and concerns without even realizing it. If you have a friend or family member who is in the habit of sending worst-case-scenario news or is prone to sending anxiety-provoking text messages, practice a little emotional distancing. Let them know you sympathize but that you are taking a break from worrying news, alternatively, you could just hit the Do Not Disturb button, and purpose to reconnect when things are calmer.

Finally, remember, being kind to yourself will not only help you stay calm during this difficult time, it will help ensure that you have the bandwidth you need to take good care of your family.