Many of us are pretty darn overwhelmed right now. We want ALL the information. And at the same time, we wish it would all just disappear. In the thick of it – for the sake of our mental wellbeing – we still need to find some semblance of self-care if we’re going to recognize ourselves on the other side of this surreal situation.
While self-care might feel like an impossible task right now, here are five ways to do it. Right this moment, you can find some peace.
It’s almost impossible not to breathe deeply while you stretch. The combination of deep breaths and stretching stimulates receptors in the nervous system and decrease the production of stress hormones. Hold your stretching position for as long as you can. The more you can relax into it, the better.
Take a break from the screens.
It’s highly unlikely that anything urgent will appear in our newsfeed while we take an hour (or a day) offline. We’d be naïve to understand that screens are linked to anxiety and depression in kids but think they have no effect on us. The news will be here when you get back. Take a break and see what good comes from screen free parenting.
Enjoy a small change of scenery.
Shake up what’s normal for your family. Eat dinner in the living room. “Camp” in each other’s bedrooms or swap beds for the night. Do whatever you need to, to get out of a funk and feel like you’re creating a safe emotional space. Even taking your laptop into the kitchen rather than the bedroom – or wherever you normally work – can give you a fresher perspective. Look out a different window.
Remember that playful parenting is your friend.
Playful parenting helps lighten the mood for everyone when people just aren’t getting along (or aren’t as well as we’d like). It’s an absolute win/win situation for you and your kids.
Lower your standards.
Two nights ago, I went to bed frustrated that my house wasn’t clean. I woke up stressed, still looking at the mess around me and wanting the clutter to just.go.away. It didn’t. I got really snippy with my family about it and no one was better for it. I spent most of the day repairing the emotional rupture I’d caused. The next night, I took another approach. I went to bed in a messier-than-usual house and told myself, “My house will still be messy when I wake up in the morning. I am going to sleep knowing this and I make peace with the mess.” You know what? I was a nicer person the next morning. I legitimately felt better with that attitude. I decided that with everything else going on, some clutter was not a big deal. Paradigm shift.
This too shall pass. In the meantime, let go of worry about messy bedrooms, homework, and anything at all that feels permanent. It isn’t. Better days are surely ahead.