We get it…being stuck inside the house with the kids day in and day is challenging. Right now, you have a ton on your plate. You may be trying to do your normal job from home while at the same time helping your kids with schoolwork, getting them logged into online learning portals, refereeing sibling arguments, limiting screen. And, let’s not forget, you’re also worrying about keeping your family safe from infection, keeping the pantry stocked and worrying how much longer the isolation rules will go on.
We have three recommendations for how to take care of YOU during this unprecedented time in our world:
With this new “normal” it’s critical that you take time for YOU. That means taking breathers away from the kids, the computer and everything else to center and reset. If you have very small kids, hand them off to a spouse or older sibling so you can take short breaks throughout the day.
Create a quiet corner just for you to practice self-care. Maybe light a candle, sit on a soft pillow or a big comfy chair in a quiet room. Turn on meditative background music – you can even use tracks on Ninja Focus such as Zen in the Rain or Calming (each are 10 minutes or under).
- Close your eyes
- Inhale slowly and deeply for a count of 3
- Hold your breath for a count of 3
- Exhale slowly for a count of 3
- Repeat 5-8 times
Once this deep breathing has calmed your nervous system, you can switch to normal breathing and choose to:
- Focus on the breath as it moves in and out of your lungs OR
- Focus on a word or phrase such as “Surrender,” “Just this,” or “Peace”
- When your mind wanders off, simply bring it back to your breath
This kind of practice is a great way to turn off your stress response and invite a feeling of groundedness and peace. Do this multiple times a day and you’ll feel happier, calmer and you’ll be more productive.
Practice Letting Go
When things are frightening and uncertain, as they are now, it can make us feel increasingly worried and anxious – and understandably so. But the truth is, the more you worry and try to figure things out, the more unhappy you will be. Choose a phrase you can repeat to yourself to calm down. A phrase like “We’re safe,” or “Just breathe,” or even “It’s out of my hands,” can make a huge difference in your stress level. Just repeating the phrase quietly will cause your shoulders to lower and your breath to release.
Also try to let go of the idea of being a perfect parent right now. That’s not the goal. If your kids get a little more screen time than you’d like, it’s okay…don’t beat yourself up about it. If you’re ordering takeout more than you’d prefer, it’s okay…don’t judge yourself. Be as kind and gentle to yourself as you can.
One of the best things you can do for yourself AND your family is to practice self-love through this difficult time. That means not talking to yourself in a negative way. If you find you’re judging yourself harshly, expecting too much from yourself, or being downright mean to yourself, notice and make a shift. So start telling yourself things like “I’m doing my very best,” and “I don’t have to do this perfectly,” or “I’m at peace with my decisions,” can help you shift a negative thought process and invite a sense of peace and acceptance into your heart.
As a parent, you tend to focus much of our energy on making sure your kids are okay. But it’s equally important to make sure YOU are okay. Do that and the rest will fall into place.