You might feel like a deck of cards right now — right after somebody flipped the playing table. During uncertain times, self-care becomes more critical than ever. However, if you’re a busy parent, you might wonder, “Who has time for that? I need to secure my employment situation while I raise kids and teach them.” Take a deep breath. While no one can deny that the coronavirus has brought unprecedented changes to daily life, you can keep yourself and your family healthy while social distancing with these tips.
What Is Self-Care?
You might think that self-care entails checking into a temporarily-closed spa and spending a bundle. However, self-care merely refers to any activity you deliberately do to benefit your mental, physical or emotional health. When you consider this interpretation, you see how much of your daily routine can qualify.
The vital aspect is to perform these actions mindfully. Immerse yourself fully in the present moment as you dig into these beneficial activities. Your worries and fears about the future will still be there waiting — promise. However, you’ll feel much more ready to tackle them once you nurture your body and spirit.
Self-Care Activities for the Family
The term “self-care” doesn’t need to mean performing activities by yourself. You can and should get the entire gang involved. After all, your family is also experiencing social distancing, and they need comfort and routine now, too.
Talk About Your Emotions
Bring back the family dinner if the hecticness of daily life got you out of the habit. Turn off all devices, including the television, and focus on talking about your emotions. Let your children vent within reason, and express your misgivings in an age-appropriate way. However, do remain calm and share accurate information. Reassure your children that COVID-19 causes relatively mild symptoms in many individuals and that you will make sure to take care of their needs.
While you might not want your child playing on park equipment during this time, in many jurisdictions, you may still go outdoors for exercise. Make yours more mindful by stopping and listening to the singing birds while you stroll — you can hear them more clearly with less traffic. Take a notebook and observe the plants and trees you see on your walk. You can turn this into a learning activity by identifying and creating labels for the various varieties when you arrive home.
Prepare Nourishing Meals
The right nutrition can help keep your family healthier by bolstering your immune system. Let your kids help in the kitchen. Discuss the various ingredients you choose and the nutrients they provide. Flavor matters, too, so work together to make favorite dishes both healthy and tasty.
Embrace Learning Together
Maybe you never intended to add “online teacher” to your resume, you can use this time to embrace learning together as a family. Have you always dreamed of visiting Paris? Why don’t you practice your French lessons together? Make it a game to see who can build fluency first.
Adopt Positive Hobbies
Cries of “I’m bored” can make the quarantine seem endless. Now is the perfect time to share interests as a family and find things that you all love. You can work in the garden together as you prepare the soil for your spring planting. Maybe you always wanted to get handier, and you test your carpentry skills by building a better birdhouse.
Try Yoga and Meditation
Some yoga poses, like standing forward folds, help to drain stuffy nasal passages, so if your kids develop mild symptoms, they can help. Yoga and meditation are also perfect self-soothing techniques that many schools use to manage behavioral issues. The trick is making it fun — after all, you are competing with video games for attention. You can have your kids stretch like a big tomcat or stand on one leg like a stork. Teach them deep breathing by having them pretend to be Darth Vader.
Get Enough Sleep
Finally, it’s tempting to give into complaints to stay up late. After all, your little ones hardly need to wake up for school. However, you need time, and adequate rest boosts immune function. As much as possible, stick to your child’s regular bedtime.
Self-Care Activities for When the Kids Go to Bed
That isn’t to say you can’t indulge yourself, too. Consider the following practices once you put the little ones down for a nap.
Take a Leisurely Bath
Hot water soothes both sore muscles and anxiety. You can also make DIY tea bags to add to the water to remedy ailments.
Treat Your Significant Other to a Massage
Since the spas are closed, why not learn how to give a massage like a pro? You can treat your SO — and ask them to return the favor, of course.
Read a Book
When was the last time you lost yourself in a novel? Now is the ideal time to catch up on your reading.
Let Yourself Indulge (a Little)
Finally, you have a tough job. You have to take care of your mental and physical health while also supporting your family’s needs. It’s okay to allow yourself a glass of wine or a Netflix binge. Just take care not to overdo it.
Practice Self-Care While Social Distancing and Stay Healthy in Uncertain Times
During times of uncertainty, you need self-care more than ever. Follow these tips to preserve your family’s well-being while social distancing.
Jennifer Landis is a mom, wife, freelance writer, and blogger at Mindfulness Mama. She enjoys yoga day, red wine, and drinking all of the tea she can find. Follow her on Twitter @JenniferELandis.
Image courtesy of Jessica Rockowitz.