Nutrition, Fitness, and Wellness articles for busy women who want to lead a healthy, fulfilled life they love.
One of the hardest things about being a modern woman is that as much as we love “having it all,” we often feel like we don’t have time to pause, breathe, and recharge our batteries. Even in the best of times, it can be hard for us to find time to take care of us because we’re so busy taking care of everyone else.
How does that play out during these times of self-isolation? Well, to the surprise of absolutely no one, a lot of women have found themselves even less able to carve out much-needed me time. Our kids are doing school from home. We’re trying to work from home. Most of our partners are also working from home. And that’s not even to mention the extra time and emotional energy we’re expending on things like extra cleaning, disinfecting, and grocery shopping.
There are countless studies and articles that prove the negative impact stress has on our health and our relationships. I’ll spare you the psychology lesson today, but suffice it to say that when our mental health suffers, everything else around us suffers too. Our energy drops. Our immunity drops. Our ability to take care of others drops. Our inability to be as productive as we’d like to be causes even more stress, and the spiral continues.
I’m not suggesting that you just tap out and say you’re taking a break—as a fellow working mom and business woman, I know it’s just not that simple. However, it’s absolutely vital that you find some way to extend the same love to yourself than you give out so abundantly to others.
This one may be a given, but if you haven’t been out for a solo walk in a while, you might be amazed at how much good it could do. If you have older kids or a partner at home with you, let them know you need a few moments to collect yourself. Then, stroll around the block. Breathe deeply. Notice the spring flowers that are starting to peek out. Wave at a couple neighbors from afar. Even if you only manage a quick lap around your block, you’ll feel so much better for having gotten a little bit of fresh air and movement.
Not kidding! This might seem extreme, but desperate times call for desperate measures. If you really feel like you can’t get a single moment of free time, there’s no shame in locking yourself in the bathroom for a few minutes. Read a few pages of a book, play a mindless game on your phone, do some stretches . . . Whatever you need. Your kids will survive five minutes without you.
Again . . . It’s kind of funny to say, but I’m not joking. Sometimes, we really do need to scream into a pillow or cry in the shower. This isn’t about sulking or reveling in our stress. It’s about processing and releasing negative emotions. The more you try to shove down your frustrations, the more they’ll pop back up at inopportune moments. So let yourself feel it, do what you need to do to get it out, and get on with your day.
Normally, my advice to stressed out moms would be to get out of the house. Maybe you can’t go out for wine with the girls or on a solo museum date right now, but you can technically get out of the house. If you’re able to leave your kids with your partner, that’s fabulous. If you happen to have young children and your partner isn’t available to watch them, load everyone up in the car. Go ahead and load them up with their favorite book, game, or even their favorite electronic device—from one mom to another, a little extra screen time is okay if it means you get to retain your sanity. Turn on the radio, your favorite podcast, or nothing at all . . . and just drive.
How are you practicing self-care in quarantine? Have you had to come up with creative solutions to recharge your batteries? I’d love to hear about it! Leave me a note in the comments section, and don’t forget to come back next week for more “Quarantine Chronicles” from yours truly.