When you lead a busy life (like most people do) self care is rare, there is always someone or something that comes first. Children, husbands, elderly parents, work, house work. The lists goes on. So I am sure that now during lockdown the thought of having any time for self care it pretty much impossible.
However, now during this pandemic, self care is needed more than ever. Everyone’s situation is so different. The schools have closed, people are working from home. Everyone is juggling in different ways. My reality is that I am looking after our three children whilst my self employed husband works long days. I was made redundant a few months ago and so now I am able to concentrate on our children. Whilst I am lucky I don’t have to work, looking after and homeschooling three children mostly on my own is really hard especially as my youngest is a energetic boisterous three year old. It is also the worst time for me to begin to look for a new job as the future is so uncertain.
Whereas my friends have one child to homeschool yet both work full time hours which they are finding really stressful. My best friend is due to return to her job as a Social Worker after maternity leave, yet she has the stress and worry of her baby not having any chance to settle into nursery and the worry of her toddler returning to preschool. Everyone is making tough decisions. Anxieties are through the roof and stress levels are high. It is important that we are looking after ourselves.
Here are some ways for a little self care during lockdown.
I have always enjoyed reading books. I find I need this escapism more than ever. It helps. It really is just 30 minutes here and there. A little hour before bed sometimes. A good book really lets me forget about real life for a bit.
Have a good cry
As a Mum we sometimes feel that we have to hold it all together. Making sure everyone is ok and staying positive is exhausting. I have found myself needing a good cry somedays and when I do I feel so much better for it. Letting the stresses and emotions out. I allow myself to feel sad about it all for a little bit. We are living in scary times with no end in sight at the moment. It is ok to be upset about it. So let it out, have a little sob. I guarantee you will feel the benefits.
Money is tight for most people right now, but this doesn’t have to be an expensive treat. It can be a bunch of flowers to cheer up your room. A takeaway because your fed up cooking. A bottle of wine or even a chocolate bar. Somtimes it is just the little things that make everything seem a little brighter.
Obviously not in person right now but you can still make the effort to call friends, have video calls or message via WhatsApp. My family have set up a weekly quiz on Zoom. I didn’t really fancy it however I still took part. The first one made me feel sad because it just didn’t feel the same. However, now a few weeks in I look forward to seeing everyone and I feel happier afterwards. Its obviously not the same as seeing family in person but for now it will do.
Look for the silver linings.
There are many positives from lockdown if you look hard enough. For me I enjoy the slower pace of life. I love the early morning cup of tea in bed, no rushing around every day. No putting make up on or worrying about what I can wear. I appreciate the little things, a warm day, a full fridge, playing monsters with my kids. This is our chance to embrace something a different for a few months and when it is over I know there are bits of lockdown life that I will miss.
A long local walk breaks up the day and allows me to breathe. Sometimes I go alone, sometimes as a family, either way it helps give me a little perspective after a tough day. It is something I try to force myself to do every single day.
Be Kind to yourself.
During these stressful times just be kind to yourself. Do what you can. Remember there will be good days and bad days. Days when you achieve lots and days when you don’t. If you are homeschooling remember you are not a teacher, you don’t have the resources, just do your best. Sometimes there will be far too much screen time and sometimes there wont. Be realistic and more importantly do what makes you feel happy. Be kind to yourself.