It’s a strange time we’re living in right now. Most everyone I know would agree we’ve not lived through moments like this before. We don’t have experience in lock downs and stay at home orders. We aren’t used to seeing folks in masks at the grocery store. Or viewing empty shelves and lines just to buy the essentials. This moment in time is new and unprecedented for most of us.
While my morning looks the same today; quiet, sun shining, coffee in hand and my family still sleeping; the world we live in isn’t the same. We sat glued to the television last night watching the expected”stay at home” order announcement. As we went about our evening after I couldn’t help but think what that means for tomorrow when I’m to go to work. It’s hard to know how this order effects my day to day life. I’m not in an essential job (in my opinion) but I’m sure my employer sees this differently. So I’m waking up in a new reality trying to make some decisions.
One thing I’m thinking on though is how to get some self care in when everyone is home and there’s very little chance to get alone time. As a mother how do I still take care of myself while all the children are around every moment? I’m sure many of you parents are stressed and worried and are busy caring for so many others that your own needs are lost in the fray. Besides the new worries about health we still have the same stressors as before with jobs, bills and now how to make sure these kids’ education stays on track. It is a different world already and here in the US; only under 2 weeks into this crisis.
So how do we cope? How do we function in a world gone mad in some ways? What do you do to stay focused on goals? To stay healthy mentally and physically? We all know to keep distances from others outside our homes. We know not to shake hands or hug on others. But what do we do for our own individual sanity each day?
Here are a few things I am doing to keep myself from becoming too overwhelmed by this moment in time:
- Believe this too shall pass! Having Faith in times of trials has always helped me. No matter what that faith is in, call it God, Universe, etc…believing there is a purpose to life and our own individual place in it, helps me get through moments that do not make much sense. Faith is like a house foundation for me. It holds everything else up.
- Continue to keep similar routines, even with everyone home. I have been the first one up (most days) for the last few years. I am still continuing that. Still starting my day with quiet meditation, reading and journaling. Still setting my alarm to get up and start the day; not hiding under the covers.
- Keep active! Exercise is always important for physical and mental health. Keep going for a walk; even if in your house. Do sit ups. Squats. Push ups. Do things that will get your heart rate up (if you are healthy to do so) and help those positive endorphins release.
- Set a time for how much you read or watch the news. Just like crisis’s in the past, the news coverage is on 24/7. We have access to news from all over the globe. We have to learn to turn it off now and again. Creating a boundary for the amount of time we devote to being hammered with information is important. Boundaries are for our protection, set limits.
- Learn a new skill. Now is the time to try something new at home that you may have always been interested in. There have been numerous websites that are listing classes, videos, webcasts or podcasts for free. You can probably at least get an introduction to something you have been waiting to learn.
- Get enough rest. Do not stay up late watching another news cast. You will be able to see it all the next day. Do not stay up late eating cause you are stressed about how to pay everything and what will you do next. Sleep is vital to your brain function. You need your mind and body to function at optimal health and sleep is necessary to achieve this. If you suffer insomnia (especially in times of stress) try to take rests often; at least close your eyes and try to turn the mind noise down.
In times of stress it is very hard to make time for yourself and your needs. I know we are all experiencing different reactions to this crisis, but remember each life is valuable. YOU MATTER! Your family needs you to be at your best. No matter what crisis comes our way we will get to the other side. Taking care of yourself makes you better prepared to care for others. Keep fighting to stay healthy and sane.
Wishing each of you good health.
Focusing on this thought and idea this morning:
Even this holiday season, with more stress than I am used to, serves a purpose. Perhaps I am supposed to learn how to slow down and rest more. Or perhaps it is that family togetherness is much more important than any material gifts. Or that giving to others is a great way to share joy this year. Whatever I am supposed to learn in this season must still be on the way, so I am learning to wait and be patient.
If you are in a more stressful season than you would prefer, try to focus on this quote. Try to glean what you can from these moments; knowing you are being prepared for something else. I am holding on to there is a purpose to all this stress and I will be better for it; in time.
Have a great Thursday.
It’s another Manic Monday! For so many of us, this is how we feel the first morning of a work or school week. We start with stress, often tired and rushed as we start the week early, by an alarm clock after a weekend of possibly more freedom in the schedule.
But maybe if we change our morning habits, we can approach Monday’s or any day with renewal, rather than stress. Here is a list of 10 things that we can do to start our mornings calmer, more relaxed and ready to tackle whatever Monday or the week brings.
10 things you can do this morning to start your day:
- Set the alarm for 10 minutes earlier and do not hit snooze. When we hit snooze we are just stalling and setting up ourselves to dread the day rather than embrace the day. Setting the alarm for 10 minutes earlier is to give us the “extra” time to practice the rest of the list.
- Breathe. Take 5-10 deep, cleansing breaths. According to many different sites; Deep breathing can help you relax, decrease anxiety, improve coping skills and even help to lower your blood pressure.
- Stretch. As a suffer from back pain for many many years, the only way I could get out of bed was to stretch in bed first. Sometimes that included yoga moves such as cat and cow, but for this purpose, just do a few full body stretches. Hands above the head, reach legs out, anything that feels comfortable. Maybe bring legs up to the chest and stretch back out. Do not do if this hurts, but focus on feeling body elongate and the muscles stretch out across the body.
- Meditate for 2-3 minutes. Find a meditation that you enjoy. One that perhaps is specific to waking up. Instead of the moment we awake, we hit the ground with constant thought and movement, try to calmly start the day with quiet, soft music that allows you to center thoughts.
- Drink a glass of water. Before going to bed the night before set a glass of water next to the bed. After all the breathing, stretching and meditating, drink the water slowly. Supposedly this can help increase energy, the flow of oxygen through your body and help in digestion.
- Snuggle your partner if you have one. There is no specific order for this one. When you turn the alarm off, this may be the first thing you want to do, perhaps practicing the list together. But instead of being in a hurry to leave your bed and tackle the day, take a moment to hug your partner. Physical touch can be healing, a source of comfort and a reminder you are a team, tackling the world together.
- Look at the calendar. Now is when you can pull the phone out, as we all seem to sleep with our smartphones these days. Look at what you have scheduled for the day. Don’t look beyond the day, just start with this morning. Get an idea of what is on the agenda,
- While on the phone, either look at Pinterest for a quote or set up a daily quote to be delivered to your email. Something inspirational, motivating. If you are starting a workout regime, read a fitness post. If you are about to be home with kids all day, read a mommy blog. If you are heading into a long day of work meetings, find a quote about teamwork or fulfillment in a job well done. Reading a positive affirmation or quote sets your mind on positive ideas. Rather than dreading the day or worrying, find ideas that bring a smile.
In our house, we ascribe to the mindset that what you focus on will be how you behave, so set your mind on positive things. This does not mean those bad moments won’t occur, but this is a much better way to start the day on an upbeat, positive note.
- Make a list. I keep a pad of paper next to my bed because I am a writer and often wake up in the middle of the night with some thoughts I want to write down. Utilize that pad of paper to make a list for the day. For the chores or errands or notes for a meeting. It could be a list for the kiddos or partner. Writing down a list can help organize your thoughts and help you feel more prepared to tackle the day.
- Make the bed as you get out of it. I am a bed maker. Something about having the main piece of furniture in the room looking nice and all put together makes me happy. If you make the bed first thing, then as you are getting ready or come back and forth through out the morning, you will already feel that one thing was accomplished. It’s not a BIG thing, but it’s one less task you have to come back to.
Monday is still going to be there 10 minutes later. The kids will still be getting up and needing breakfast and all things else. But when you start the day calmer, refreshed, less hurried and frazzled, you are more approachable for those family and work mates that you will be interacting with. Taking 10 extra minutes to take care of you in the morning could be vital to creating peace and tranquility in your self, home, relationships, etc.
What are your thoughts? Do you have any ideas to add to the list? Do you do something every morning or weekly that helps create calm in your life as you tackle each day? Share with me, I would like to hear your ideas as well.
We do not have to dread Mondays! When we start the day calmly, we have more patience and energy to tackle whatever we might face.
Embrace the day! Go out with a smile and a sense of renewal.