First of all I want to do a quick check-in: how are you doing? Are you hanging in there? I’m seeing a lot of posts about what Sir Issac Newtown did while in isolation from the Bubonic plague, so we should be using this time to create, clean and learn but I want to remind you that it’s okay to use this time to slow down. Two weeks ago I would have told you that in self-isolation with just my daughter and Trish would give the me (much needed) time to clean out my desktop, organize my linen closet, record new podcast episodes, update my skincare routine, all of the things I was usually too busy to do. But you know what, absolutely none of that has happened so far. And that is okay.
I know a lot of parents right now are trying to juggle working from home (maybe for the first time ever), caring for (and entertaining) your kid(s) and trying to maintain order in your house. Let me be the first to tell you: it is okay to not be perfect. It is okay to let the kids watch a movie so you can take a call, it is okay to not stick to the homeschool schedule perfectly every single day, it is okay to have some dishes in the sink. You are doing your best. And that is absolutely enough. Everyone’s “normal” right now is going to look a little bit different so don’t compare yourself to what you’re seeing on social media. I am making a lot of home-cooked meals because I have a lot of food I need to use in my fridge before it goes bad. I also have Trish to help me out with Olivia. I wouldn’t be doing that otherwise. Take a deep breath and give yourself a break.
Knowing that things are going to look a bit different for the foreseeable future, I wanted to share my tips for how I am staying grounded in these uncertain times. My anxiety, like many people’s, is running high right now but I am using these tools to keep myself as grounded as possible.
- Communicate – Do you need something? Ask for it. Are you scared? Connect with someone. Do you have to make some changes? Share them. I have found that keeping the lines of communication wide open during these unsure times have helped me relieve a lot of anxiety. Everyone is scared/uncertain and sharing things honestly during this time will help us all.
- Limit Your News Consumption – I know it is incredibly important to stay up to date on what is going on in the world right now, but putting parameters on how much and when you are consuming the news can help to keep your anxiety levels manageable. I give myself 20 minutes a day, in the middle of the day, to catch up on what is going on. I don’t read it first thing when I get up because starting my day grounded, centered and feeling good is more productive, and I don’t read it right before I go to bed because I don’t want my mind filled with negative/scary thoughts before I try to fall asleep.
- Connect to Your Breath – You know I am a huge fan of meditation and breath work, but now, more than ever, it is important to work on quieting your mind. There are great meditations on the Calm app, on YouTube and Headspace. These tools can help you set aside time to be still and focus on nothing other than your breath, lowering your stress and heart-rate and help you stay grounded.
- Connect with Others – Do you usually have a weekly mommy + me group on Wednesdays? Connect with one (or all of) the mom’s on FaceTime or Google HangOut. I have friends using this technology to do interviews, virtual book clubs, wine nights and birthday celebrations. Just because we are staying away from each other physically doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still find ways to stay connected.
- Find Some Sort of Routine – In my line of work, I don’t usually have a set schedule, but I have found that routine during this time has helped calm my brain down quite a lot. Little things from making my bed as soon as I get up, to maintaining my morning journaling with a cup of coffee, to “lunch time dance parties” with Olivia and Trish to get our bodies moving in the middle of the day, has helped me put some structure into my day. Create what works for you and your family. Maybe a morning movie with breakfast so you can have some time to get ahead of the day, maybe family dinner every night at the same time, whatever it is, try to come up with something that will give your life some structure and stick to it.
So those are a few things that are working for me. I hope they help you in some small way. And if you have any tips or want to connect, I am always here for you. Reach out to me on Instagram. We’ll get through this together.
All my love, Sabrina.