Who would have thought we would experience a world pandemic in our lifetime? Didn’t stuff like that happen in the Middle Ages? Now that we are well into taking precautions, practicing social distancing, and mostly staying at home to keep ourselves and others safe, how do we take care of ourselves and practice good, healthy self-care? You know…doing things for yourself that you enjoy, that give you back some energy, and that relieve some of the stress in your life.
While “sheltering at home” to help contain the spread of the virus, there are two very different challenges to maintaining good self-care. One is that you are in a confined space with a spouse or partner and several children. In this case, you may be frustrated that you never have any alone time. The other scenario is that you live alone, are almost always alone, and are craving some human contact and interaction.
In this blog we will explore some ways to create quality alone (self-care) time while being with the family 24/7. Next week we will consider ways to overcome the loneliness that isolation may bring.
While you are sheltering at home with the family you find yourself wearing more hats, learning new skills, and acquiring new roles and responsibilities which might include:
- Husband/wife and mom/dad
- Employee from home learning new technology
- School teacher and challenges that come with it
- Nurse and counselor
- Meal planner for 3 meals per day
- Chief cook and dishwasher
- Financial planner and budget maker
- Fitness coach for self and the family
- Hair stylist
- Sanitation expert and enforcer
- Toilet paper finder
You might be experiencing Zoom fatigue or FaceTime or whatever is used for online work meetings, children’s schoolwork, and family gatherings. Maybe you are ready to start a petition to increase school teacher’s salaries because you have now seem their job and definitely do not want it! You are desperately wanting some time alone and away from people but are finding you cannot even go to bathroom without being followed by a child or have someone calling for you. Ugh!
Married couples with young children can negotiate an agreement to allow each other self-care time each week. This is an especially difficult challenge for single parents with young children. It will take exercising creativity muscles.
Here are a few suggestions of things you can do alone:
- Take a drive to one of your favorite parks or scenic places
- Listen to music while walking or driving or at the beach or a park
- Take a bubble bath (be sure to lock the door)
- Find a quiet spot to read a magazine
- Plant a flower or gardening
- Give yourself a manicure or pedicure
- Find a new recipe and try it while your spouse takes the family away
- An early morning run, shooting some hoops, fishing
- Learn a new hobby
- Do a jigsaw puzzle
- Color or paint a picture
- Take a virtual dance or fitness class
Planning your self-care is as important as all of the other “important” things you do. When you take time for yourself it helps all of the other roles you do go so much better…a more patient spouse and parent, a more productive employee, a teacher with kindness…because when we are rejuvenated from within we have the energy to face our lives with a positive perspective.
I encourage you to think about what helps you feel renewed energy and plan those special times and activities. Your inner self will thank you!
Quarantine getting to you? Need help with marriage or family relationships? Call me for a free phone consultation at 321-251-8344. I offer teletherapy for anyone in the state of Florida.
Carma R. Kuhn, M.Ed., LMHC – firstname.lastname@example.org