The current pandemic has created a need for new self care routines that can keep you balanced on the busiest of days. When you feel yourself slipping into anxiety, anger, or frustration, take a few minutes to bring your better self (and/or your better child) back with the following strategies:
Savor your shower/bath routine.
Give yourself 10 extra minutes to enjoy your bath or shower rather than rushing through it. Use your senses to fully experience the smell of your shampoo, the sensation of the water on your skin, the patterns of droplets on the wall, and the sound of yourself belting out a showtune or two or just sighing as your body relaxes. Put on lotion or a favorite clothing item afterward for a little extra joy.
Bring back your commute.
Your commute is a routine that prepares you for your next task. When you need to get ready mentally for what’s to come, go for a short walk or drive. Need a distraction? Download an audio book or podcast to play on the way. Need a daily mood boost? Try choosing an anthem for the week and play or sing it before you get out of your car or walk into your (home) office. Choose something that makes you feel like your best self.
Reset after every rough patch.
When the morning routine crumbles into chaos, take a deep breath and start over. If you yelled at the kids to get back to work, toss a ball (or balloon) together or build a pillow fort during the next break. Only have a minute? Gather them for a hug or a laugh and a quick apology. Envision the emotion you’d like to have, and take immediate action to get there.
Find your personal reset button.
If the work doesn’t get done in the time allotted, don’t burn the midnight oil. Identify some things you could let go and plan for tomorrow’s success. This is especially important right now, when anxiety, changes in routine, and loss of shared activities should be making you less efficient than usual. Yes, I said should. Your feelings alert you to what you are experiencing and help you to make sense of it. The process of adjustment you are going through uses some of your mental and emotional resources, whether or not you plan to let it. Acknowledge that and let yourself progress more slowly in other areas. You’ll come out healthier in the end.
Create a mini routine that gets you back in touch with your core self. Set a timer so you don’t have to watch the clock, and
- Do a series of 2-3 favorite yoga poses.
- Meditate or listen to a guided imagery exercise.
- Read a favorite poem.
- Play or sing a favorite song.
- Stretch or use progressive muscle relaxation.
- Wash your face or brush your hair.
- Massage your feet.
- Eat a piece of fruit. Savor every bite.
- Play with your pet.
- Hug someone you love.
- Listen to a favorite comedy bit.
- Read an article about something you enjoy.
- Have a cup of tea (skip the caffeine if you’re feeling anxious or not sleeping well).
- Watch the clouds float by.
This is an important skill for your family, too! Consider making a chart of each person’s favorite resets, and posting it in the kitchen. Place a magnet or clip on the activity you’re doing when you go to reset, or use a game spinner to choose your activity.