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Making time for yourself in a pandemic

We are in a new normal, but how has this new normal affected us? How are we making space in our lives to stop and just be in the present moment? It’s so hard to stop watching the news or lament about our current reality and all the things we miss, like spending time with other people than our housemates, enjoying pampering activities, vacations, group activities like parties, sports, and concerts or just allowing people in your home to chill.

Then there are the musts that still have to occur, whether you’re teleworking, going into your worksite, or regretfully lost your job, worrying about your kids – their education, their health, their mental health, then child care concerns, school in the fall, the health of educators, teaching while parenting and working full time… and still finding time to be with your spouse/partner in meaningful ways.

It’s enough to make your head pop off. Like seriously…I’m only one person! Even with a super supportive engaged hubby, its tough.

And for those single parents out there, ya’ll are the real MVP’s! How you do what you do is commendable, and if no one told you today how awesome you are, soak it in, wear that cape like the super hero you are. I’m sending all the positive vibes and letting you know how appreciated you are.

We can really put ourselves through the ringer and adding that unneeded pressure to do it all…and if you’re anything like me, to do it all perfect…becomes problematic when reality sets in and reminds us that we are in fact human. YOU ARE NOT A ROBOT.

So how do we do it? It’s critical to identify your family’s needs and wants and set expectations so everyone knows what to work toward. Then make a plan to get it done. Next, identify the extras that would be cool to accomplish, finally the rewards are those special treats that you deserve for getting through all this and staying safe, and they can boost mental health.

MUSTS would be things like laundry, food shopping, making meals, work, school tasks, sleep, fitness, solo quiet time for your brain (at least 10-15 mins a day, more if you can). Some musts can be contracted out – could you order food online to save time? Could you wash a load of laundry each night? Could you use a meal delivery service to cut down on food prep or teach the kids to cook? Bonus! Cooking with kids is teaching, learning, having fun and creating memories while doing a daily chore. Taking a walk after dinner could fill that fitness need while giving much needed brain space to recharge.

EXTRAS are those things that put a little pep in your step. Watching a funny movie with the family. Having a healthy meal together, calling a friend, journaling, listening to music, video chatting with friends or family. Making a tiktok video to laugh at your mad dancing skills or cat/dog/baby videos.

REWARDS could be learning something new, reading a book, spending alone time with your partner, helping a neighbor, walking in nature, creating art or slime with your kids, giving yourself a pedicure, facial, or taking a bubble bath.

Then make a schedule and a plan, write it down. Make yourself a priority and don’t feel bad about it. Mom guilt comes fast and hard when we think of time away from the babes, but you need to take care of you so there is something left to care for the family.

I like to find time early in the morning before any other distractions so I can center and stay focused on my goals. I spend time with God, workout and attempt a learning video on YouTube a few times a week, other days I go for a Netflix comic or cat/dog/baby video on YouTube. I’m thankful my hubby is supportive and wrangles the littles during this time. It keeps me sane and fills my spiritual tank so I can be the person I am instead of the crabby lady that comes out from all the stress.

What do you do to take care of you? What extras and rewards are meaningful for you and how are you staying sane amid the pandemic?

Check out blessingmanifesting.com for more info on self-care.

By missycooper1

I studied Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling, with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy at the University of South Florida. I enjoy learning and teaching. I began blogging as a way to capture moments of engagement with clients as well as personal discoveries. Counseling for me, is a way to go on a journey with someone in an incredibly meaningful way. I am honored to help them see the things they may be overlooking, and observe in awe upon the lifechanging breakthroughs they encounter along the way. People are amazing beings, we sometimes need to be reminded of that.

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