Navigating today’s pandemic is a complicated mix of what to do and what not to do. It is certainly a stressful time, especially for those of us with teens who have struggled. It all comes down to the basic idea of self care. That term gets used all the time, yet it can be as individual as we are. Self-care is what we make it to be for ourselves.
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What is Self Care?
I refer to an article by By Raphailia Michael, MA (posted at PyschCentral.com) that defines self-care, called “What Self-Care Is – And What it is Not”. Three key components of self care include: mental, emotional and physical activities that help ground us and make us feel good. The author describes some basics that include proper sleep, nutrition, exercise, relaxing, spending quality time with loved ones, finding enjoyable activities and laughing each day.
In my “normal” list of self care physical activities: I have played tennis and pickle ball, swim, take walks, listen to music, watch light-hearted videos and movies and play the guitar. In today’s world, I can still take walks (so many walks, that my average steps are well over 14,000 per day), and many of my favorite activities, but not all of them.
Under our health orders in our county in CA, there are restrictions involving tennis and pickle ball, and swimming in our public pools. I will get back to those things all in good time and I’m okay with that. My health and those around me is too important to rush it and run into the possibility of more contamination and illness. So I feel good about following the guidelines, mainly because it’s the right thing to do.
My self care has evolved as we navigate our new world. There are so many simple and little pleasures I appreciate and enjoy.
- Looking at and scanning old photographs
- Baking my first sour dough bread loaf
- Planning meals a week out since my shopping is now once a week
- Planting a few veggies in pots: basil, tomato and padron peppers
- More Warrior Mom Blog posts perhaps turning into a book…
- Learning new songs on the guitar
Some Ideas to Deal with It All
It is tough to watch the whole world going through this pandemic. It is very sad to hear about the amount of death there has been. I do keep up with news and information, but at some point, we all get saturated and it brings us down. Here are some things I am doing to deal with it all:
- I try to limit my news watching.
- I try to find the positive stories of good people helping each other.
- I try to stick to a routine.
- I accept that change is always inevitable.
- I try to connect with friends and family via phone or social media.
- I try to be understanding to those around me.
- I try to be mindful to relieve any stress, with breathing and being present.
- I try to focus on what’s positive around me: the earth is resetting, families are together, solutions are in the works.
- I like watching funny, creative videos.
- I am fortunate to be able to keep selling on eBay. The ultimate work from home job!
- I accept that things are different now vs before the outbreak.
- I enjoy walking near my house and looking at all the beautiful flowers.
- I am grateful my son is well and working.
The Unknown is Still Unknown
Having been through tough and uncertain times with a struggling teen during the past three years, I draw on the many tools I learned during that time. Just like “we lived our lives” during the past three years, we still don’t know what will happen tomorrow. No one does.
- We all only have today.
- One day at a time.
- We are not alone.
We will get through this AND we need to work at it AND it will take time. (Time is such an odd concept, since we have a lot of that on our hands today.)
Our world has been forced to slow down. There are many people out of work and in need of financial aid. Our health becomes a priority. Staying healthy must include self-care. What does that look like for you?
Things I Want to Add to My Self Care List
- I want to help others – not sure exactly what that means, but I’m thinking about it.
- I want to get back to more reading: autobiographies are my top choice. Sally Field’s book is on my list.
- I want to watch some great, old movies, since Tiger King does not interest me. Perhaps watch AFI’s Top 200 List!
- I want to make bagels. The sour dough experiment was okay, but I think bagels would be fun!
- I want to keep sorting and organizing photos and videos. I have so many!
- I want to write more.
- Get my bike out and start riding again!
- Try some new recipes!
Last but not least, I count my blessings every day. It does sometimes feel like we are living in a real life version of “Groundhog Day” (Bill Murray movie), but each day is a gift. I have a loving family and as we continue to hunker down (I do love that expression), we are fortunate to have each other. I am confident that things in our world will evolve into a “new normal” and I am planning to continue with my self care.
Hanging in there,