You are the glue keeping everything together right now. You set the tone for the ebb and flow of your family routines. You are constantly taking the emotional temperature of your child, children, and spouse. Now you are not only Mama but Mme. Mama, teacher as well as cook, nurse, maid, and your own person. And it is to this last point that I would like to touch on at this time. You. You must also rescue yourself right now, you must look after yourself, stimulate and nurture your spirit and mind at this moment that feels like we are trying to stay afloat swimming in a toxic soup of uncertainty.
Below are 15 suggestions of ways to attempt to rise above the heaviness, to love yourself, to create your silver linings.
We still have so much to be grateful for. A gratitude journal may sound corny, but the act of reflecting and writing down daily at least 5 things you are grateful for may help reset some of the negativity of our current challenges. Don’t feel like a gratitude journal? Then journal down all your fears, frustrations, resentments, and brainstorm what can be done to minimize those.
It means coziness. Hugs, cuddles, lighting candles, enjoying just being with each other with no agenda. It’s calm and loving.
There are still good news stories out there. Search for them, subscribe. One most recent one is by The Office alum John Krasinski
Oh my goodness, you need to dance. Everyone has there jam, their boogie tunes. I guarantee if you boogie to some tunes, you will smile. If you sing along, this may be amplified. Have a silly dance-off with the family or just on your own.
Work out, sweat.
There are many sites that offer access to their workout videos. One example is Sam Heughan, who plays Jamie Fraser on Outlander, has created a free 30-day challenge of workouts that do not require a gym.
Start a flower or vegetable garden.
It’s too cold too plant outside right now Spring blizzard, do these words belong together? Here they do. You can get some cups or pots and make a little corner to start growing herbs or flowers. If you don’t wanna grow a garden, buy some potted flowers or plants.
Just do it. Everyday. Even when it’s cold. Bundle up. Whenever I feel overwhelmed after I have spent an hour outside I never feel overwhelmed afterward. If the sun is out, I am like a meerkat sunbathing with my face to the sun.
A hot bath, hot tea, hot coffee. Little escapes. You can go all out if you want with a bubble bath, candles and a nice drink, learn how to perform a tea ceremony or make tea time like the British.
This one pays off at the end but is so worth it. You may turn into Marie Kondo and come to enjoy it. So many things that can be organized; family pictures, rearranging furniture and purging objects, simplifying, cleaning your closets. Each area that has been organized and cleaned will make you feel lighter.
Get your art on.
Doodle, do finger paint with your kids and all the crafts you get them to do. Order an adult paint by numbers. Decorate a room the way you want, not by what is trendy.
Watch funny movies. Follow funny people online. I like to read Andy Ritcher tweets, watch comedy specials on Netflix and Sketch comedy troupes on CBC Gem like Baroness VonSketch, Portlandia. Whatever tickles your funny bone, find it.
Reach out to friends and family.
Everyone is in their own bubble almost literally at the moment. Reach out to those you love, even if you just send a funny gif or a cool article you read. Share the good news, make good news. Do nice things for others.
Do something “selfish”.
If it is financially possible, get something you want, have wanted. My favorite perfume Heaven is discontinued. I ordered a small bottle off eBay for $18. I was excited to get it, then excited to wear it. Perhaps you love scarves? Get yourself one if you can. Love purple? Paint one of the walls in your house purple.
Wear nice clothes.
PJs are comfy, but you don’t have to wear PJs and activewear every day. Put on some of your “going out” clothes, do your hair, or do your hair in a funky way.
Be gentle with yourself.
Keep up the good work Mamas. Be gentle with yourself.
Anna Marie Chemi is a stay at home mom who never wants to grow up, with 2 sweet boys.