These are strange times we’re living in. This is a phrase I’ve caught myself saying over and over again. For many of us, our new life of social distancing and staying indoors began about three weeks ago. Since then, traditional school has been modified to distance learning, and for some working remotely is a now a must. Life as we’ve known it has changed and keeps evolving. That’s why we need to practice self care while staying at home.
So many of us have had to adapt to quite a few changes. Not only have we become a full time teacher, but for some we’ve become full time teacher to different age groups while juggling our job from home, cooking, cleaning, playing scavenger hunt at grocery stores, or in some cases wondering how we’re going to manage and get through this because we’ve been laid off. All of this and trying to maintain our sanity. The crazy thing about all of this has been how quickly this has become our new reality and the uncertainty of what’s to come.
Self Care and Mental Health
“No matter which situation you find yourself in, remember that taking care of yourself mentally and emotionally plays a big part in your overall health,” says Dr. Laura Maphis, a psychologist at Geisinger Medical Center. It’s been shown that a period of just two weeks in quarantine can be linked with serious mental health issues, which can include: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, confusion, and anger.
So how do we take time to care of ourselves? How do the extroverts get their social needs met? Heck, I’m an introvert, but even then I’ve found myself longing for some connection and missing my routine. It’s not like you can waltz into a movie theater or nail salon, or hang out with your friends. All of that is at a halt and nobody knows for how long. If this quarantine life has taught us anything I feel like it’s taught us how to be creative. Look how quickly our schools jumped into action mode to get online learning or virtual communication up to speed. Look at how restaurants have turned into little makeshift grocery stores or finding ways to sell their food online. I’ve seen so much creativity via the internet—and by the way thank GOD for the internet!!!
Activities for Self Care While Staying at Home
Where are you at, dear friends? On the verge of pulling your hair out? It’s okay to count your blessings and still be frustrated by the circumstances. I’m not a counselor or therapist by any means, but I understand the need for self care while staying at home. I hope that implementing some of these ideas into your daily life could help you feel a little more centered, grateful, kill that depression, and squash that anger.
Keep a journal. Write about what you’re feeling during this time or what you’re doing daily. You can also find some writing prompts on Pinterest if you’re still feeling stuck. Many health experts recommend journaling because it can improve your mood and manage symptoms of depression.
Color With Your Kids
Coloring for adults helps reduce anxiety. This feels like a win-win to me. Your kids will enjoy having you participate with them and you reap the benefits as well.
Take a Nap
Find a great movie your kids will enjoy, pop some popcorn, make it an experience for them, and take your nap.
If your partner is at home, go in shifts—but this is a perfect opportunity for you to release some stress. Go for a run, a walk, or do a few exercises in the outdoors. Listen to a podcast or a book or good old plain music. If you’re a single parent, go for a walk around the neighborhood with your kids; you won’t get your alone time, but you can have some good conversations with your kids while getting some exercise.
Go For a Drive
Once again, if your partner is at home and you can leave the kids with them, go for a drive to just think and have some time to yourself.
Organize or Deep Clean a Part of Your House
This is a great time to purge those areas you’ve been avoiding. Sometimes I like deep cleaning by myself, it’s therapeutic for me, but there’s times that I’ll make it a family event and get the kids involved. Whatever works for you.
Now that the weather is getting a little warmer, get that vitamin D! We don’t have a pool at our house, so I’ll just turn on the sprinkler and my kids have a blast. This activity can keep them pretty occupied for a long time. Get your laptop and get some work done outside, or take a book and read while the kids are having fun.
Virtual Book Club
Pick a book, set a weekly date, grab your glass of wine and have a convo over FaceTime with your girls.
Virtual Meal Planning Date
Have a weekly date with your BFF, grab your coffee, and share your meal plan for the upcoming week. This is a great time to catch up and share some meal ideas.
Pick Up a Hobby
Now’s your time to visit all those make up tutorials via YouTube. At least that’s what I keep telling myself! Scrapbook, find online courses, experiment with new food recipes, bake with your kids. The ideas are limitless.
I can’t emphasize this one enough. You don’t have to have an A Type personality to pursue this point, but structure is important not only for your child but for you as well. While the kids are having independent learning time you can get some work done, prep your dinner, focus on a chore, or read a book.
I’d love to hear your ideas on how you’re adapting to the quarantine life. What are you doing for self-care while staying at home?
About the Author
Lora Idol is an integral part of the San Antonio Charter Moms team—she works as the assistant to Inga Cotton, Executive Director—but Lora is also a writer and creator herself. We are proud to feature her first post, Self Care While Staying at Home.
- “Keep Calm and Parent On: Advice for Accidental Homeschoolers,” Caitlyn Baker and Shannon Ruddell, San Antonio Charter Moms, April 3, 2020
- “How Social Distancing Protects Our Loved Ones, Our Neighbors, and Our Community,” Anne Hebert, San Antonio Charter Moms, March 20, 2020
- “Resources for Staying Active With Kids While Social Distancing,” Amy Johnson, San Antonio Charter Moms, March 19, 2020
- “San Antonio Coronavirus School Closures,” San Antonio Charter Moms, March 13, 2020