As uncertainty grows and stresses rise, we get to add another item to the already full emotional tank.
The idea of Social Isolation elicits fear, anxiety, stress, and overwhelm for most of us moms. We feel this way for many different reasons ranging from increased hours in close quarters with our children to financial stress and unclear futures.
The reality is that social distancing and social isolation are the new normal, at least for the moment.
So how can we ensure that we can show up as the moms our children need right now? How can we help them cope with their disrupted routines and big emotions?
What follows is a compilation of tips to help calm YOUR big emotions which will result in more joy and more opportunities to create beautiful memories even in this uncertain and stressful time.
Usually when we are anxious or stressed we hold our breath so conscious slow breathing helps to decrease the intensity of those emotions.
Try the 5-5-7 Breathe to help you relax.
Breathe in through your nose for 5-seconds, hold for 5-seconds, and breathe out through your mouth for 7-seconds
Develop a Schedule
It’s not news that most kids and adults thrive with routine.
Things will probably have to change a lot from what you are used to but having a plan in place will help everyone know the expectations for the day. Do yourself a favor and make a schedule for you and your kids to follow. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, just something to help your kids know what is expected for the day. If you’re looking for something to use here is a completely editable version of the Visual Calendar I use for my kids.
Know & Practice Your Foundations
We all have something that when we do it consistently, we show up as the best version of ourselves.
A bath, walk, workout, reading, doing your hair, meditation; whatever it is for you, become familiar with it and make it a daily non-negotiable.
It may need to look a little different than before but it must be done in some capacity to help you feel grounded.
Just because we can’t be close physically, doesn’t mean we can’t be close virtually.
Stay connected to those you love, the friends you miss, and the activities you enjoy by taking advantage of modern technology.
Watch the live animal cams from the zoo, pick up the phone instead of texting, sign up for a free online class, or set up virtual playdates and girls nights.
Remember the Little Things
Often a day at home for mom means that we don’t get fully dressed.
But, having a shower, properly getting dressed, putting on some makeup, and making the bed help us feel a sense of purpose which will be carried through the rest of the day.
Look after Yourself
I may sound like a broken record, but practice self-care. We show up best for our kids when we take care of ourselves.
Create a Nourishment Menu for yourself filled with all the little things that make you smile, feel proud, and bring you joy.
Hang it somewhere you will see it often and pick an item from the list as many times a day as you can.
Things like scents, songs, pictures, pets, fuzzy socks, or a warm cup of tea. Any of those little things that remind you that you’re important too.
Pro Tip: Remember that self-care is not selfish, it’s kind!
Get Closer to Nature
Again, maybe we can’t be close to others but we can certainly be close to nature.
Open a window and get some fresh air, step outside and get sun on your skin, take a walk in a wide-open space, or sit in your backyard.
There are many creative ways you can get grounded by allowing yourself to get closer to nature.
Swaddle, Sway, or Sit
The truth is that what worked to settle us when we were little still works for us today.
Swaddle yourself by curling up under a blanket, putting on a cozy sweater, or getting a bear hug.
“Sway”, or in other words, get your body moving. Walk, stretch, dance, or even colour. Anything that moves your body and releases tension works.
Sit or lay on a low surface. The closer you are to the ground, the more relaxed and ”grounded” you will feel.
Acknowledge Your Feelings
All emotions big and small will nag you until they are given some attention.
Whatever you feel, remember it’s ok, it’s normal, and it’s healthy to have feelings.
Acknowledging them helps us slow down enough to properly deal with them. Ask for help from family, friends, or professionals if you need it.
As crazy as it may seem in these uncertain times, practice gratitude every day.
Times are tough, and times are beautiful.
There will most likely never be another time when you have nowhere to go and nothing to do, take advantage of living slowly.
Look for the extraordinary in the little everyday things, be a living example of self-care for your kids to copy, and take advantage of the time to BE together.
Social Isolation is stressful, hard and uncertain but you can use it to learn, practice, and teach the life skill of coping strategies, and create beautiful life-long memories in the process.
Stay safe, and stay healthy.