If you had told me a few months ago we would be forced to stay home and schools would be closed until further notice because of a deadly virus, I would’ve thought you were talking about a scene from a Sci-Fi movie.
When we were planning a trip to Jamaica for Spring Break last month, my husband casually mentioned getting travel insurance just in case the coronavirus became a bigger deal and we couldn’t go.
At that point, I had to google what he was talking about. I had seen a few memes on social media, but I was pretty clueless about what they meant.
About a week later, he started hoarding non-perishables in bulk from Amazon and I still thought he was crazy. Fast forward to today, and I’m glad we got the travel insurance. My only regret is not stocking up on more toilet paper.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard a lot of advice about everything from social distancing to protecting our health, mastering homeschooling and even parenting. Some of it has been good advice, and some bad. MOST if it has been well-meaning, but it hasn’t always been credible. The challenge is, figuring out who is right.
But the best thing I’ve read is that it’s ok to feel all the feels.
Recently I feel like I’ve been on a roller coaster of emotions. I’ve had feelings of sadness, anger, loneliness, hopelessness, joy, laughter, exhaustion, gratitude, confusion, and doubt. The reality is with at least another month of social distancing to go, I’m going to keep feeling all of these things and more.
I’m trying really hard to give myself self-compassion and grace. This pandemic is new to all of us. So we have to cut ourselves some slack. We’re all still figuring this out and adjusting to a new way of life.
If that means we allow our kids to play more video games and eat more sugar, it’s ok.
I’m trying to be more of a “yes mom” right now because I want my kids to be happy. Being stuck at home for weeks at a time is hard enough and I really want to try to make it fun for them.
Plus sometimes there’s really no way to get a break other than by letting them watch tv or play video games. If that means that I’m the world’s okayest mom, I’m fine with it.
So go ahead, feel all the feels.
But that doesn’t mean you have to let all those negative feelings rule your life.
How do we stop them though?
For the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to figure that out. I’ve written blogs on self-care and as a former therapist, you’d think I’d have this part down pat.
But a lot of my tips don’t really apply to this new way of life. I can’t go get a massage or a pedicure. Meeting up with my girlfriends for dinner is obviously out of the question. The gym is closed. I can’t really go ANYWHERE!
To be honest, there’ve been days when I haven’t had any motivation to do the things I know I should be doing to cope. But I’ve been putting one foot in front of the other and going through the motions, hoping that eventually it will pay off and I’ll wake up from this bad dream.
There have still been ups and downs, but I’m starting to figure out how to cope.
COPING WITH QUARANTINE
How each of us copes with quarantine will be different. You have to figure out what works for you.
Here are a few tips to help you do that:
- Think about what makes you happy. What do you enjoy doing? Do you have any hobbies?
- What can you do to escape from all of the negativity and bad news?
- Learn a new skill. You could take an online class or learn how to knit. You can learn almost anything by watching YouTube videos.
- Do those things every day or as often as you can.
This is what I’ve been trying to do every day to help me cope:
- Creating Art
- Walking or Running
For me, art doesn’t have to be anything fancy. If I think about it too hard, I’ll get hung up on being perfect and that’ll stop me from doing it.
Color Your Heart, is a great activity you can do every day that will be kind of like an art journal for how you’re feeling.
Here’s how you do it:
– Write down the feelings you’re having.
– Choose a color to go with each feeling.
– Color in your heart to show how you’re feeling.
Here’s the one I did earlier this week.
My kids found it and wanted to do one too. This is a great activity for helping your kids express how they’re feeling and helps you open up the conversation if you haven’t been sure how to do that.
WALKING OR RUNNING
Just getting outside and moving has been a priority for me over the past few weeks. I usually prefer running, but since I haven’t had much energy lately I’ve been doing a lot more walking.
It doesn’t really matter though. Getting out of the house by myself and moving my body is what helps me!
I love to read and get wrapped up in a book. Sometimes I stay up way too late at night reading, but I guess there could be worse things!
I just finished the book I Owe You One, by Sophie Konsella.
It’s a great book about love, empowerment and how our families make us who we are. It has a happy ending, which we can definitely all use right now!
If you’re looking for a book that’s a little more suspenseful, The Wives by Tarryn Fisher is for you. It will keep you guessing until the very end and you won’t want to put it down.
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I’m trying my best to find the good in every day and celebrate the small wins. I know there will still be moments of sadness, fear, and anger about our situation. But what matters most right now is that my family is safe. We’re spending more time together than we ever have and we’re trying to treasure that.
One day this will all be a distant memory!
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