Okay, it’s that stage of the pandemic where we’re beyond exhausted.
More than 80% of parents (1,500,) mostly Mothers (96%) who have participated in the pandemic study, report doing ‘terribly’ or ‘not as well as usual’ as caregivers to themselves.
The term self-care, coined by Audre Lorde, was meant to free us from believing the story of self-sacrifice. Yet, leaping over obstacles to make the time becomes so draining, that many of us give up.
But caring for your emotional, physical and mental health is vital. The pandemic stress will swallow all of your will and energy without it. And guess what, our families don’t thrive if we wither.
You can make space for wellbeing and joy, even now. It doesn’t have to be complicated to boost your happiness. Let self-care become your state of mind instead of something else ‘to do.’
Enjoy inspiration from extraordinary women, who have put powerful self-care definitions, habits and routines to work in their daily lives.
Personalize Your Self-Care Definition
“Self-care is taking care of my own energy level.” Dr. Leah Ruppanner, from Welcome to The Tyranny of Self-Care
“I don’t go out in large groups. I would rather sit on my daughter’s bed and watch silly videos with her. Or, just have a quiet conversation with my partner.” Dr. Ramani Durvasula, How To Create Healthy Relationships in a Culture of Toxicity
“Self-care is not just going to our local National Park but choosing a place to live where I have nature nearby. Self-care is in my daily choices. It’s not, ‘well now I’m going to meditate or do yoga’ there’s more depth to it. Self-care should be a more long-term choice to make it sustainable.” Eva Dienel, What Happens When You Break All the Work Rules?
“Self-Care is different for each person. Self-care begins by feeding what we need inside. I find personal care a chore. I’d rather be taking a class.” Claudia Reuter, Have You Taken Time Out of The Workforce?
“In the morning, I read and digest news. I like to read about other companies that are doing interesting things. It helps me to get out of my bubble. And just spending time without my phone! … I feel like during the pandemic people are expecting quicker responses. So, leaving my phone in another room to spend an hour with my daughter or spend time with my husband, has done wonders for my family relationships.” Kayla Lebovits, What if the Professional Opportunity of a Lifetime Lands During the Pandemic?
Set (and Keep) Boundaries
“I was trying to parent and write another novel while doing that. Then I realized, ‘what good am I doing my daughter if I don’t teach her to navigate these spaces?’ To teach her to love her family and give to her children, but also protect and prioritize herself.” Kim McLarin Can You Stay Vulnerable & Emotionally Strong on the Public Stage?
“Self-care is setting healthy boundaries. I’ve learned, I can set all the boundaries I want but if I haven’t enforced them, they’re just up there in the wind. So, for me, I try to be more vocal now to say when I need some time. Whether it’s going to my room with ice cream and watching something on Netflix that’ll make me laugh or reading a book. Then, I’m good to be with everybody else. I don’t want to be moody and angry but that’s what happens when I don’t get that moment to reset.” Marie Roker-Jones, How to Get a Stranger to Solve Your Problems
“I say ‘no’ to anything that does not fit my personal or business mission.” Melissa Mueller-Douglas, You Deserve Time Alone. But Mindfulness Helps When You Can’t
“I know that politically polarized conversations make me uncomfortable. Because I have to deal with it as part of my work, I don’t let them into my social space. Setting boundaries angers people and you have to be comfortable with that. …I also protect my sleep.” Dr. Ramani Durvasula, How To Create Healthy Relationships in a Culture of Toxicity
Be Vulnerable & Drop Perfectionism
“I’m not letting myself feel like things have to be presented in this perfect manner. We’re working at home and I have kids. So, it’s not feeling embarrassed by the interruptions or crying in the background. Why should I feel embarrassed? They’re children, this is how they behave.” Kyra Peralte, Your Colorful, Messy and Perfect Life
“Movement is really important to me. I used to be a runner, now my husband and I play tennis. The movement is crucial… specific exercise is not.” She’s also intentional about presence. “With the kids…it’s just being with them (that’s important.) I don’t like to be a distracted person. We draw cats. We take quiet, focused time together, no devices. It’s crucial to feeling leveled out.” Christine Koh, What Happens When You Run Multiple-Businesses at the Same Time?
“We’re working in the same place that we spend our family time so, I go for a walk every day. Even if I’m working on the walk, at least I’m moving. Because I can sense times when I feel burned out and need a mental breather.” Kayla Lebovits, What if the Professional Opportunity of a Lifetime Lands During the Pandemic?
“…I also make time for yoga and I love my dog. She forces me to get outside every day. There’s no replacement for looking at the sky!” Kim McLarin Can You Stay Vulnerable & Emotionally Strong on the Public Stage?
Spend Time Alone (Even if it’s short)
“I’m very protective of early mornings. I have to work out 5 days a week. I have to meditate. I have to go to church. I don’t even put music on while I work out…I make space to listen.” Kendra Bracken-Ferguson, Can Self-Care Be Your Secret to Professional Success?
“I also have a sweet tooth. So, self-care for me is indulging in desert on a daily or every other day basis. To find time when I can sit and eat ice cream and not be bothered by anyone.” Kayla Lebovits, What if the Professional Opportunity of a Lifetime Lands During the Pandemic?
“All of my self-care is on the calendar. (Such as) ‘do your 5-minute mid-day meditation. It keeps me on task and reminds me it doesn’t take much time to do something for myself.” Christine Koh, What Happens When You Run Multiple-Businesses at the Same Time?
“I spend a lot of time alone. …Even if you’re with someone who asks ‘how can I help you,’ sometimes even the demand of conversation, can be exhausting.” Dr. Ramani Durvasula, How To Create Healthy Relationships in a Culture of Toxicity
Many thanks to the talented Supermamas who generously shared their experiences with us!
Share your pandemic experiences! How are the latest changes affecting your life? It’s quick and the results from this study are used to advocate better support for parents.
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