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To say that life has changed is an understatement.

Up is down.

Left is right.

Day is night. 

For many of us, that last one is especially true. I’m seeing lots of people talk about sleep.  These days it’s a struggle to fall asleep at night and it’s hard to stay awake during the day.

Why? Stress levels are through the roof.

It doesn’t take much scrolling on social media to see evidence of the stress people are feeling in this bizarro world.  Schools are closed and kids are e-learning.  Offices are closed and parents are working from home.  Everyone is stuck at home with nowhere safe to go.  One life change can cause stress to increase, but everything has changed all at once.

It’s unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. No wonder we’re stressed!

So what do we do?

Well, the answer that everyone gives that is sure to help is this…

Self-care.  

But what exactly is self-care?

Before the pandemic, self-care seemed to have a hint of indulgence to it.  Standard suggestions were pedicures, massages, or girls night out.  While these are all good things (and can even be important things) depending on your finances and responsibilities, they can also at times feel outright selfish.

I balked at the idea of what I saw as self(ish)-care, I resisted it.

Turns out, I had it all wrong.

True self-care isn’t selfish at all, but rather is a well-rounded way to take care of oneself.

Self-care is

Spiritual
Educational*
Life-giving
Fitness

As moms nurturing our families through cancelled gatherings and sheltering in place, true self-care is more important than ever.

So how do we do it?  And more specifically, how do we do it in the midst of a pandemic?

*You might be wondering why this isn’t Emotional.  When self-care does it’s job, it all speaks to our emotional (and mental) well-being, so the emotional aspect is the end result.

Spiritual

The spiritual component of self-care is how we tend to our souls.

  • Prayer, meditation, or Bible reading are simple ways we can do that regularly.
  • Attending a church service can feed our souls and build community, and right now almost every church has their services streaming online.
  • Podcasts can provide encouragement.  My favorite, The Next Right Thing, comes out each Tuesday.
  • Bible studies via Zoom are popping up everywhere (just ask on FB and you’ll be pointed to several options)
  • Pray with a friend over the phone.  I do this with friends each month.  We’re 3 women living in 3 different states praying together via phone and we ‘ve been doing it for almost 10-years now. It is a huge blessing!
spiritual self-care at home

Education

The educational component of self-care engages our brains.

  • Take an online class
  • Learn a new skill (I see lots of baking and cooking skills being honed)
  • Read a book
  • Listen to a book (Audible or Hoopla are great resources)
  • Watch a documentary
  • Podcasts are great here, too

Life-Giving

Life-giving self-care activities are what nurture our spirits.  In fact, most of the things we listed above as what we traditionally think of with self-care may actually fall into this category.

  • Do your nails (I recently discovered dip nails and love them!)
  • Soak in a hot bath
  • Binge on Netflix
  • Crawl in bed early with a book
  • Engage in a hobby – mine is taking pictures
  • Have a virtual coffee date with a friend over FaceTime

Fitness

Fitness is caring for our bodies.  It’s eating right, sleeping well, and exercising. All these things keep our bodies (and brains) strong.

  • Take online fitness classes
  • Go for a walk (alone)
  • Turn off your alarm and sleep until you wake up
  • Order a new water bottle to make drinking more water easy and fun

When we take care of ourselves, we can take better care of our families.  And bonus, when our kids see us doing these things, we’re modeling them and they’re learning how to do them for themselves.

And hopefully along the way, we’ll manage our stress and get some sleep.

What would you add to this list?  I’d love for you to comment and share your ideas.

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