Self-Care during a pandemic

It's crazy even writing that headline, but man, if self-care wasn't critical before, it certainly is now.

If you're like my family, you've been self-isolating for about three weeks now - which oof, is ROUGH. My husband is working from home, my 4-year old is home from school, my toddler is going through some developmental leap, we have no privacy, no alone time, no toilet paper in our stores (and are running dangerously low at home), grocery stores are rationing everything, and it is just a wild time to be alive right now.

And if you're also like me, you may have found yourself in a bit of a grump lately, or wanting to just sleep, or just being really sad, scared, frustrated and helpless. And all of that is OK.

I keep catching myself beating myself up for feeling bad about the state of the world because I have so much. I have a roof over my head, money to pay the bills, a healthy family, and there's so many people out there who are struggling. But it's ok to mourn the changes that have been forced upon you. None of us were prepared for this and it's going to take a while for us to figure it all out.

SO ... while we figure out this new normal, here are some things that have brought me comfort during times of stress, and times when I just need to unwind and feel human and less like a machine trying to hold everyone and everything together in my little bubble.

-Podcasts: I've been listening lately to My Favorite Murder, Counterclock, Yeah No Yeah (a great binge - especially the episode on Rachel Hollis and pyramid schemes), Death by Champagne, Murder Squad, Brene Brown's Unlocking Us, Tara Brach, Sinistherhood, The Fall Line, Office Ladies, Sexy Unique Podcasy and Uncover. Also, some very bingeable podcasts include Detective Trapp, Over My Dead Body, Dear John, Bad Batch, Doctor Death. (I find listening to these during the day help me feel less alone and more connected and I relied on them heavily especially during my postpartum period.)

-Audiobooks: Audible is my one true love. I've been re-listening to the Harry Potter series, just started Untamed by Glennon Doyle. Some other great books I've listened to over the last year or so are Catch and Kill, If You Tell, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, Chase Darkness With Me, The Life and Love of a She Devil, Stay Sexy Don't Get Murdered, The Bassoon King, Jane Steele, Lost Girls, I'll Be Gone in the Dark, Magpie Murders, Veronica Mars, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

-I've been coloring and crafting like crazy - with and without the kids. I like keeping my hands busy because it keeps my mind calm. If you need some free printable coloring sheets, send me your email or email me at and I'll send you some that I've created.

-Baths! It's been hard to even get a shower in some days during all of this, but I did one day just grab a book and a drink and sat in a hot hot bath for as long as I could and it was great. It doesn't have to be a regular thing in order to be a good thing!

-At home-mani/pedi. I haven't done this for myself yet, but I have done it for my son, and as a mom you know if your kids are happy, you're happy!

-Exercise! You may not be able to get out to the gym anymore, or run during the day if you're stuck with the kids, but you can all together do an exercise video - a lot of folks have added them to You Tube for free during all of this. One of the most popular has been PE with Joe - the kids and I did it yesterday and it kicked my butt. My legs are so sore today! Exercise is a good way to just break up the day and get your body moving - this is not about weight loss! It's about mental and physical health.

-Be a couch potato! Now's the perfect time to catch up on shows and movies you haven't seen in a while or want to finally watch. My faves lately have been Derry Girls, Schitt's Creek, Parks and Rec, The Office, re-watching Harry Potter. Michael and I just watched The House with Amy Poehler and Will Ferrel and have been rewatching some Drunk History which is always good for a laugh! We've also seen Frozen 2 one million times but I'm OK with it. Screen time is not something to be strict about right now if it's what's keeping you sane.

-Cry. This shit is scary and frustrating and it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Kind of like being diagnosed with a mood disorder. And it's OK to cry. I put myself in time out when I need to and scream into a pillow or cry. Let yourself feel things. Acknowledge what you're feeling, feel it, give yourself permission, be kind to yourself, give yourself grace. This too shall pass. But just like dealing with your mood disorder, this is going to be a marathon not a sprint.

-Take your meds! Make sure you've got your prescriptions and remember to take them. Schedules are shot, but set a reminder if you need to because now is not the time to get thrown off by skipping your meds.

-Keep up with therapy! Nearly every therapist I know has switched to teletherapy so there's no excuse. Even if your kids are screaming in the background, get on the phone or video with your therapist and take care of yourself. Now is no time to put therapy on the backburner. You matter. Your mental health matters.

Also, I know some moms out there are still dealing with some serious issues, so here are some resources you can utilize in an emergency:

-For Postpartum resources: Reach out to Postpartum Support International via phone at 1-800-944-4773 or text English: 503-894-9453 Español: 971-420-0294.

-If you are in a domestic violence situation, please reach out to the National Domestic Violence helpline at 1-800-799-7233

-If you are having suicidal thoughts or ideation, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text the Crisis Text line 'Connect' to 741741.

And if you just need someone to vent to, reach out to me. I'm here to listen. Also, a reminder my book is still for sale here via the website, and you can grab the e-book for just 3.99 here.

Hang in there, mama, and reach out if you need a friend. Sending virtual hugs to you all.

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