It’s late July and we are in the dog days of summer. It’s hot. It’s humid and sticky. And with COVID raging in Texas, Lindsey and I are staying in and staying cool. But we are also staring down the barrel of a fall and winter riddled with coronavirus spikes around the nation. Schools are debating whether they should open, and if so, what that will look like. Parents are trying to figure out school, childcare, and their own productivity so they can get some work done.
It feels like Groundhog Day. In a way, it feels like March was just yesterday, and yet, it feels like we have been stuck in the house for YEARS. It is easy to feel overwhelmed. Hell, we often do. I think that’s normal now.
What we have learned is that it’s important to take self-care seriously, and to really learn to prioritize certain things.
With our practice, we have been working “behind the scenes,” quietly seeing a few patients, teaching online classes to groups, and working on some materials. Taking a break from social media felt good, and we’ll definitely temper our time there.
With our families, we have been taking things one day at a time. GRACE is the word. Sometimes meals are beautifully planned for the week, and other nights, dinner is a weird combination of random foods. It’s not a gourmet experience, and sometimes not even nutritionally balanced. But you know what? Everyone gets fed.
There are certainly days when we feel like we have checked out from the kids and weren’t as present as we could have been. And then there are days when we shelve the phone and really focus on them. But everyone survived with few cuts and scrapes, and went to bed knowing that they are loved unconditionally. And that includes Mamas.
Yep. We get bored. I miss taking the kiddo to storytime and the playground and the children’s museum. I have no idea when those things will be back, and that makes me feel really sad and frustrated.
This time at home has offered some silver linings. Seeing each other can bring annoyances (“Wow do you really have to chew cereal that loudly?” I asked my husband on the sofa, side-eye full on), but going back into the office is kind of scary and I’ll miss everyone seeing each other. It’s been kind of awesome being able to see him randomly in the middle of the day for a 15 second vent-session. My husband was around to see our daughter’s first steps and hear her learn to sing the ABCs and watch us run through the sprinkler.
To keep our sanity, we’ve both found that regular exercise is really important for our mental and emotional health. I personally turn into a really unfortunate troll if I don’t workout and move my body. Skincare has become some of my favorite self-care that helps me feel good about myself and how I look. And escapism is also helpful… books, TV series, and Hallmark movies all feature in typical rotations.
As dietitians, we talk a lot about “being fed” centering around providing nourishing meals for ourselves and our families. But feeding your mind, body, heart, soul, spirit during this seemingly endless blur of inside voices, bad news, and cautious outings with masks is also extremely important.
So tell us… How are you taking care of yourself?