Being a parent can be hard. One of the hardest parts is accepting the journey with its challenges and imperfections. I, myself, am on this journey. I am a psychologist that works with women and families. And guess what? I became a mom and my whole world changed! Not in that amazing, “I love being a mom” way, the opposite – a, “What the heck am I doing and what happened to me?” kind of way. I am a doctor in psychology with years of practice and have knowledge of how to handle stress, life and yet – I have stress. And on top of everything we have COVID! We are in a time where we have to be extra careful, keep our children safe, visit family less, follow new rules… I’m maxed out. You’re maxed out. We’re all maxed out! Self care is supposed to be the answer and yet, every time someone asks me if I do “self care” I cringe. First, self care is nothing like it was before kids (massages, nails, girls nights, pilates). Now, self care is more like a visit to the OBGYN with kid(s) waiting with husband in the car… At least that’s how it is for me!
However, with a New Year starting and 2020 thankfully in our rearview mirror there maybe no better time to start including small, doable practices to make life a little more sane. I have a lot I want to share, but I know my audience… You are tired and don’t have a lot of time. So as a humbled therapist – here are some quick and simple practices I want to share to help you in your day.
Savoring – this is a simple exercise of taking one thing and really savoring or enjoying the moment. Really enjoy a bite of food or savor that 2 minute shower! Really exaggerate enjoyment. It helps turn on the happy parts of your brain!
Take a mindful moment – just stop and be present in the smallest of moments anytime, anywhere.
Deep breaths – like full deep belly breaths – take as many as you can – or sometimes we just have time for one.
Remind yourself that this moment will pass – tell yourself “This is a hard moment, I am not alone and it will pass.”
Connect with someone – anyone, even if it’s just by text. Know you aren’t alone.
Get your body moving – a wiggle, a quick stretch, or dancing with your kids will do!
Don’t compare yourself to others – accept your journey is unique and you are doing the best that you can.
Be grateful – or saying thank you increases positivity. Say it out loud or write it down!
Play is good for you – laugh, dance, sing, run, play pretend! Coloring is good for you too!
Image Credit: Geralt