Self Care During Quarantine
Written By: Breanna Cordeiro
Let's face it long gone are the days where staying at home with our kid's involved trips to the parks, playdates with friends and piling the kids in the car to all get groceries for the meals ahead. Now, it is walking the neighbourhood reminding our children to stay away from our neighbours at a safe distance, it is video chatting with our friends and it is groceries being delivered to our door where we try to plan as many meals as we can with what we have bought. Our young ones don't understand what's going on in our world, and maybe that is the best for them. Charles Dickens said it best "it was the best of times and it was the worst of times." It is the best of times because we have been forced to change our routines and spend more time with our children, being blessed with making new memories that we will cherish for our lifetime. And it is the worst of times because we can't predict what the future holds. How long with this last? How will this affect my partner's job? Our new reality is uncertain and scary. With prioritizing our children's health and wellbeing to a whole other level than ever before, taking on the role of being a homeschool teacher, keeping everything clean and doing our best to occupy our children, the mental weight it carries on us is overwhelming at best. You deserve to give yourself the same love and attention you give to your partner and children. If you aren't taking care of yourself especially during these unprecedented times how are you going to be able to take care of your children? I know it's easier said than done, but here are a couple of ways you can take care of yourself during this time of new routines and social distancing.
Go for a walk alone without your kids. Tell your partner you need 30 minutes of alone time during the day, make yourself a coffee, find a podcast to listen to and enjoy the fresh air while collecting your thoughts. Seriously, this has helped me so much. I come back to my son refreshed and with a different attitude.
Make it a top priority to get ready every morning. This is the one thing I have found the hardest to get done but in my opinion the most important for my self care. I was finding myself for a couple of days staying in my pyjamas and not doing my teeth or hair until 4:00pm only to be changing into another pair of pyjamas. I was not feeling awake or functioning to my full potential. Getting up and ready by 9:00am, doing my hair and putting on a little makeup was a game changer. I feel that it gave me more energy to navigate the day and it was fun trying to experiment with what was in my closet, without having anyone see me besides my partner and son.
Access online mental health support. We are all focusing on taking care of our physical health during this time but it is just as important to take care of your mental health too. We are so fortunate to live in Canada where they are providing free resources and support to help with our mental health. Speaking to a counsellor every week has helped me immensely. Sometimes even if we have the greatest support system with family and friends they may not always understand what we are feeling or going through. There are ways to speak to a counsellor online and I will be leaving the link below.
I know it is hard, I know you wake up every day and at times don't know how you are going to get through. These days are challenging and the unknown of when this will be all over and when we can get back to our old routines is frightening. I hope you know that there are brighter days ahead and you are doing the best you can with what you have. You may not have done all you had on your list of things to keep your kids entertained and your house may be a mess but your kids are loved and that's what matters. Taking care of yourself is the farthest thing from selfish, it is the foundation of your household because you are the glue that keeps your family together.
To access mental health support online please visit: https://www.ontario.ca/page/find-mental-health-support