Quarantine Self-Care: You Deserve It, Mama!
By: Heidi Borst
These days, even though our minds are heavy with worry over coronavirus and we need self-care more than ever, it’s tough to make it a priority; instead, we’re focused on keeping our families safe & healthy, managing our finances despite dwindling incomes, and teaching/entertaining our kids in between conference calls and work deadlines. With so much on our plates, it’s easy to sacrifice our own needs. But during times of stress and uncertainty like the present, taking care of ourselves is essential, and besides, we deserve it!
Remember those Saturday morning mani/pedis at your favorite nail salon, or treating yourself to a much-needed massage while your partner handled the kids? To be honest, I’d give anything just to have the option of dropping my son off at our gym’s childcare center… just to be able to bust out a workout sans interruption (home workouts are tough). While we have all given up a lot, there are still simple ways to indulge in self-care, at home, that are just as satisfying. Even better, they cost way less! Here are 5 ways you can nurture yourself, even under the restrictions of quarantine.
Read (Or Listen to) A Book
I’ve always been an avid reader, but since becoming a mother, finding the time to read has been tough. At the end of the day, I crave mindless reality tv, I’ll admit it. Before quarantine, I struggled to read the one magazine I subscribed to, forget about getting through an actual book. But now, I’m taking advantage of being stuck at home to carve out some much-needed alone time. I let everyone know that I’m not to be disturbed (it actually works sometimes!) and give myself an hour or so to dive into a novel. This works for anything, reading or not, that you’d love to do but haven’t been able to squeeze in. Schedule a date with yourself and let the family know you’ll be unavailable for a while. Time to make it happen!
Watch a Funny Movie
Personally, I’m skipping the heavily dark or dramatic stuff these days and going with entertainment that makes me laugh- because right now, I need to lighten things up a bit. While I’m keeping abreast of daily current events and the latest updates on the COVID situation, I’m limiting my news exposure to early on in the day, avoiding the news entirely in the evening before bed. Ending the day on a humorous or uplifting note makes me feel so much better. After all, isn’t laughter the best medicine? It definitely doesn’t hurt.
Create Ways to Stay Active
Recently, I woke up in a major funk, overwhelmed by the gravity of the situation we’re all in and the lack of answers I have about what’s to come in the near future. All I could think to do was to get moving. So, I put on my sneakers, called my dog to join me, and started walking. It took a while, and I listened to a free guided meditation (offered with the Audible subscription I don’t fully take advantage of), but the stress slowly melted away. Nature can be extremely invigorating; our bodies were made to move. The simple act of walking is enough to release those feel-good endorphins and improve your mood, and it’s free! Do whatever it is you love- go outside and do a quick HIIT workout in your driveway, walk with your family, or stream one of the free workouts fitness pros are offering right now. You’ll feel a million times better.
Host a Virtual Happy Hour
Did you know that human connection is the number one indicator of longevity? With a few modifications, it’s still possible to nourish our relationships and fill our friendship cups while at home in quarantine. If you’re missing your girl-time like me, technology makes it too easy not to stay connected! So, go ahead, pour a glass of wine, and connect with your girlfriends virtually over Facetime, Zoom, or whatever method you prefer. It’s almost as fun as the real thing, and your friends won’t care if you’re not wearing makeup! It’s so easy to feel isolated right now as we practice social distancing so stay in close contact with friends to keep that pervasive loneliness at bay.
Have an At-Home Spa Day
Spas aren’t an option right now, but you can achieve the same result at home, for a fraction of the cost. My favorite way to pamper myself is by slathering on a face mask and running a long, steaming-hot bath with pounds (yes, pounds) of Epsom salt. To make the atmosphere extra spa-like, I use several drops of an essential oil; lavender is great for relaxing before bed, and citrus is wonderful for achieving a refreshed state during the day. Add bubbles in the bath, maybe even with a glass of bubbly on the side. Choose your favorite scent, close your eyes, and slip away as long as you like… imagine you’re at your favorite beach vacation locale and let it all go. After your bath, taking a few minutes to dry brush your body will get the lymphatic system flowing. Finish it off with a fresh coat of paint on your toes, and you’ll feel like a fresh, rejuvenated version of yourself!