Realistic Self Care in Uncertain Times
I started this blog two months or so ago, at the beginning of the Covid Pandemic, and if I could’ve seen what was coming down the pipeline, I likely would’ve written pretty much the same self care post, because even then I was fairly realistic about how much time there is in a day, moreover how much ENERGY there is in a day, and how as the hours tick by, that energy and the will to motivate both rapidly diminish. Cut to today, ten weeks later and ask me how many of those days I exercised. How many did I meditate? How many did I actually write out my affirmations.
Zero. That’s how many. I didn’t do ANY of those things. Not once. Not. Once. What I DID do was: spend on average 4 hours and 37 minutes on my phone (up 17% from last week thank you Apple for CONSTANT GODDAMN REMINDERS), 20 clam shells on each side exactly once, ate one meal of entirely fried foods, even the cauliflower, ate the same 6 meals the rest of the time on some kind of groundhog day rotation, and argued with my partner no less than 50 of those 70 days. I also managed to drink a full, hot coffee in peace almost every morning before anyone else woke up, and took my kid on long morning walks before it got too hot on 2 of every 3 days. And for that, I consider myself a success.
Another day, another list…
While I was in the shower today (another success), I thought about how my entire life I’ve tried to plan out my days, with each little block of time neatly accounted for on a never ending array of planners or calendars. 5-530am meditate, 530-6am exercise, 6-630am coffee and Duolingo. Turns out, I love lists. And as satisfying as crossing things off those lists is, I’m not always super great at that. End of sentence. Not. Always. Super. Great. At that.
It doesn’t need saying that this is an EXCEPTIONALLY difficult time for everyone. Speaking for my own stress level, I’m unemployed, nearly broke, separated from my out of state family (and my in state support system), moving homes in less than a week, and navigating being a nearly full time stay at home mom. I’m at stress level 10,000 and frankly I’m kind of a bitch right now. So I’m ok with fried food platters, weed gummies, and binge watching Jack Ryan if that’s what it’s gonna take to survive this time. But in addition to feeling flabby, I clearly need some kind of structure to my week to keep me sane.
So I’ve decided to make a different kind of list. It’s strictly weekly. And unapologetically self-serving. It doesn’t have all the minutiae of daily to-do’s, no car washes, no bill paying, no play date pick-ups and drop offs, no “due by” dates. Just Momma Self Care. Things that are good for ME, for MY body and MY soul. And I’m gonna laminate it. Kinda. In the absence of a laminator, I’m wrapping it in packing tape cuz though I may not be a crafter, I AM crafty!
So what’s on the list then?
We all know that exercising 3x a week is kinda the minimum we should be doing, and though I’m historically fairly lofty in my exercise goal setting I’m actually pretty bargain basement at applying my fat ass to the exercises, so, bite sized pieces for the win!
In my experience, the moment you tell me I can’t have cake, that’s all I can think about, somehow, that doesn’t apply to exercise and wellness, if I set some crazy goal of 5 exercise classes a week, the moment I am half way through my week with only 1 class under my belt I feel like a failure, so I’ve started small. Just a couple of each activity to be done AT ANY TIME within a week. That’s so so manageable.
Here are some activities that I’m adding to my own list… A few of some, a couple of others, and still just 1 of another. These can get done at any point in the week. A little each day, or all in one day (ha ha ha. Yeah right.)
- (1) Bath w/o Baby + Face mask
- (2) Dry brushing
- (2) Exercises for Diastasis Recti
- (2) Jillian Michaels One Week Shred
- (3) Affirmations
- (3) Pelvic floor exercises
- (4) 20/20 squats/donkey kicks
- (4) Lemon water in the AM before coffee
I elected to put a copy inside of my mug cabinet to remind myself to knock a couple off my list 1st thing in the AM and a copy on the fridge. A couple can be done while playing on the floor with Asa, a couple while she eats. And that bath and mask set-up? Add wine and a magazine and it’s the express train to snooze town USA. Mmmmkay?
I’m a work in progress for sure and know that I’ll do best if I give myself some space to succeed, but i’d love to know what might be on YOUR list! Toss a note into the comments for me, I’m always looking for new great life hacks!
Good luck ladies, be well, breathe deep, it won’t be like this forever. Here’s to a healthier, happier you. With high and tight buns. Yesssssssss.