As you know by now, New Mexico has cracked down on COVID-19 prevention. Albuquerque Public Schools are closed for three weeks, public events are cancelled, and the state has banned gatherings of more than 10 people. We are urged to stay home as much as possible and avoid places with lots of people. For many moms, this entire thing can take a toll on our mental health. Here are a few things you can do to stay sane during COVID-19.
Your Mental Health Is Important
If you’re anything like me, you may feel anxious and stressed about this whole COVID-19 pandemic. As these next few weeks unfold, you may begin to feel depressed and overwhelmed as you and your family are stuck at home.
It’s more important than every to stay sane during COVID-19, because you need to be there for your family. And if you aren’t at your best, they won’t be either, and they will feed off your stress. It’s also easier to lose your temper, snap at your hubby and kiddos, and generally be miserable when your mental health is not great.
I’m a stay (and work)-at-home mom, with two little ones, so I spend a ton of time at home anyways. It can definitely get crazy and lonely, so I’ve picked up a few tricks along the way to keep myself mentally healthy.
How to Stay Sane during COVID-19
Let in the Light
This may sound silly, but my first suggestion to stay sane during COVID-19 is keep your home well lit. Open the curtains and blinds during the day, and use warm light in the evening. Thankfully, daylight savings happened already, so we can enjoy the daylight longer. Enjoying the sunlight will help you stay more upbeat and positive.
Breathe the Fresh Air
It’s important to get fresh air to stay mentally healthy. It can be tempting to hole up in your home, but you and your family will feel less stressed and confined by breathing in fresh air. Open the windows when the weather is nice, and get that air circulating throughout your home. And definitely get some time outside! Take your kids out in the backyard if you have one, or take a walk. Avoid public playgrounds, and try some outdoor challenges instead.
Enjoy Upbeat Music
Stay sane during COVID-19 by turning on some music in your home. Play songs that make you feel good. Pick music you can sing along to, crank it up, and have a dance party with your kids. I just found a playlist of Disney songs, and it is glorious!
Read that book that’s been sitting on your nightstand for ages. Clean out that closet. Get a jump start on your spring cleaning and de-cluttering. Try cooking a new dish. (Pinterest is filled with tons of easy recipes that require very basic ingredients you likely have on hand.) Doing something productive will help you from feeling hopeless or helpless.
Stay sane during COVID-19 by doing something creative. Channel your anxiety and worry in art or journaling. Do a brain dump to help ease stress and get all the things racing around in your head on paper.
Cuddle with Your Kids
Instead of looking at the COVID-19 pandemic as a huge, stressful, worrisome inconvenience, consider shifting your mindset. This is precious time with your kids. You are literally forced to slow down and spend time together. Yes, it will be stressful at times: your kids will be bored, fight with each other, and start to experience cabin fever, but changing how you view the situation will help not only your mental health, but also that of your entire family. So snuggle with your babies, read books, do some fun activities, and watch movies together (tip: Frozen II just dropped on Disney +).
In addition to getting outside and taking walks in your neighborhood, consider doing some quick home workouts to get your blood pumping. I found some quick, easy yoga videos on YouTube, and there are tons of other exercise videos. Getting exercise will help you stay sane during COVID-19.
It’s hard to have a bad attitude and worry so much when you’re thankful for what you have. Each day, write down one thing you are thankful for. Create a gratitude journal!
Take Time for Yourself
These next few days and weeks will be difficult for your entire family. There will be moments when you are at your wits end and about to pull out your hair. When you get to this point, give the kids some screen time (I promise it won’t kill them), and step away. Run a bath, do a yoga routine, or take a nap. Stay sane during COVID-19 by taking time to reset your brain, and even check out this self care challenge.
Limit Social Media
We’ve known for a while that too much time on social media isn’t great for our mental health. But if you want to stay sane during COVID-19, it’s necessary to limit the time you spend scrolling. From my own personal experience, it’s easy to work yourself into a panic as you read things you find online. You can fall down a rabbit hole of statistics and research that will leave you more anxious than before. I’m not saying you need to keep your head in the sand, but get your information somewhere more reliable than social media. Check the City of Albuquerque website, NM Department of Health, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the latest updates if you need them.
I know it’s hard, mama. But I hope these tips will help you stay sane during COVID-19. Remember your mental health is very important for not only you, but for your family, too. So make sure you take time to assess where you’re struggling and take steps to correct it. We’ll get through this together!
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