As I frantically ran around the apartment counting toilet paper rolls, placing curbside orders, checking school closures and wiping down the ceiling, my husband grabbed me by the shoulders. “Why don’t you take a long hot bath?” It stopped me in my tracks, but he was on to something.
He removed my phone from my Kung-Fu grip and closed the bathroom door behind me.
If it wasn’t for his loving push to take a time-out, I would have easily been swept away in a spiral of uncertainty. Yes, times are wild right now, but in a sea of things you can’t control, the best you can do is focus on what you CAN control. Taking care of you and yours is a great start. It’s totally ok to take a break between the press conferences, live streams from your favorite grocery stores, checking on relatives, and preparing at-home activities for the upcoming SUPER spring break.
Besides, stress takes a major toll on your immune system.
Consider this, a little loving push from me. Take the time-out, no matter how short or long. While the kids are napping, sitting in front of a screen, or building a fort with Dad, find the pockets of peace and take them for yourself without guilt or hesitation. Here are a few simple ideas to help you unplug for some self-care while self-quarantined…or anytime you need a break.
Take a hot bath.
After my husband practically dunked me in our tub, I was so thankful. The last time I was in it—and not cleaning it—there weren’t rubber ducks climbing up the wall. I may have used baby wash for bubbles, but a hot bath was a great way to unplug. Add a book and your favorite oils for some extra flare.
Dust off those kettle bells in the corner. Stretch. Try yoga. See how many squats you can do while holding your toddler. Not only is exercise a great way to boost your immune system, all of these things can be done right at home. PopSugar Fitness has something for everyone on Youtube, even if you only have five minutes.
Drink HOT coffee.
Or iced, if that’s your thing. The point is to sit and enjoy it while it’s still the temperature you prefer. This is the ultimate Mama time out.
Fire up Netflix and watch Love is Blind, arguably another national emergency. I always prefer other people’s drama over my own, and streaming new shows on your favorite services is a great way to step away for a little while. Crying is an awesome stress release so Queer Eye is another go-to. (They’re filming the latest season in Austin, CAN YOU BELIEVE?!) And remember that movie that came out 2 ½ years ago but you never got a chance to actually watch it, I’m giving you full permission to approach the couch now. Don’t forget the popcorn.
Fill up carts.
This is a great way to avoid crowds and “check out” without really having to check out. Pretend you’re planning a tropical getaway and curate the perfect resort looks on your favorite pricey site. Redecorate the whole house. Check out swing sets. The possibilities are endless and you don’t actually have to buy a thing if you don’t want to. *Expert Tip* Be careful on the sites that already have your credit card saved. Oops.
If you’re anything like me, you probably have some face goop and bottle of nail polish from middle school tucked away in a bathroom closet somewhere. Relax and have a mini spa day, but promise you won’t get up to make a single lunch until your nails are dry. Like really dry!
Wine. Lots of it.
While power shopping during the pandemic, make sure to grab plenty of your favorite beverage. Sure, you’ll want to stock up on some pantry staples, but there’s nothing like unwinding during an at-home happy hour. #cheersmama
Some of these mini-breaks may seem mindless or unimportant during such a crazy time, and I really did feel some guilt when I took some time to step away.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to hand over your phone for a bit and do something for YOU in between the madness.
Constantly checking for updates and changes will just increase any anxiety you may be experiencing.
Keep calm (as possible) and be safe!
Photography: Jessica Rockowitz Photography + Film
Jessica is a Boston girl turned Austinite as of 2016. She is a wife to Kyle and mama to Hayley, Colin, and Graham. Though she misses many things about the East Coast, she absolutely cannot complain about the active, taco-infused lifestyle of Texas. She is a former OB/GYN Nurse Educator turned digital media agency owner and lifestyle photographer. When she’s not busy behind the lens, you can catch her caffeinating, desperately trying to find a cheer carpool, and obsessing over microfashion.