Mom Motivator, Bestselling Author, Entrepreneur and Host of ‘Stretch Marks’ Amber Trueblood on the Power of Self Care
Self-Care. We hear this term thrown around all the time lately. We may think pedicures or weekend getaways. Both of which are not accessible at the moment for most of us.
TRUE self-care provides deep, lasting effects.
True self-care allows you to think more clearly, have more patience with those you love, and stabilize your adrenalin and cortisol levels.
The current financial uncertainty, global health crisis, homeschooling our children, working from home, and living under quarantine is wreaking havoc on our nervous systems.
At this point, self-care is NOT a luxury. It is vital now more than ever for our physical health, mental wellness, emotional state, and relationship protection.
Here are my tips:
- Keep Moving because physical activity helps our minds, our emotions, and our physical health. Think of ways you KNOW you'll actually get moving… an online workout? A family dance party? A kid-led workout? Random planks throughout the day? A sit-up contest? A hike? Protect your emotional health by moving your body. This releases natural endorphins, improves cardiovascular health, immune system, blood pressure, sleep cycles, and mood.
- Protect your Emotional Health with a five-minute morning meditation or guided breathing exercises. Breathing deeply improves mental clarity, memory, processing speed, mental agility, and mood… enhances your immune function, oxygenates blood cells, removes carbon dioxide and toxins from body tissue… and reduces heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels.
- Minimize Anxiety Levels by taking it one day at a time. ONE day. You cannot control or plan for two months from now, because we just don’t know what that might look like. Focus on a realistic timeframe. Can you make it through today in a healthy, safe way, connect with others, and enjoy your family?
- Enjoy a Mental/Creative Outlet and remember that hobby you used to LOVE? Bring back those feel-good endorphins by reconnecting to activities that bring you joy and refuel you. Teach it to your child (cooking, juggling, card tricks, knitting, etc.) The more physical and more creative, the better. This can release pent-up anxiety and fear and become a bonding opportunity.
- Protect your Relationship If you’re married, remember those single moms doing this on their own (or with partners in medical front lines). If you’re divorced, imagine still having to live with that person under quarantine! Or, all those who still have kids in the hospital (on two diff wards), or parents in nursing homes. Make sure you appreciate your partner, take time to truly connect with them, and take time to honor your alone time. Now is the time to learn how to communicate with respect, gratitude, and kindness.
- Find the Gifts because there is goodness in all situations. What if this is a huge opportunity to connect more deeply with those you love? Set about creating new traditions, regular activities you do together – board games, funny movies, or cooking your favorite meals. Know yourself and be honest with yourself about what types of activities fuel you and leave you lighter than before. Slow down… eat together, cook together, play outside together. Share your favorite books, board games, card games, and movies with your kids. Likewise, ask them to share their favorites with you.
The Coronavirus changed all our habits in a nanosecond. Suddenly there was a “new normal” – and an opportunity to shed whatever wasn’t working and embrace new habits, new routines, and a new intimacy (with yourself and with your loved ones).
It’s a good time to look within and…
#1: Get Clear on What’s Most Important to YOU
- The health and safety of my family
- Getting my work out there or pivoting my business
- Keeping the kids engaged, active and busy (learning is a 4th)
- Maintaining (or finding) my emotional sanity and mental health
- Maintaining healthy relationships with those I love
#2: Be Honest with Yourself about what is possible. (Set yourself up for success by having realistic expectations for yourself, your work, your partner, and your kids.)
- Know your triggers and pet peeves and act/communicate accordingly (laundry on the sofa? Beds unmade? Legos on the floor?? Triggers – Loud noises, certain messy areas, towels on the floor? DO it yourself if it will drive you nuts – and do it FIRST thing. Delegate it if you can let go. Trash it if it’s unrealistic.
#3: Be Kind to Yourself. Your emotional, physical health, financial circumstances, the weather, your hormonal shifts…. There are going to be A LOT of moving parts these next weeks and months. Your family needs you to retain your mental and emotional sanity.
Keys to Sanity:
- Finding and USING tools that work for you
- Finding and USING your emotional support system
- Finding and USING the emotional, psychological, spiritual, and physical outlets that work for YOU. You’ll need flexibility, knowing yourself well and being honest with yourself.
#4: Homeschooling. Understand and accept you’re not replicating school. I promise you, they will not “fall behind”. Everyone is going through this and the schools know it. Plus, school is not the ideal way for MANY kids to actually learn, gain confidence, or uncover their strengths. Use this time as an opportunity for a DIFFERENT way to “educate”. Engagement, activity, and focusing on their strengths may be your best goals moving forward.
Daily Routine Tips:
- Take breaks to check in BEFORE you’re interrupted (if possible),
- Delegate and plan out snacks and meals (i.e. lunch box meals)
- Create a daily chore list
- Have the kids create daily to-do lists
- Get clear on how you will respond to “I’m Boooored!”
- Begin a daily gratitude practice with your family. (examples: Circle Compliments, Big & Little “Gratefuls”, Bedtime Thank You’s, etc.)
Amber Trueblood is an entrepreneur, advisor to Moms, and the bestselling author of Stretch Marks and host of the Stretch Marks podcast on Podopolo.