This lock-down is squeezing the last bit of patience out of me. With an end no where in sight, I am anxious and frustrated to the point of blowing up.
Being home day after day without social interaction and any option to go out is making me sensitive, angry, and just in this funky mood. I am sure many of you feel the same and are maybe dealing with more difficult issues such as home-schooling and changes in job situation.
Even though we all know that this is temporary, sudden changes in our environment, financial situation, lifestyle, and even health is quite difficult to digest. All I can repetitively say to myself and to YOU is to HANG IN THERE!! Do whatever you need to do for your sanity [except leave the house], whether it’s home projects, decluttering, organizing, playing with your kids, hobby-related things, and anything that you enjoy that can fill your time. It is also okay to use this time to do nothing because it is NOT a competition! If you want to watch Netflix, hang out with your family, eat, and just take naps and relax, that is ok. Anything that boosts your mental health should be top priority, always!
Some of the things I have been doing besides organizing and working (I WFH -9-5 job) is recording and watching movies on Hallmark, Lifetime, and South Asian Channels. Even though I am recording more than I watch, I am still taking full advantage of the wonderful movies playing lately.
Besides that, I play with the girls, or watch them play when I read or something. I have been cooking more and experimenting more with healthier dishes and enjoying different versions of coffee and tea daily.
Life seems like it used to be back in the day; the slower times when parents sat in the lawn and watched their kids ride their bikes. Or they helped them build kites and then flew them together. With changes in technology and all the economic, career, and educational advancements, our society now is always on the conveyor belt. We enjoy and often choose a fast-paced life, and only slow down when we have vacations or if there is a need such as an illness. And that’s fine! I think the problem with being quarantined is the lack of options. If we can go out and choose not to, it does not affect us negatively as oppose to being forced to stay in.
Nonetheless, I am just praying that all this will be over soon.
Until it is, I would like to share some simple stress busters that can help you feel better and get out of the funk!
Trust me, when you have kids and you are constantly playing referee between them, while juggling everything else around you, these simple stress busters will help you calm down and not lose your mind completely.
Simple Stress Busters that Can Help You Out of the Funk
1. Make your morning coffee fabulous.
Even if you are on a diet, or are cutting back calories, make your morning coffee your exception for the day. Be creative. Make it better than a simple blend with skim milk. For example, use the flavors you enjoy and a milk frother to mimic your favorite Starbucks latte.
2. Make time for breakfast.
Your kids are home, and you don’t need to worry about being late for school drop offs. So, make breakfast better than usual. Instead of cereal or toast, create your special scrambled eggs/omelette that you make only on Sundays. Turn your leftovers into a breakfast casserole. Try that new waffle recipe you have tucked in your Pinterest board. Or just add pretty fruit to your oatmeal.
3. Try a new delicious smoothie.
So maybe you don’t have all the ingredients you want in a smoothie, but I am sure you have something in your fridge. All you need is 1 green, 1-2 servings of fruit, milk/juice, some seed if you like such as chia or hemp, and ice to blend a delicious-game changer smoothie to up your mood!
4. Turn on some music.
Whether you are cooking, or cleaning the dishes, turn on your favorite playlist and jam along. Your little ones are sure to follow along and now you have made a boring daily house chore into a fun-filled activity. If you love Hindi songs like me, try Gaana.com.
5. Make your shower routine heavenly.
My showers used to be minutes long. Why? Because the second I stepped inside the bathroom, a crying baby, a needy preschooler, and/or an annoyed husband who couldn’t play referee between them would come pounding on the door. My showers are still not very long but now I try to make the most of them instead of just getting it over with.
Try slapping on a mask minutes before the shower and then wash it off during it. Your skin will thank you and that extra step will make you feel good about yourself. Indulge in beautiful and amazing smelling bath products. Just make sure they are good for your skin and not too harsh. Buy a few scented candles and light them when you take a shower. Candles aren’t just for when you take a bubble bath; because come on, when do moms ever have a chance to do that. Even if you are just taking a quick shower, the lights-off, candles-on feeling will leave you calm and relaxed after the shower.
6. Use your backyard and/or balcony to the fullest.
My mother in law uses most of the backyard to do her gardening. That doesn’t leave much space for the kids to play or for any of us to really hang. I used to be annoyed by that, but now I just let it go and embrace whatever small amount of space we DO have. The girls love playing outside even if there isn’t much room. And I just stay out there with them, playing, or reading, or just hanging out taking pictures.
Nature has a way of making things right and being outdoors makes my girls happy and relaxed and in return makes my life around them easier.
So, if you have a yard or even a balcony, step outside. Soak up some vitamin Ds and you don’t have to read or be productive. Just take a few deep breaths and enjoy just being away from dishes and laundry. Fresh air gives fresh perspectives!
7. Get your Zzzs.
It is a dream come true for moms to sleep in but it’s not about sleeping in but sleeping early that will make a difference in your life. I felt that my life began after my girls went to sleep. Some days that was not until 9pm. And after that I would watch a little tv or write or browse the medias until I fell asleep and sometimes that would be way after midnight. My work starts at 5am which means I only slept about 4 hours that night.
Getting a good nights rest makes a lot of difference. You feel rested, your body relaxes, your brain and energy level get to recharge and of course there are many more health-related reasons that sleep is essential.
Change your sleeping habits and do that for 1 week and see if it makes a difference. Set a fixed time to sleep and sleep at that time [no phones/TVs/books]. If you want to browse or read, start that prior to the time you set to go to sleep. It will make a huge difference in your mood the next day and so forth.
8. Call a friend.
Even when you are busy doing dishes or making lunch, just pick up the phone and dial a friend or family member. Catch up, ask them about how they feel, listen to them, and share your side. Social distancing does not mean social isolation. You can still socialize from your home.
9. Cook something besides food.
I hate cooking even though I do it every single day! Not just for me, but my in-laws and my husband and kids and I think I do it well because no one ever complains. But I still hate cooking!
Except when I get to cook something new. I love changing the brownie recipe or adding something out of the ordinary to my pasta dishes. It’s a tweak but it’s fun!
Cooking something besides the daily meals can be adventurous and exciting, even if it’s something small such as brownies or cookies.
10. Watch your favorite show or a movie.
Kids hog the TV all day? Yep, that’s the story everywhere! But once a day, sit down and enjoy something that you like to watch. While the kids are playing or coloring, or even sleeping, watch a show or a movie without interruptions. Enjoy it and even if you don’t finish it, at least it was only for you.
11. Pamper your skin.
If you don’t already have a skincare routine, I highly recommend it. I do have one which I try not to miss and it’s very relaxing. If I don’t already fall asleep, I do my nighttime skin care routine after putting the kids to bed. And my morning routine around my first break from work.
Find the time that works for you and give your skin the attention it deserves. It will thank you later, but you will get instant gratification.
12. Drink water.
If you feel restless, frustrated, or just bored, get a big glass of water and chug it. Poor hydration often causes these emotions and symptoms.
I recently purchased some mason jars and even though it may sound silly, drinking lemon water or just plain water from a mason jar tastes so much better than a regular glass. Ha!
13. Step away.
When you feel overwhelmed by your surroundings, take a break and move away from it. With the kids arguing over a toy, a loud TV, my husband and father in law discussing the stupid political drama, and me feeling overwhelmed and angry about not getting any help, I often want to take an air horn and blow it loudly! Or just scream!
And some days I do…. scream not the horn 😉
But the best way to handle this is to step away from it all. Get away, go outside, or just hide in the bathroom for a few minutes with running water. It’s not a bad thing; it’s survival!
So, there you have it guys! I hope you like some of these simple stress busters and use them into your lives. If you do any of these, please let me know.
Do you have any simple mantras or tasks that change your bad day/moment into a good one?