The year 2020 was no doubt an unprecedented year. No one could ever have imagined what was waiting for us. It is no question that moms especially handle a tremendous amount of responsibilities every single day. COVID-19 added on extra stress, duties and triggers to lead us on a path to burnout. Many moms that I have talked to said they literally just “survive” each day to the best of their abilities. I personally found that some simple activities that do not consume much time to help me reduce stress and I actually enjoy every day instead of just trying to “survive” each day.
Drink or Treat: Prepare a drink everyday that you enjoy and have it as a routine to look forward to each morning. I love using my glass teapot to make tea in with slices of lemon or lime, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and green tea to make it more delicious and colorful. It is full of anti-oxidants and full of flavor filled with vitamins to keep you healthy and your immune system stronger. Having something little to look forward to in the morning can make your day fun and put a smile on your face. Some friends love making coffee or a cappuccino in a cozy mug (mine has a picture of my family on it) to enjoy even for a few minutes. Treat yourself preferably to a healthy snack or indulge in not a healthy one, to have something little to look forward to and change it up. I love to eat sweet and salty popcorn, some healthy bars, spicy chips or chocolate covered fruit or nuts after lunch and it puts a smile on my face looking forward to something after lunch with a warm cup of peppermint tea.
Dose of exercise: As a healthcare professional, I always stressed to my patients how important it is to get a “dose” of exercise, as little as it may be but anything is better than nothing. I recently started working from home and set reminders for myself throughout the day to get up and move or even do leg exercise during a zoom meeting. Even if you have 10 free minutes as a busy mom, take a quick walk outside and even take the kids to go with you. Spend some time talking to the kids and ask how their day or week is going and that will help you bond as a family while breathing fresh air. Tell some jokes and make this little time outside a great dose of laughter and exercise which is a great combination to keep a family healthy.
Pick a “dress-up” day : With COVID-19, many weddings, birthday and many other festivities were canceled. One of my favorite things was to go to a wedding and take pictures of the family all dressed up and at least have a few fancy pictures of us a family during our busy lives to frame on a wall. I noticed we hardly ever dress up anymore and dedicated days to “dress-up” and have a dinner party and take pictures, kids have a blast and we love watching them have so much fun.
Watch a family comedy together: Even if we have very limited time to watch a comedy, watch one even for 15 minutes, sometimes it takes me a whole week or more to finish a movie but something little to look forward to as a family. A “dose” of laughter is great medicine because it lifts up your mood, increases dopamine and serotonin which are the hormones responsible for making you feel happy, while at the same time decreasing cortisol- your “stress hormone”.
Quick workout/Stretch Routine: Kids love doing things together as a family and it provides them with stability and a sense of belonging and may increase their self-esteem. Due to the pandemic, our ballet classes went virtual and we started doing stretching exercises as a family from homeand I never had so much fun and rarely laughed so hard trying to keep up with the stretches. Incorporating a quick work out with the family will also help the family stay healthy and moving.
Have a dance party: My sister started having a dance party with the kids to keep us moving with some favorite songs, to lighten up everyone’s mood and to remind us to have a little fun to stay positive during COVID-19. Learn some new moves and learn to laugh at yourself while being silly. It also has become our family’s favorite and something that all the kids look forward to.