Apologies up front, I am not a writer nor self-care guru – just a parent trying to make it through a global pandemic with a 3-year-old son and a shred of sanity.
Right now, self-care is more about survival than indulgence. So far, here’s what helps me survive, in no particular order:
- Schedules! Schedules for everyone! Schedules for me, my son, and my husband. If we had a dog, I’d add his schedule to the white board. I would do schedules for my neighbors. If there’s any virus living with us, I’d give them schedules too. This gives me something to aspire to and a sense of control over the day. Of course, my housemates do not always follow my schedules. But a girl can dream.
- SWEAT. The first week or so I was waiting until afternoon nap or lunchtime to try to find time for a workout and IT. WAS. NOT. GOOD. So now, I try to get up and sweat, just as I would if we were not in a crisis. I feel better. I have more patience and am less likely to murder my loved ones.
- Baths. It turns out that bathtubs are not just for toddler playtime. When it is clean (which is not always) I fill it up with bubbles or Epsom salts and sit. It helps me sleep better, which during times like these is especially useful. Pro tip: DO NOT READ THE NEWS WHILE IN THE BATHTUB.
- Booze. Adult pleasures are vital. But honest talk: this one you’ve got to keep an eye on; I was relying too much on drinking at first to help me cope. But now I find it helps to have schedule (see step 1!) and it’s something I look forward to without overindulging. Now, it is a reward for another week in the books. Or a day of decent juggling: work, parenting, life.
- GET OUTSIDE! I try to get outside for a walk every day, usually with my kid. Our walks are usually brief, and of course we follow social distance rules, but fresh air is fresh air even through the old bandana I’m now using as a mask.
- Lastly, and this one is the most important: breathe in, breathe out and remember: TODAY IS NOT FOREVER. Yes, this moment stinks. But it will pass and we can get through it. We are parents and New Yorkers. We can do anything.
This blog was written by a 14Y Preschool parent. Have a perspective you’d like to share with the 14Y community? Let us know at FamilyPrograms@14streety.org. We’ll feature funny and thoughtful pieces from our families regularly.
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