Every mom needs to feel like her feelings are important.
This pandemic has made it tough. We are so busy taking care of our families in a different way, that our feelings sometimes get neglected. Not just by our loved ones, but by ourselves.
We are making sure our kid’s assignments get done and that our husbands have a quiet place to work at home. Or we are the essential workers who are maintaining a sense of normalcy while everyone else is at home.
This new normal has been tough on everyone–especially moms.
Whether you work from home, work outside of the home, or stay at home, the inability to come and go as we please has been difficult no matter the age of your children.
It’s been a little easier for me as I live on a farm on a large piece of land and the closest neighbor is my mother in law.
My kids get plenty of outside time, but I’m a full-on extrovert. I love meeting up with friends, talking with coworkers and I love seeing my school kids and interacting with them.
The first few weeks of the shut down felt like a much-needed break from the everyday hustle and bustle of life, but I quickly felt my need for socialization taking a toll on my emotions.
Phone conversations and Zoom calls just aren’t the same.
And the first time I ventured out to the Post Office, it was such a depressing scene. To see the plastic barriers and X’s on the floor marking where we should stand made me feel like I was in a horror movie. It was surreal and just didn’t feel right.
My heart instantly went out to people who suffer from anxiety. 2 years ago I had a miscarriage, and anxiety sometimes shows its ugly head, so I know how life changes can be triggers for anxiety.
Here are a few things moms need to avoid during the pandemic (and can lower anxiety levels too!)
Unplug from social media
Listen, social media is a great way to connect with friends and family as well as just chill and laugh.
But sometimes it can be toxic. It can feed your fear and anxiety, and it can cause people to argue back and forth with each other.
If you feel like social media is not serving you in a positive way, it may be time to take a break or get off all together.
And that unfollow button is there for a reason–I’ve used it quite a bit these days.
Every mom needs to unplug from people and things that don’t lift her up.
Ditch the Judgmental Jerrys in your life
We all know them. The people who have opinions about everyone and try to force them on others.
Sometimes Judgemental Jerry is a family member. Or a coworker.
Adjusting to this new normal is stressful enough without the input from others who are not trying to help or be positive.
Every mom needs to cut negativity out of her life.
Run an errand alone
The first few weeks were okay for me. I didn’t become anxious about leaving the house.
In fact, right before the stay at home order, I had been back and forth to meetings, conferences and appointments.
Ya girl was tired of running here and there and everywhere.
So the idea of staying at home was actually pretty refreshing.
But then it went on……and on…..and on.
After a month of staying at home, I was over it. I was dying to see places and people beyond the farm.
Whenever we needed something from the store, I volunteered to get it. Lately, I’ve been going through the drive-through just to give myself a break from cooking. Sometimes it’s just the little things that make each day seem a little easier to tackle.
Indulge in something you love a least 1x/day
Now this one can be tough. Moms are guilty of giving themselves selflessly until there is nothing left to give.
But this leaves us empty. Emotionally, physically drained.
Vow to give back to yourself so that you can continue to give to your family.
It can be something as simple as enjoying a cup of tea while you read a book at night, taking a quiet walk around the neighborhood in the morning, listening to your favorite music while you take a shower, or using a back massager while you catch up on your new Netflix binge session.
Cry if you need to
I’m a glass-half-full kind of gal, but being at home day in and day out was starting to get to me.
I was chatting with my mom a week or so ago and she asked me if I was okay because I sounded tired. And then the tears fell. I let go of everything I had been holding in for weeks.
I’m so guilty of holding on to my feelings and pushing through.
Yes, being resilient is important.
Yes persevering through tough times is a great skill to have.
However, we can’t neglect our feelings for the sake of pushing through. We are human, and it’s absolutely okay to express sadness or frustration about what’s happening in our community and in the world.
Every mom needs to be real with herself about her feelings. If you need help, schedule an online session with a counselor.
Get dressed and do your hair
Staying home day in and day out makes it easy to just sit in pjs and leggings all day. You start to lose track of the days and it’s easy to get lazy with our appearance (pot calling kettle black here).
Every now and then, get dressed. In real clothes. Put on some lipgloss or lipstick when you go through the drive-through.
Sometimes those little things are mood boosters.