Stress And Self-Care: The Ultimate Tango
This is not normal life right? Whether we get back to pre-COVID with what life was like before or something similar, this season has to have taught us something. For me it has been the value of looking after myself.
Before I got married, my almost-husband and I took some community dance classes. A bit of waltzing, a bit of swing and some latin moves. I don't remember many of the moves these days but what has always stuck around is the necessity for both partners to be moving in sync. His left leg goes back, my right leg goes forward, his right leg moves right, my left leg moves left, my right leg goes back as his left leg goes forward. These steps might be the basic waltz moves, or they could be a dance version of the game Twister... try at your own risk!
Here we are at our wedding, the dance ended up being a combination of a Waltz that turned into a latin style dance with borrowed moves from the Tango and Salsa styles. It was so much fun!
Self-care during lockdown is exponentially more difficult but so much more important. A bit like a tango, as our stress increases, our self-care also needs to increase so we can keep instep.
As we have been asked to keep kids home, limit outdoor time, close cafes, gyms and pubs, all things that we can use to look after ourselves have been limited or taken away. This has challenged me to see what self-care looks like in these abnormal times.
Pre-COVID I encouraged my clients to have a list of self-care activities that they can do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Some days we might only have 5 minutes of time to ourselves. Only after work is done, kids are home from school, in-between (insert any type of after school activity) and dinner is cooked.
Other days we can find half an hour or an hour, we can find time on weekends to go for a long walk, read a book, do a puzzle, paint a picture, take a day off to go to the beach, have a girls night or weekend away. All amazing things I cannot wait to do again. I miss the beach and I miss my friends!
My self-care list looks very different during lock-down.
10 minutes in the hammock with a coffee while I breathe the home learning stress away has become super important.
Having a shower in the middle of the day so I can have 15 minutes without hearing people whine or fight or ask me for water… seriously… you know where the tap is!
Binging on TV shows that I never would have time for before. There are sooo many shows I want to watch, the number of streaming platforms are out of control!!
Taking a 2 minute drive to get another coffee from my local cafe and taking the longer 5 minute drive home because the car is so peaceful.
Sometimes I can carve myself some more time, taking a bath once the kids are asleep, going for a walk alone, or putting a movie on for the kids so I can keep watching my show or read the latest thriller.
I have had to adjust. I have had to give up a lot of aspects of my ‘normal’ life, but hear me on this, self-care cannot be one of them. If we look after ourselves, then we can look after our families better.
What are you doing to look after yourself?