Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Self-Care During Social Distancing

Most of us are trying to stay home as much as possible.  People who have to go to work have the added worry of being exposed to the COVID-19 virus.  Tensions can be higher both at work and at home.

At home, our family has experienced our fair share of whining, crying and arguing in the kid department.  It grates on my nerves and wears down my composure.  I have found that good self-care can help combat fatigue and stress.  Here are some of the ways that I practice self-care during social distancing:

1.)  Go for a walk.  If you have access to outdoor space, going for a walk is a great stress reliever.  Moving your body releases endorphins and being in nature helps us to feel peaceful.

2.)  Find something funny to watch or read.  Humour can be very individual but the benefits of laughter are universal.  Laughter increases oxygen flow to the brain and releases endorphins.  My husband and I have been enjoying comedy sketches on Netflix and I have been doing a silly home wine tour on my personal Facebook page.  Laughing helps me feel happier and relieves stress.

We toured Bar-Bay mansion for this one.  Ha ha!
3.)  Take time to be creative.  Colour with your kids, do some sidewalk chalk art, design something encouraging to put in your window, sing, write or do whatever allows you to be creative.  I am not a terribly crafty person but I have felt great benefits from creating sidewalk chalk pictures and colouring with my children.  It helps to lift my spirits and is a wonderful distraction from our day to day.



4.)  Take care of yourself.  This one is simple but it can be a real challenge during times of stress.  Eat your fruit and veggies, drink adequate amounts of water (this is a constant struggle for me), take your vitamins, shower and try to get adequate sleep.  If you are struggling to achieve these tasks, set an alarm on your phone to remind you to complete them.  It really is difficult to take care of others if you aren't able to take care of yourself.

5.)  Do an at home workout.  If weather or circumstance doesn't allow you to go outdoors for a walk, try to do an at home work out.  Many of these workouts require very little (if any) equipment and the simple act of moving your body releases endorphins.

6.)  Give meditation a try.  I took a meditation class before this all happened and it has been extremely helpful.  I prefer guided meditations, but there are many types of meditation.  Headspace offers free trials and that can be a great space to start.  There are also great free resources on You Tube.

7.)  Treat yourself.  Sometimes you just need to indulge a little.  The other night, after the kids were sleeping, I took time to have a hot bath.  I ate a bowl of ice cream with Oreos and read a cozy mystery.  It was a wonderful escape and I felt relaxed once I was done.



How are you practicing self care during this time?

Thursday, 26 March 2020

How to Feel Connected During Social Distancing

This is a strange time to be alive.  We are being asked to stay home and to social distance ourselves from anyone who does not live in our homes.  It is so important for us to follow these protocols.  The sooner we slow the spread of COVID-19, the sooner we can get on with our lives.  The downside of social distancing, however is a feeling of loneliness and a feeling of disconnection.



Over the past week I have worked proactively to remedy any feelings of disconnection I was having.  I know that in order to keep my mental health in a good state, I need to be proactive.  Here are a few things that I have been doing:

1.) Make a list of people to stay in touch with.  Seriously.  This feels a little silly, but without a list you may be forgetting important people that you would like to be interacting with.  I also made a plan as to how often I plan to contact these people.

2.)  Text your friends.  Ask them how they are doing.  Send a funny meme or tell them something about your day.   

3.)  Call your Grandparents.  If your grandparents are not tech-savvy, pick up the phone and call them.  Ask them how they are doing and tell them what you have been up to.

4.)  Move your book club or meeting to Zoom  I run a Harry Potter book club locally and COVID-19 means that we can't get together anymore.  I emailed everyone and they were game to use Zoom for our meetings.  We had our first one on Monday and it went really well!  The app works great and we all got to socialize from a safe distance.

5.)  Have video message coffee dates.  I planned coffee with a good friend this week.  We both made ourselves a cup of coffee and then called each other on video chat (we used WhatsApp).  It was wonderful to see my friend and have coffee with her in real time.

These times are certainly strange and tough.  The good news is that we can do this.  We can social distance while maintaining connections.  How are you staying connected during this time of social distancing?

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Spring Capsule Wardrobe 2020- 25.3.2020

I really haven't spent a lot of time getting dressed into clothes from my capsule wardrobe, lately.  With social distancing, you can often find me in my cozy sweatpants and sweatshirt.  I have, however gotten dressed a few times and I am going to share those outfits with you.  I will be making more of an effort in the coming days to get dressed in 'real' clothes.  It does help me feel better and adds a sense of normalcy to my day.




Happy Wednesday, friends!  Take care and stay home (if you can)!

Friday, 20 March 2020

Our New Routine With Social Distancing

Wow.  This week has been long.  I am sure everyone is now feeling the full effect of social distancing and the closure of schools/workplaces.  These times are certainly different.  As a health care worker, I fully support the push for social distancing, but that doesn't mean that it isn't challenging.  So first things first:  You are allowed to grieve.  You are allowed to grieve the loss of what you thought this month would look like.  You can feel sad, angry or stressed about this.  That is completely normal.  I have calmed down for the most part, but I am definitely still experiencing anxiety and stress because of the pandemic.

Since we are all stuck at home, I thought that I would share what we have been trying to do with our routine.  This new routine has been working well for us.  I don't have a rigid schedule, because I would find that extremely stressful.  I am attaching times to this routine to give you a rough idea of what we are up to. 

8:00 a.m.  This is the time that my kids naturally wake up.  I have not kept them to school day wake up times.  We could all use a little more sleep in our house so I am happy to start our day when they are ready.  We eat our breakfast immediately upon getting up.  My 2 year old always greets me with, "Hi Mommy!  I want yogurt."

8:30 a.m.  We brush teeth, do hair and get dressed.  Getting dressed in daytime clothes is something that works well for my kids.  They usually throw a princess dress on top of their outfit anyway.  We then make our beds.  Even the 2 year old tries to make her bed.

9:00 a.m.    We have been doing Cosmic Kids Yoga every morning and it has been wonderful.  They tell a story while moving through the poses.  My 2 year old only does part of it before she runs off to play something else, but my 5 year old loves it. 



9:30 a.m.  We try to do a craft or a learning activity during this time.  Today we drew pictures and yesterday we worked on my 5 year old's sight words.  This doesn't have to be hardcore.  It can just be dedicated time to creativity, counting or reading.  We plan to do play dough and bake muffins in the upcoming days.

10:30 a.m.  Snack time!  I have designated eating times so that we don't graze all day.  My kids eat better at meals when they haven't been snacking beforehand.

11:00 a.m.  After snack, my kids run off to do free play and I catch up on my housework, schoolwork or any other task that I need to focus on.

12:00 p.m.  Lunch time.  I make lunch while the kids play, we eat and then I do dishes.

1:00 p.m.  Quiet time.  This is for my own sanity.  My oldest NEVER naps and my youngest is hit and miss, at best.  During quiet time the kids look at books, work on a puzzle and sometimes watch the Cincinnati Zoo Home Safari.



2:00 p.m.  We try to tidy up, play a game, head outside or have a dance party.  Koo Koo Kangaroo has some great videos for kids to dance to if going outside isn't an option.

3:00 p.m.  We have another snack.

3:30 p.m.  If we haven't headed outside already, we go outside.  It is still winter weather where I am, but I try to get us out every single day.  It makes the kids wildly happy and it helps calm me down, too.



4:30 p.m.  We head inside and start making supper.  While supper cooks we play, practice our music

or read books.  We also clean up all the toys before supper is ready.

After supper we start our night time routine, which takes longer than I would like to admit.  After that the kids head to bed.

How are you dealing with the self-isolation day to day?  Any ideas you want to share with me?  I would love to hear what you are all up to!

Monday, 16 March 2020

Home Reset 2020- Cold Room

**** I just want to write a quick note before I hop into our latest post.  I know that everyone is going through a lot with this pandemic.  It is confusing, scary and downright disruptive.  Our family will be adhering to the guidelines set out by our Public Health system.  We will practice social distancing and good hand hygiene.  We will work hard to do our part in flattening the curve.  We will not panic.  This one is hard for me.  I have a child with 2 different health conditions that place her in the 'at risk' group.  I have had ongoing anxiety over her health ever since she was airlifted to the PICU 2 years ago. 

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the social measures that our government is asking us to take, please understand that it is for the protection of our most vulnerable.  Cancer patients, people with heart and lung diseases and seniors are at risk of fatality.  We need to do our part to keep them safe.

If you feel your anxiety is too much to handle, please reach out for help.  There are many options for mental health help that still follow the guidelines of social distancing.  A quick google search can show you what is available in your area. 

Reach out to friends and family with Skype, Facetime or even your phone (I still have a landline that I love to use!  Ha ha.)  Stay off social media if it is terrifying you.

We are in this together.  Take care out there.  And wash your hands!****

My cold room stores my greeting cards, gift bags, my holiday decor, lesser used kitchen items, luggage and our camping gear. 

Before:


After:


This room is so much more functional.  I basically just went through everything and most of it went back into the room.  I tried to arrange items in a way that made the most efficient use of our space.  I didn't go through our seasonal decor as it gets looked at yearly.  I use every holiday as an opportunity to evaluate what we have and what we want to get rid of.

Checklist:
  • Take all of the items out
  • Wipe shelves/vacuum floors
  • Decide which items will get used and replace them in an orderly fashion.
  • Donate items that are in good repair and trash anything that is broken/damaged.




Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Spring 2020 Capsule Wardrobe Reveal

I have created my Spring 2020 capsule wardrobe.  I am ready for more sunshine and warmer temperatures.  My capsule wardrobe consists of 36 pieces, including shoes.  I do have a disclaimer, however.  My shoes won't come into play until it is nice enough to wear them outdoors.  We are still fully experiencing winter right now so I am still wearing my winter boots.  I didn't include my winter boots in the total because I will swap them out for shoes once the weather allows.

I made a few new purchases for my spring wardrobe.  A couple were made due to size changes and a couple purchases were made in replace clothes that have worn out or that have become stained.










I am so looking forward to using this new wardrobe.  Happy Wednesday, friends!





Monday, 9 March 2020

Home Reset 2020- Downstairs Closet

Our downstairs closet holds our off season clothes and equipment, shoes/boots and my maternity clothes.  I wanted to store our baby clothes in this closet so I had to make room.  I transferred my off season clothes to the closet in my bedroom and went through all the items.  I got rid of anything that was stained, didn't fit or wasn't being used.

Before:


The closet extends past the doors.  I stacked boxes of baby clothes and my maternity clothes back there because I won't need easy access to it.  I had been keeping off season items in that white rolling drawer system, but I switched to labelled containers that my mother-in-law gave us at Christmas.  The rolling drawer system found a new home upstairs.  I put the girls' art supplies in there and it has really helped us keep things in order.

After:


This closet is so much easier to use now.  I can quickly access items for each family member and I don't have to dive to the back to locate something.

Happy cleaning, friends!