Last week I hit a wall and could feel myself slipping into a pessimistic state. Everything was annoying me and I felt frustrated on so many levels. But it wasn’t until Elin had a mini meltdown that I realized I needed to change my tune, especially for her. It’s crazy how kids can completely mirror your energy whether you think you’re hiding it or not. After talking with her I realized what we were all missing was a routine, something (anything) to ground our days a little.
The first week of staying at home felt a little aimless, chaotic and confusing—pj’s until noon anyone? Here are a few adjustments we made to create more normalcy.
1. Start your day at the same time.
Sleeping in can be a slippery slope. And while that’s not really my problem considering I have a newborn, having any kind of regularity is key. Todd took the kids so I could get some extra rest one morning and I felt off the whole day. In an effort to keep a schedule (especially with kids) we’ve been waking up at our usual hour and sticking to our normal morning routine (as if we were doing school drop-off).
2. Make your bed.
I feel ten times more productive, inspired and confident when I have a tidy house. It all starts with making your bed first thing in the morning. Also having clean sheets at night helps me sleep better for some odd reason, but it works!
3. Clean as you go.
Ok this one is huge, especially if you have kids and are doing a lot of cooking. At one point last week I was paralyzed with where to begin because our house was such a disaster. After cleaning it thoroughly we’ve been making a point to have Elin put her toys away before getting something else out and washing dishes right after we use them.
Honestly, I don’t have the time to do a full workout but the other day I started doing just 10 minutes of stretching in the morning and at night before bed and it made a huge difference. We’ve been getting out for mini nature and beach walks with Elin and it seems to help her a ton too.
5. Meal plan.
I can get hangry, like really hangry so staying ahead of our next meal is important. It also gives me the chance to get excited about what I’m making and feel more joyful about the day. Also someone on Instagram mentioned having a meal plan keeps you from snacking all day, which is so easy to do when you’re home all-the-time.
One of those obvious factors that can improve your mood, anxiety and sleep is staying hydrated. I’ve been keeping a giant water bottle with me at all times.
7. Give yourself screen/gadget free time.
I found myself glued to my phone checking Instagram, the news and texting with friends. My battery would be dead by the afternoon and my eyes needed a break. Sitting down with a book or taking a nap when I had a chance filled my cup back up.
8. Find some “me time.”
I laughed so hard when someone posted a photo of Jack Nicholson from the Shining and it said “Isolation with the family, what could go wrong?” We all need a little “me time” space. I get about 30 minutes if I’m lucky but I’ll take it!
9. Stick to your bedtime.
Nothing raises my anxiety than not getting enough sleep. And with no real obligations outside of our house, it’s easy to stay up late watching a movie or worse the news. Instead getting in bed, dimming the lights, taking a bath and doing all the things I would usually do to wind down from a day.
With so much fear, uncertainty and devastating news, it’s easy to feel heavy. It’s ok to laugh, it’s good for the soul. Turn on The Office or call your funniest friend.
Hoping all of you are healthy and safe. xx Sam