Self Care for Mamas During Covid-19

Self-Care for Mamas During COVID-19 Alert LevelS 3 & 4   

Feeling tired, over it and missing your me time? We feel you Mamas!

As busy women juggling work, childcare, home schooling, and/or even pregnancy – just trying to keep everything afloat – there is not a lot of ‘me’ time anymore. The lack of usual support networks and places to visit can be a real source of stress, anxiety, and plain exhaustion. Now more than ever is the time to practice self-care.

Check out our self-care guide with ideas, resources and tips to help you get through this challenging period. Take what resonates with you and leave the rest. We’re here for you Mamas!

1. Call a Friend or Loved One

pregnant women

Talking to a friend or family member outside of your bubble can be an enormous source of support during this period. Being able to download and connect can be refreshing and uplifting. It can be the boost you need to get to the end of the day, or something to look forward to at the end of every week. There’s something so much more personal about the sound of a familiar voice (or video chatting) than a message. Make use of the technology available to us today and stay socially connected.

 

2. Stick to a Routine if You Can

Get up at around the same time every day, get dressed, make your bed, brush your teeth and hair. Simple routines in your day, for example exercising in the morning, calling someone every afternoon, dinner, bath and bed routines for the kids at the same time every night, can make a huge difference. Your routine won’t be anything like before, but a simple one will at least give you a sense of structure and a feeling of being productive. And if you don’t stick to it all the time, that’s ok!

 

3. Limit Your Media Use – Disconnect

Receiving constant updates on your phone about the COVID-19 situation can add to your already stressful day, and doesn’t help with anxiety levels. Excessive social media use can also be a source of anxiety. Try switching off and disconnecting every once and a while. I personally have turned off the notifications on my phone so I can decide when I want to receive social media or news updates. Try to limit yourself to just twice a day for news updates, or take a day break from it altogether. You may discover a calmer and more focussed you.

 

4. Eat Nutritiously

fruits for pregnant women

Eat a wide range of healthy foods including fruits, vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and milk products, and proteins such as lean meat, legumes, eggs, nuts and organic herbal teas. Remember to stay hydrated with 8 glasses of water a day. Treat yourself occasionally. By fuelling yourself with good healthy food, you will feel good and energised. And if you don’t stick to this all of the time, don’t beat yourself up about it either.

5. Move Your Body

exercise

The funny thing about exercise is that it actually gives you energy. And I don’t know about you, but that’s definitely something I need right now! Regular exercise is proven to improve not only your physical health but also your mental health. Have you ever been on a walk outside and come home in a worse mood than when you left?

Use the time you would normally be commuting to work, or stuck in traffic taking your child to a playdate or activity, and move your body.

  • Walking/running: It’s a great exercise to get the lungs pumping and doesn’t require any fancy equipment, and you can go whenever suits you. Great for clearing the head. Just remember to keep your 2-metre distance from others.
  • Cycling: If you’re lucky enough to own a bike, get out there! I’ve never seen so many cyclists out and about as now, and there’s a reason for it. It’s also low impact, and you can get around faster. The change of scene can break up your day and it can be fun cycling around discovering your local area.
  • Online exercise classes – if you haven’t already tried out home workouts, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon. There is a whole world out there of Pilates, yoga, gym workouts and more on online. Some great (free) ones to try on YouTube include:
    Lucy Wyndham-Read
    Joe Wicks (PE With Joe is great for kids too)
    Les Mills fitness classes (have classses for kids too – also available on TVNZ OnDemand)

6.  Read a Good Book

girl reading a book

Getting lost in a good, old fashioned book is the best for a bit of escapism. Drag out a book you’ve been meaning to read, or your local library should have online books available for issue. Another option is to listen to books from somewhere such as www.audible.com, or podcasts. We recommend the hilarious Kiwi parenting podcast Double Strength Mama Power. And don’t forget you can always treat yourself to a new book purchase online.

 

7. Treat Yourself to a DIY Manicure
If you’re anything like me, you’re probably missing your regular visit to get your nails done. Treat yourself to your own DIY manicure. If it’s been a while there are online tutorials on YouTube. If you have a daughter, you could even have a mummy-daughter manicure session. And when the rules allow, book in to get your nails done at Bella Mama for a lovely treat to look forward to. You will deserve every bit of pampering you get after this lockdown!
8. Have a Home Pamper Night

self care for mamas

You might also be missing your normal grooming/pampering services being open such as the hairdressers or massage therapy. Why not have a pamper night at home? Run yourself a bubble bath once the kids have gone to sleep, light a candle, and relax. You could even give yourself a facial with a face mask if you have one, or try one with ingredients you have in your pantry. Give your hair a special conditioning treatment. Just make sure you let everyone in your bubble know ‘do not disturb’ prior to you beginning 😀

Side note: Give your skin the ultimate in skin care and take a break from makeup (if you haven’t already). Your skin will thank you for it!

 

9. Spring Clean

Been meaning to clean out your wardrobe for the past year and a half? Guilty! Now could be a good time to get some of those jobs done which you’ve been meaning to do for a while. Make a list and tick them off – it will make you feel productive and like you’ve achieved something. Other examples could be cleaning out your pantry, car or drawers, gardening, or water blasting your driveway/house.

Tip: set a timer on your phone for 20 minutes and just clean! 20 minutes doesn’t feel like a long time but it’s amazing what you can achieve in that time.

10. START A GRATITUDE JOURNAL

In a world filled with uncertainty right now, there is still A LOT to be grateful for, particularly in New Zealand. Start writing down things you are grateful for every night before you go to bed. They don’t have to be big things, just the fact it was a sunny day, you have a home to live in, the smile on your child’s face, food in the fridge – all things worth being grateful for. It sounds a bit Oprah-ish but it can really fill you with good vibes and help put things in to perspective.

 

11. Catch up on Netflix

(or TVNZ OnDemand). There are some great entertainment offerings right now, even more so than usual. Get stuck into a series or watch a movie in the evenings when the kids are tucked up in bed. Here are some recommendations:

  • Tiger King
  • The Stranger
  • Stranger Things
  • Ozark
  • Captain Phillips (movie)

12. Meditate
We could all do with a bit of calm right now, and if you’re new to meditation or an old hand, it could be just what the doctor ordered. We love the @headspace app for some simple guided mediations. 
13. SLEEP
It can be tempting to stay up late on your phone, TV etc to have child free time. Which is fine. However staying up super late on a consistent basis can wreak havoc on your nerves, mood and energy levels. Looking after kids all day and/or working is tiring work, so you need all the help you can get. Sleep keeps you rested and energised – important qualities during this challenging time. (Of course adequate sleep is not always possible with a baby/little ones for obvious reasons, but do your best!)
14. Reach Out to a Professional If You’re Not Coping

If you do feel concerned about your mental health and don’t feel like you are coping, it’s important to seek help from a health professional.

  • To talk to a trained counsellor for support with grief, anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing, call or text 1737 (available 24 hours 7 days a week).
  • Check out this page on the official Covid-19 website dedicated to resources, apps and further info on coping with your mental health during this time
  • If you are pregnant, don’t hesitate to talk to your midwife/obstetrician
  • Call your GP

 

The Bella Mama team are thinking of you and are here for you. Take care and stay safe in your bubble. We can’t wait to see you again soon!

 

The Bella Mama Team x

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