Dear CDA Families,
COVID-19 has disrupted many of our lives in ways we would have never imagined. For me, this past year has felt like a roller coaster ride that seems never-ending. Responsibilities that include having my children home all day and dealing with sibling rivalry, working remotely, cooking, cleaning, and what feels like a hundred other things. Although every person’s situation is different, one thing is clear, we are all dealing with different types of stress and it seems like there is little or no time to take care of ourselves.
It is important to keep in mind that even though we can’t control a lot of what is going on right now, we do have control over ourselves and knowing that we matter too. Recently, I’ve been hearing a lot of talk surrounding the idea of self-love and why it’s important when it comes to parenting. The truth is that we are our children’s first teacher, their role model. Having love, respect, empathy, and compassion for ourselves as parents is one of the best gifts you can teach your child and it serves as a guide for them to follow. It helps their ability to develop a deeper connection and understanding with themselves by increasing their self-worth, inner peace, and strength.
Managing our own stress has a positive impact on our parenting and personal health. Remember, we can’t pour from an empty cup. Below are some tips to practice self-love and care.
1. Empower yourself with positive thoughts and affirmations.
How many times have you heard the phrase “You are your own worst critic?” As humans we tend to be so hard on ourselves. We are not as patient and understanding as we are with others. We are overly critical of ourselves and constantly have negative thoughts. Anytime you start having negative thoughts replace them with empowering thoughts and phrases such as “You are beautiful, you are strong, you are capable, and you are enough, and so on.” This will help you to break the loop of negative self-talk and will shift you to more positive and healthier conversations with yourself.
2. Make time for yourself.
Give yourself a break each day to do something that you enjoy. Whether it’s taking a long bath, a quick exercise, reading a book, watching your favorite movie or show, or simple having some alone time to close your eyes for a silent moment. Don’t feel guilt or shame because you deserve it and it’s essential.
3. Reconnect with others.
With some of the challenges that come with parenting it is easy to put off socializing with others. Make sure to create a positive healthy support system that you know you can count on and won’t judge you. Reconnecting with friends will help you reduce stress and will make you feel loved and supported.
4. Have the courage to be imperfect.
Being a perfectionist can lead to a long road of anxiety and discontent. It can be emotionally and physically exhausting when you hold yourself to an impossible standard. Instead focus on setting realistic goals and expectations for yourself. Allow your children to see that you make mistakes, laugh about it and move on. Give yourself and your children the permission to live a happy life by modeling how perfectly imperfect we all are.
5. Practice gratitude.
Take the time to recognize what you are grateful for each day. This helps to refocus our attention and thankfulness for what we do have instead of what we don’t.
6. Practice healthy habits.
It is important to be mindful of practicing and maintaining healthy habits, such as having a well-balanced diet and avoid unnecessary snacking, stay hydrated, maintain a good sleep schedule, and stay physically active. Practicing healthy habits, especially during times of stress is crucial for our physical and mental well-being.
7. Set boundaries for yourself.
Since the beginning of COVID-19, many of us find our work and home life transformed into one. It is important to keep a daily routine and set limits so that we don’t burn out. For example, your workspace should be separate from your sleep space. You should also try to follow a work and school schedule to allow for time to refresh and separate from a work day. Having a routine is great for creating better focus on tasks and management of your time. This helps create and maintain self-discipline and responsibility.
Practicing self-love and care on a regular basis will help us to experience the joys of parenting and personal well-being. As we continue to navigate our new normal, I hope these tips will encourage you to be kind to yourself.
Click the links below for more information.
- Maintaining mental health and wellness during COVID-19
- Tips for Self-Care During COVID-19
- Balancing Parenthood and Work
- COVID-19 Vaccine – San Diego County
For a list of upcoming workshops and events, visit our Workshops page!
Family Resources Team
For individualized assistance with resources or referrals during COVID-19 closure, please contact our Family Resources Team via email or by phone, during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Family Resources Supervisor
Family Resources Specialist
|Alexandra “Alex” Real
Family Resources Specialist
Kearny Mesa Office