“You can’t calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass.” – Timber Hawkeye

As the pandemic continues there are so many choices to make: Work from home, work at work or a combination of both; kids are learning from home, some are back to school and some have a hybrid plan of the two. Parents have a lot more on their plates than ever before and are expected to keep calm and carry on. 

Easier said than done. 

As the pandemic continues there are so many choices to make: Work from home, work at work or a combination of both; kids are learning from home, some are back to school and some have a hybrid plan of the two. Parents have a lot more on their plates than ever before and are expected to keep calm and carry on. 

 

Every woman I speak to lately seems like she’s got it all under control, but I can see in her eyes that she’s afraid and tired and just waiting for it all to come crashing down. 

 

I can tell she’s worried about her kids and wonders if they’re learning what they need to know. She knows which ones will be able to get the work done and which ones might fall through the cracks. She stocks the house with healthy food but the kids opt for snacking and grazing on their random breaks. And when it comes to intimacy with her partner, that is pretty much non-existent.  

 

She’s in survival mode and half the time can’t remember the last time she ate a real meal sitting down. Add to that housework, food shopping, bill paying and the pet that’s a recent addition to the family and I can see why she’s expecting the whole thing to fall apart. 

I’m sure the very idea of taking time for yourself seems highly unlikely—maybe even crazy. But that’s exactly what must be done. There is no way to keep going without putting gas in your own tank. Allow yourself to start with something small if taking on something new seems overwhelming.

Here’s a few things I try to do when all I have is a few minutes to myself:

  • Diffuse essential oils to help balance mood and invoke a sense of peace. Lavender is a tried and true oil, but also consider Clary Sage. It’s the oil of clarity and vision — something we’re all wanting more of these days. It can eliminate distractions from the mind, and increases the ability to visualize and imagine new possibilities. It also helps when you’re feeling discouraged. If you don’t have a diffuser, dab a few drops on your wrists, neck and bottom of your feet.

 

  • Listen to an uplifting podcast. This not only changes my pattern of thinking to more positive things, it’s a form of self-care that I can do while doing other things like driving or cleaning the house. Some of my favorite podcast channels are The Good Life Project, Brene Brown’s Unlocking Us, The Melissa Ambrosini Show, Joel Osteen and local gals Stacey Shipman and Jill Sylvester. The more I listen to positive talk, the easier it is to shift my perspective when things start going downhill.

 

  • Get moving. The minute I start to feel overwhelmed, I get up and move my body. The very action of movement changes our physiology and shifts my frame of mind. Tony Robbins is famous for teaching people to change their state by moving while thinking about what you want for your life. So get up, get moving and change your state of mind.
 

Whatever your stress level these days, remember that you don’t have to keep piling things on without taking something away. As Oprah is famous for saying, “No is a complete sentence.” Get ok with letting go of something even if it’s something you used to enjoy doing. And do something for yourself. It’s the very best way to keep calm and carry on.