As we prepare to enter year 3 of the pandemic, the main themes I hear from women, and the issues I struggle with myself, all revolve around pandemic fear, unrealistic expectations, guilt, and fatigue. Mothers are faced with responsibilities and pressure that no previous generation has ever had to navigate. Outside of COVID, I think so much of it comes down to technology and our unique access to absorb, connect, and compare at any given moment. Three years in to this pandemic I think we are too accessible to the things we need space from and too detached from the people and support we crave.
4 TIPS TO HELP MOMS THROUGH:
Find your people. Given that the pandemic is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, and that fear, anger, and confusion can be all consuming, I think that surrounding yourself with supportive, like-minded people, will nourish and preserve your mental health during this unprecedented time. Understanding different perspectives is an important part of life and personal growth. But at this particular moment in history, the pressure can really bring you down, especially as you’re forced to make hard choices for your family. Respectfully do what works for you, honor your gut instincts, and try to release the tension and frustration that might be causing problems with people in your life. Everyone is doing their best during a complicated and emotional time. I believe that going forward everyone’s focus is best spent feeling supported and respected by the people around them, even if you need to take some temporary distance from people you love.
Be mindful of what you consume. We are the combination of what we eat, what we read, what we listen to, and who we spend time with. With more limited social interaction and increased time online, it’s really important to cultivate a life that makes you feel whole and happy on your own time. Think about what makes you feel good, and alternately, what causes you stress, frustration, boredom, or pain. These could be foods, people, social media accounts, TV shows, podcasts, books or music. Eliminate what’s not working and make more space for what does. Phone dates with the people who lift you up, a new 2022 playlist, inspirational podcasts to listen to while you walk, or a little extra self-care goes a long way. I bought this Nano Ionic Hot Mist Face Steamer and I use it for 10 minutes at night. It’s simple but it brings a lot of joy!
Stop comparing your real life to someone else’s highlight reel. We all know by now that what you see online is cultivated to within an inch of its life. But even so, it can be hard to watch if you’re feeling down. So, don’t. I was home in quarantine with my family over Winter Break after a positive COVID exposure. We missed out on spending a week with my parents, and even though we tested negative, we were positively stuck. I started to feel bad every time I opened Instagram and saw people on vacation living it up. It made me feel guilty, depressed, and like I was a bad mom as my kids played in a basement when the rest of the world was out experiencing “life”. Irrational or not, I didn’t want to bring that negative energy to my family, so I chose not to open my personal social media account while we are at home. We were all better for it. If something comes up that’s hard for you to see, you will be too!
Invest in yourself. I think the best way to invest in yourself in 2022 is to be more intentional about what fills you up outside of motherhood. So many of my clients took the last year to turn their passion or hobby into a profitable business. That meant investing in entrepreneurial education, hiring a business coach to help them understand what it took to start and run a small business, spending time creating a business plan and investing money in inventory, website design, and social media management. There are small things we invest in every day, like buying a sweatshirt you love, but stepping outside of mom-life, and investing in a long-term goal is so incredibly fulfilling. This year, focus on what fills you up as a human being. It will benefit you and everyone around you.