I feel like one of the best gifts we, as former foster youth we’ve been given is our resilience. The ability to rise to the occasion and if we fail trying we get back up and try again. We know things can and do get bad, but it’s “What’s the worst case scenario? We survive or we don’t” We’ve been through worse, we come from nothing and so we do what we can we ride the wave.
Are you ready to ride?
This is not the next blog post I intended to write next. I have sitting next to me, a list of topics for the next 6 months. I had hoped to expand on my last post and write about mindset. But in a crisis it’s really hard to find the space and work on yourself and today that’s exactly where we find ourselves self quarantined in our homes trying desperately to flatten the curve of the Corona Virus.
The facts are that it is strange to go to a grocery store and for them not to have in stock what I need. It’s weird that 24 hour stores don’t open until 9:00am. It’s an inconvenience. I don’t like it. But I’m not scared either I’m not freaking out or raiding grocery stores or developing conspiracies. I’m actually pretty relaxed. And I think that comes from trauma.
What I want to do today is make sure YOU are in the best position mentally for what is coming. I want to talk about self care.
Selfcare is a pretty popular buzzword, but I’m not talking about day spas. massages, and shopping trips. (they’re all closed now anyway). I’m talking about how to best take care of YOU so you can be in a position to take care of others.
Check Out for a while-
It is more than ok, it is vital. Power naps have been proven to rejuvenate energy __________. But allowing yourself to veg-out and binge watch something can also be a great escape. I recommend setting a time limit. a few hours or a day. (Friday is our lazy day)
Another way of checking out is doing a social media detox- That’s hard right now as we want to get up to the moment information- but trust me its a lot of the same stuff over and over again. If you need the info, follow a trusted web or news site. If you need to stay in touch with certain people, set up a group page or try Marco Polo. Then you are only getting what you need and want, not seeing posts that will anger, annoy or just waste your time.
Take A Shower.
Something as basic as starting your day off with a shower can do wonders for you mentally. The rush of water 1st thing in the morning can set you up to be productive. If you have any additional pampering products use them. especially if they have a citrus scent as that lifts the mood.
Get dressed- Even if it’s just in sweats, make sure you have clean clothes on. You deserve to smell and feel good.
Exercise- As long as we still can get out and get some fresh air. The kid and I went roller skating monday. and we still walk our dog. If you are able, get out and go for a hike. Gyms are closed but that doesn’t mean you can’t be active. I’m going to start doing Yoga at home via youtube.
This one is almost being done for you because a lot of quick foods are wiped out as soon as the stores open. I’m no nutritionist but I know that when we eat nutritious food we have more energy and it can fight depression. (Something I predict there will be a rise of with all of this social distancing) If like me, you really hate to cook here are a few suggestions to make it tolerable.
- Cook once for the day- My kitchen is tiny and dated and I already find cooking really boring. So I try to go in once a day and make all my meals at that time.
- Cook once a week___________________I do this with breakfast sandwiches, and grains, then I can easily have a Buddha Bowl and call it good.
- Make extra- there might be a time when you really just don’t feel motivated at all. so try to stock up on something you love so you can just reheat it and be done.
- Treat yourself- If it’s in your budget, then learn to cook something you love at home. Or stock up on your favorite grocery store candy. A little indulgence can help us feel grateful.
Plan out your day! Keeping busy make the time go faster and I love the theory: “Slay your dragons!. That means do the tasks you most hate first.
I do this every night and think of what I want to accomplish for both myself and my family. and make a list on my phone. Then when I wake up in the morning and am tempted to just stay in bed, i’m reminded that not 12 hours ago I was inspired to slay today. I also like to write the list out in the morning, because I love being able to cross tasks off. HOWEVER it’s important to remember that some days just don’t go as planned. Especially now in the thick of it, I can attest that depression can hit quickly. (Even for those of us genuinely well adjusted) We are a social people and we need connection. So be prepared to just take it day by day and give yourself grace.
5.Call your friends-
Don’t spend hours worrying about whether or not family is ok pick up the phone and call them! I’ve found that the one thing many of struggle with is not knowing what is next, Personally, hearing “No” was always better for me than waiting for the answer. We can easily let our minds go to “worse case scenarios” so I encourage you to just pick up the phone and get the answer you need. Then it’s one less thing to worry about.
6. Read or listen to something uplifting or even funny!
I don’t recommend WORLD WAR Z or the like but that’s up to you! My preference right now is books about harder times or books about business. the former reminds me to be grateful that what we are in now could be worse. The latter reminds me to still focus on the future. (Because chances are we still have one). I LOVE podcasts, I love them so much I have one (
Go to iTunes or Anchor or Spotify and look up something you are interested in and binge! Bonus if you do a chore or project while listening.
Face your fears!!!
As survivors of trauma we have been through hard seemingly insurmountable things. The Virus is real and life threatening for some but most of us will be ok. I think the most frightening part is to not have answers. The way I look at it is this. I can survive almost anything if I know what’s coming next. We can’t do that with Corona because we’ve never seen it before, there is no vaccine currently and testing is not readily available. So what can we do? We face it, we gather what knowledge we can and then we take precautions. We need to ignore the irrational clutter that is out there and gather the truth.
- For most people this will present as the flu.
- Children are carriers but it hasn’t in most cases affected them badly.
- The elderly and those with compromised health are most at risk.
Once we have the truth we can start to prepare…. wisely. If you suffer anxiety write down your biggest fears and figure out how you would deal with them. Basically mine is, We either survive or we don’t! Odds are we will, but just in case we don’t I’m not going to stop living now. I’m going to take those people that are most important to me and hold them close. I’m going to for as long as I can keep learning and pursuing my dreams of making a difference in the Aged Out Community. I’m going to celebrate my son’s birthday with Cake and presents and video games. Living in fear is not living so I urge you to make the most out of your day! and if that’s binge watching ghost hunters then live it up! Focus on the best things. and be well!
I realize that these ideas can seem basic to many but from what I’ve seen those of us who have been neglected are the very best at neglecting ourselves.
If you are feeling down please feel free to message me directly at Carob Mars on face book. Or Join our group Age Out Rise Up Community at Facebook.com.