Since March, most families have been enjoying the comforts of home. Together. Twenty four hours a day. Seven days a week. There are definite benefits we’ve all enjoyed due to this unexpected hiatus from life as we knew it. But most of us would probably also agree that any semblance of time alone or self care we may have had previously has been derailed.
Now that our ADHDers are “going back to school” – whatever that may look like – does this mean we can get back to some type of self care too?
Ali’s Story: I haven’t been alone or without interruption in five months. My exercise schedule shriveled to nothing and my waist size expanded. Daily meditation times were traded for a third shift in the kitchen as a short order cook. I definitely don’t feel like myself.
The rhythm of my days has not just been interrupted – it has evaporated! I desperately rely on quiet moments to recharge from the drain of the daily push/pull with my ADHDer. I easily absorb his anxiety so my alone time is critical. But since mid-March he’s been my side kick. All day. Every day. Insert stress eating here. I’m relying on school resuming to mean that maybe my routine can resume too.
Nor’s story: Coffee, cake, and work. Doesn’t initially sound like a healthy plan for self-care, does it? Meditation, yoga, and vacation would be better or perhaps date night, facials, and friends.
Coffee is my daytime luxury. Before COVID-19, having someone make me a cup of coffee after I dropped off the kids at school was the height of being pampered. Sitting in the car drinking it ALONE was like heaven on earth. Cake is my nighttime luxury. I’ve told Ali for years that I have a few bites of cake every night but she thought I was being funny. No, not an exaggeration. I have cake slices in the deep freeze and after both children are asleep, it’s my time for a deep calming breath and a few bites of cake.
Work. Now this is ironic, because my work life entails working with the same challenges I have with my own children. The difference is that at work, other parents listen to me and their kids listen to me. I get to be a valuable resource and help people in a way that makes a huge difference. I don’t often feel like that as a mom. So work gives me purpose, satisfaction, and happiness, which is self-care to me.
How has your life changed since the pandemic started? What has that meant for any self care you enjoyed? Are you working towards restoring time for yourself?