self-care

  • 10 Coronavirus Self-Care Tips To Help You Survive Self-Isolation

    Coronavirus has swept across the globe leaving chaos and death in its wake. We are consumed with fear of catching it while being consumed with grief over those we’ve lost to it. The stress and worry, if we or a loved will be this virus’ next victim, is so thick in the air that you can cut it with a knife. We know what needs to be done to help prevent the spread of this virus but what about the mental and emotional health as a result of this prevention? Here are some Coronavirus self-care tips to help all of us get through this scary time.

    Turn Off The News

    coronavirus self-care mommyrandr

    I don’t know about you but I’m sick to death of the news. So much so that I cannot bring myself to watch it all day long. Between 45’s stupidity coupled with how quickly this virus is spreading across NYC, for my sanity, I turn it off. Yes, it’s important to stay informed especially with ever-changing information but taking in too much or even excessive information will add to my stress, worry, and anxiety.

    Now, this is not to say that I’m not following the news. I’m just doing so in moderation and using Twitter for up to the minute news and Google breaking news notifications. This allows me to stay informed while also holding on to what little bit of sanity  I have left.

    Block Social Media Negativity and Misinformation

    Speaking of social media, I follow a lot of different people resulting in a diverse timeline of news, memes, religious, family fun, and work from other bloggers. But what you won’t see on my timeline is negativity or people who have beliefs and values that differ from mine. There was a time when I would just scroll past their posts and act as though I don’t see it but we no longer live in a time where that is an option. Hence the reason why I use my mute button to hide posts from people I don’t want to unfriend and my block button for those who cross the line.

    This is the beauty of social media, I control what I see on my timeline. During times like this, I’m only interested in people who are interested in sharing lifesaving misinformation, uplifting words of wisdom and comfort, and yes a meme to or two cause a little bit of laughter can go a long way.

    Declutter

    coronavirus self-care mommyrandr

    Yeah, I know the last thing you wanna hear is doing a deep clean but I swear to gawd it’ll make you feel better. I’m a total clutter bug so trashing old shit I don’t need is the best thing for me, and you too. I mean, what else have you got to do while the kids are in Google classroom? You don’t have to start large just pick a room, then an area, and get started. Do a little bit of decluttering every day and by the end of the week, you’ll see that room in a whole new light. I finally shredded a stack of junk mail that I’ve had for the past year. Seeing that small edge of my desk for the first time in months felt great!

    But see the thing with ditching your shit is struggling to really ditch it. This why you should ask yourself when was the last time you’ve seen it or used it? If it’s been more than several months or covered in dust throw it out. If you haven’t used it yet, you won’t. Trust me.

    Oh, don’t forget your upbeat music.

    You Don’t Have To Start A Side Hustle

    I don’t care what LLC Twitter says I am NOT undisciplined because I didn’t use my time home to start a business, write an e-book or pick up a third language. It’s utter bullshit to think that I have to be overly productive during this time. Everyone’s stress and anxiety are at an all-time high so if I don’t want to do anything, I won’t. I have no intention of overexerting myself. I’m keeping to the bare minimum with the goal of relaxing my mind and spirit. Now if something comes to me then it comes to me then I’ll marinate on it but I’m not going to force it in the name of saying I did this while you did nothing.

    Open Your Curtains & Windows

    coronavirus self-care mommyrandr

    Since it looks like we’re all gonna spend spring indoors why not open your curtains and windows to bring the outside in. My bedroom is where I spend most of my time. My little office is here and it also the sunniest room in the house. This means curtains each morning is a must. Letting the sun’s rays wash over me and the room will give me an energy boost to get through the day. It’s more than just opening the curtains, it’s also about letting the morning air into my space. I need open windows because if they’re closed for too long I’ll find myself suffering from mysterious headaches. If my head hurts despite eating, drank water, had a stress-free day, and gave my eyes plenty of screen rest I’ll check the windows to make sure enough air is circulating.

    Open curtains and windows is crucial to helping me maintain a mood throughout the day that’s light and upbeat. I find that I get more done with the sun beaming in than I do when I choose to keep it blocked out. Closed curtains make me want to take afternoon naps. Don’t get me wrong I love a good nap but that was when the kids were in school. They’re home now and I need to be awake to help them with their schoolwork. When they go back to school I’ll resume my ritual afternoon catnap.

    Put Your Kids To Bed Early

    When homeschooling started these kids, were going to bed super late. It wasn’t a big deal since we had nowhere to go but then one night they got extra loud and that’s when I realized they needed to get back on schedule. This has a two-fold effect, 1. it keeps me from having to parent after 9:30p and 2. it gives me the opportunity to do something for me at the end of the night. You see, what I hadn’t realized was I was running non-stop all day so by the time the kids dozed off at 11p I was asleep by 11:15. It meant I had no time for me which made me frustrated. But once they got back on school sleep times I’ve been able to put my feet up at night and add something new to my nighttime routine.

    In addition to my nightly routine, I’ve started to get into listening to audiobooks at night. I listen while I wash the dishes at the end of the night. I hate doing the dishes so listening to books makes the time go by while I clean the kitchen. I’ve gone through 2 books recently and I know I would’ve been able to if the kids went to sleep when they wanted. (By the way, I’m currently listening to The Last Tudor.)

    Journal

    coronavirus self-care mommyrandr

    I’ve found that journaling is really great way to release whatever is plaguing me. I keep two. One where I jot shit and doodle. It’s very lighthearted. But the other is emotional and darker. It’s where I let out everything I’m feeling. This one is not pretty and it’s not supposed to be. I just scribble wildly until I feel everything I feel is released. I’m not one for talking about my feelings but I also know I need an outlet to get that shit out.

    If you’re like me and you lack the ability to share your innermost feelings with anyone, even your own partner then you should consider journaling as a private release. Getting those thoughts and feelings out during times like this will help keep you calm.

    Call your family and friends

    This virus has really shown how precious our relationships are. I haven’t seen my mother in two months. Now in the past, I may have gone this long without seeing her due to schedules or seasonal weather conditions but this hits different because I’m prevented from seeing her. She’s older and works in a hospital, and I have the kids so neither one of us can risk being close. This is why it’s imperative to call, text, or video our loved ones. Check on them and see how they’re holding up, especially if they live alone. Use your group chat to easily connect with loved ones and friends.

    If you want to see your loved one do a drive-by wave or park in the driveway and they chat from the porch. Do not get out of your car and don’t let them come too close to your car. Love on your family from a distance – oh, and bring them some groceries one less trip to the market they have to make.

    Host An Online Gathering
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    I’ve been thinking about hosting a happy hour with some of my girlfriends on Zoom on Friday night. We get dressed up from the waist up and just shoot the shit online for an hour sipping our favorite cocktail. Or we can have a game night where we play Bingo or Pictionary. We can also watch a movie on Netflix Party and chill. The goal of the activity is to have participants release themselves from the homeschooling and other stressors of the day and connect with other adults.

    Find An Online Therapist

    Sometimes journaling your thoughts down just isn’t enough and you need a little bit more. During difficult times there is nothing wrong with seeking out someone who can safely guide you through these difficult times. Let me just get this out of the way and say, there is nothing wrong with seeing a therapist. The stigma of seeing one whether seldom or on a regular basis is no more. Now more than ever people are openly, and happily admitting that they at one time or another have visited a therapist.

    There are a number of online platforms that you can use to find a therapist with many offering free consultations. Very Well Mind published a list of the best online therapy programs. It features the pros and cons of each platform giving you a thorough breakdown of each. While some people may not have a preference on what their therapist looks like, I, on the other hand, I prefer therapists who look like me. If this is the same for you then you’ll want to check out Black Female Therapists. It’s a directory of exclusively Black women therapists.

    Whichever route you go make sure you’re comfortable with them and the moment you stop feeling that way then choose another. Therapy is intimate and the last thing you need is to not feel connected to the person helping you.

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    Do you have any Coronavirus self-care tips that are helping you survive self-isolation? 
  • Health and Wellness Books By Black Women That Will Improve Your Life

    *This post was originally posted on Wellanin Collective and has been partially reshared on this platform. It contains Amazon affiliate links that earn that site a small commission that goes towards keeping Wellanin Collective active.

    In a recent IG post, we talked about discovering some new titles for Black History Month. Well, we’re going to get you started. Here is a list of 12 wellness books by Black women that are designed to uplift and restore you. In this listing, you’ll find titles related to overall health, spirituality, wellness, healthy eating, fitness, and self-care. You’ll also find journals that will help guide you along the way.

    *Book descriptions are via Amazon

    Wellness Books By Black Women mommyrandr valerie pierre

    Vibrating higher daily is about making intentional day-to-day choices that lift us out of mindsets, habits, and lifestyles that don’t serve us and into ones that do. This book is an invitation to engage with everything that feeds our soul and raises our vibration and to simultaneously let go of the things bringing our energy down. Through poetry, mantras, and affirmations, Lalah Delia empowers us to live with higher potential and quality of being.

    BUY
    Own Your Glow: A Soulful Guide to Luminous Living and Crowning the Queen Within – By Latham Thomas

    Wellness Books By Black Women mommyrandr valerie pierre

    Own Your Glow is an inspirational, actionable, and wildly enriching companion for change. Celebrity wellness and lifestyle guru, Latham Thomas provides soulful principles that offer an illuminated path for examining life’s challenges, helping you curate your path to greatness while embracing your uniquely feminine attributes. Packed with rituals, meditations, and snackable lifestyle tips, Thomas provides a clear framework for harnessing your passion, developing spiritual fitness, and embracing true vulnerability. This guide is for anyone who wants to witness her own life transform and contribute to the positive change of the world around her.

    BUY
    Rachel Ama’s Vegan Eats: Tasty Plant-Based Recipes for Every Day – By Rachel Ama

    Wellness Books By Black Women mommyrandr valerie pierre

    Rachel Ama’s Vegan Eats offers brilliant plant-based dishes that make cooking and enjoying delicious vegan food every day genuinely easy—and fun. No bland or boring dishes, and forget all-day cooking. Rachel takes inspiration from naturally vegan dishes and cuisines as well as her Caribbean and West African roots to create great full-flavor recipes that are easy to make and will inspire you to make vegan food part of your daily life. Rachel’s recipes are quick and often one-pot; ingredients lists are short and supermarket friendly; dishes can be prepped ahead and, most importantly, she has included a song with each recipe so that you have a banging playlist to go alongside every plate of delicious food.

    BUY

    Continue reading this post on Wellanin Collective

    Wellness Books By Black Women mommyrandr valerie pierre

    Are there any health and wellness books by Black women that have been helpful to you? Share in the comments below.
  • Women+Patterns+Plants Is Your New Favorite Self-Care Coloring Book

    self-care coloring book women+patterns+plants mommyrandr

    I was in my local bookstore not too long ago just browsing, as I usually do. No title or author in mind. Just me in the store walking slowly letting my eyes scan around for covers to jump out at me. This is how I shop for books sometimes. Nothing special grabbed me from the stacks so I wandered over to the planner section, the last section I always visit before I exit the store – and I saw it.

    I could only see a small corner of it. It was the color of a beautiful sunset. I knew this was a newly added item cause I know that section like the back of my hand. Let me tell you when I pulled this book out from it’s hiding spot, my gawd. I was standing still but I stumbled. I was holding Women + Patterns + Plants a self-care coloring book by Sarina Mantle (@wildsuga).

     

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    A post shared by Artist Designer Sarina Mantle (@wildsuga) on

    This was the most gorgeous coloring book I’ve ever laid eyes on. I couldn’t believe this beautifully illustrated Black woman was staring back at me. I thought to myself, “this is too good to be true”. Books can be funny, you know. The cover can be one thing and the insides another. This was not one of those times. As I flipped through the pages I could tell this was a self-care coloring book made FOR US by us.

    About Women + Patterns + Plants self-care coloring book

    This book is simple, it’s a self-care coloring book made up of women, patterns, and plants. Sarina wants you to immerse yourself in divine feminine energy and wonderful natural imagery, as a way to rekindle your creativity as you work your way through empowering images. There are also question prompts and statements that allow for self-reflection as you color.

    self-care coloring book women+patterns+plants mommyrandr

    I’m telling y’all right now I didn’t color that. Only in my dreams would I be able to perfectly execute something like this. But I’ma try tho. I first gotta get me some high falutin color pencils cause these Crayola’s my kids got ain’t gonna cut it.

    self-care coloring book women+patterns+plants mommyrandr

    Believe me when I tell you I’ve never purchased anything so quickly. And you should too, cause quantities are limited. So get off social media (after you’ve read this post and bought the book) and take a few moments for yourself to color in some happy little plants.

    BUY $10.13
    Do you enjoy adult coloring? What do you think of Women + Pattterns + Plants? Is this a self-care coloring book you would consider buying for yourself or a friend?
  • 10 Tips For Taking Care of Yourself This Summer as a Stay at Home Mom

    Taking care of yourself this summer as a stay at home mom is just as important for yourself, as it is for your family. When you have a kid, your life may seem like it revolves around your child, and on some level, it does, especially during the summer months. Your schedule might be a little more hectic as you’re taking kids from one outdoor activity to another, or you start to go a little bonkers from staying indoors to beat the heat. And as a result, you may forget to take care of yourself.

    Here are some tips for taking care of yourself this summer as a stay at home parent

    Be sure to give yourself 6-8 hours of sleep

    Real talk, your sleep is important. It’s recommended that you get between six and eight hours of sleep a night, but as a parent, you’ll be faced with times when you’ll get less. Much less. So what’s the key to getting a good night’s rest? The most important thing (and I swear by this) is you must have a solid bedtime routine.

    This routine is more than hopping into bed at the same time every night and pulling up the covers. I’m talking about the steps you take that will send a signal to your body that it’s bedtime. My routine lasts about an hour cause I like to take my time. By the time I”m finished and get into bed I’m asleep in less than ten minutes.

    Another way that I make sure I’m well-rested is naps. Let’s face there are times you can get all the sleep in the world and still be tired during the day. I make no bones about my afternoon nap. It makes me feel refreshed. An hour to an hour and a half of sleep is a good way to make me feel like a new woman. So do yourself a favor and take yourself a nap whenever you can. Your mind and body will thank you for it.

    Make sure to eat and stay hydrated

    Taking Care of Yourself This Summer valerie pierre mommyrandr

    Your health is just as important as your child’s health. Making sure to eat three meals a day to keep your energy up so you can keep up with your kid(s). It’s really easy to skip a meal when times get hectic, trust me I have and there wasn’t a time where it worked out for me. Missing a meal left me with headaches, not feeling like myself, and just plain ole angry.

    I also know during the summer you might not want to cook cause the heat outside and the heat in the kitchen isn’t fun. But Good Housekeeping has 60 quick summer dinner recipes that will have you in and out of the kitchen.

    And while you’re in the kitchen, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water. It’s summertime and you’re gonna be outside a lot more which means you need to prevent dehydration. How do you know you’re dehydrated? You’ll start to feel any number of things from thirst, headache, dizziness, and tiredness. You’ll also notice that your skin will feel super dry and your urine will be darker. To avoid this you should make sure you’re drinking at least eight or more 8-ounce glasses of water a day.

    Do an activity that would be considered good exercise

    Taking Care of Yourself This Summer valerie pierre mommyrandr

    Exercise can help keep you in shape. If you’re stuck at home, you can do simple things like floor exercises or walk around the neighborhood. This can be especially helpful if you cannot afford a gym membership right now.

    But just because you’re exercising at home that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. There are tons of fitness videos you can follow right in your livingroom like yoga, pilates or even kickboxing. You can even involve your children too which might even lead to a nap afterward – although I can’t make any promises.

    As an additional tip, with it being summertime be on the lookout for any local free outdoor classes you can attend. But if you can afford a gym membership check out Classpass. This is my personal favorite as it allows me to attend different fitness classes all over the city. It’s my go-to for everything from candlelight yoga, barre class or a relaxing steam. Oh, and please before you start any workout regiment make sure you have the proper running shoe and don’t forget an SPF moisturizer of 30 or greater while outdoors.

    Take a family staycation

    Everything isn’t about venturing off to faraway lands. You and your family can have blast together at a nearby hotel. Make lasting memories with a little weekend poolside fun and rediscovering your neighborhood. It’s a great way for everyone to have a little escape without the big-ticket travel price.

    Keep your skin clean

    During the summer months, it’s imperative that you keep your skin clean. Sweat and dirt will clog your pores and can cause skin irritations or in worse cases infection. So you have to make sure your skin is cleansed and moisturized daily, or even twice a day.

    Now the thing to remember with your shower is that you don’t want the water too hot. I love hot showers year-round they soothe my body and make me feel rejuvenated. However, while hot water opens your pores to help you clean your skin but if it’s too hot water it will dry out your skin and can aggravate existing skin issues.

    Make it a good mix of hot and cool water. Taking a cool shower also has its benefits like increasing blood circulation and can even promote weight loss as you burn calories as you try to keep warm in the shower.

    Plan and delegate tasks to not overwork yourself

    Taking Care of Yourself This Summer valerie pierre mommyrandr

    Feel frazzled and don’t know what day it is or can’t remember why you have a 9:30a appointment? Then it’s time to get yourself a planner. Mom brain is a serious thing. One minute you can remember your entire shopping list and the next minute you can’t remember where you left your coffee. This is why I suggest getting a planner. You don’t have to go crazy like some planner lovers unless you want to. It’s a fun hobby – but that’s another conversation. But you can get yourself a simple weekly planner to help you keep track of your appointments and other notes.

    Now that your day and week is planned out you can start to delegate other things around your home. It’s okay to want to be the super parent, but sometimes, a little help can reduce your stress, and also allow time for family fun. If you’re married or have a partner, get them involved if they aren’t already. Get them involved by bathing the kids or taking them to the park. If you have a child that is old enough assign them some chores.

    Remember, the key to running a household and raising children is to never overwork yourself.

    Log off the internet

    Social media can be addicting. It’s important for you to take breaks from time to time. Log off for a couple of hours, a day, a week, a month. It’ truly up to you. But the point is to reconnect with yourself, your family, those in your inner circle outside of Facebook. Also, while social media can be a fun place for laughs and memes it can also be very toxic, and that can lead you to feel sadness, frustration or even anger. It’s not healthy to have any of that in your life.

    Now, what happens if you have a hard time logging off social media? Well, there are plenty of apps that will monitor your social media usage and set timeframes when you can and can’t use it. The apps work as long as you don’t go tinkering with the settings or uninstalling altogether. You have to want to take a step back.

    Take up a hobby

    Now that you’re spending less time on social media you now have time to take up a new hobby or revisit a hobby you used to indulge in. I would recommend taking up a hobby that you’ve never done before as a way of trying new experiences. You can either take a local class as a way to meet people in your area with the same interests as you or you can watch how-to’s on Youtube in the privacy of your own home.

    Take some you time once a week without the kids

    Taking Care of Yourself This Summer valerie pierre mommyrandr

    You can’t always be cooped up in your house, and you can’t always have your children attached at the hip. Having your partner spend time alone with the kids or getting a babysitter will allow you to have a little bit of time to yourself. Even if it’s just an hour to yourself. As much as you may not think you need the alone time, trust me you do. The benefits of spending time alone will prevent burnout, stress, headaches, and losing patience just to name a few. You need time that is spent on you doing what you enjoying doing.

    Spend time with your partner

    For those in relationships spending time with your partner is crucial. Yes, I’m all about getting you time in but you also need to consider your partner and make some us time. I know you’ve had a long day of being with the kids and they’ve had a long day at the office. Both of you are tired. But as a couple, making time for one another is important. By fitting in a date night (it doesn’t have to be romantic, although it can be) you’re telling each other that you want to be together and are doing all you can to prevent the relationship from becoming strained over time.

    Do you have any tips for taking care of yourself this summer as a stay at home mom?