Life as I knew it has completely changed because of the coronavirus outbreak. I’ve gone from working just a few days at home to remote work 100 percent as a beauty director. My 1-year-old is no longer in school or engaged in any of his usual playtime activities. I haven’t physically seen my parents, relatives or friends in months. Wearing a face mask is a must whenever I get the opportunity to venture to the market, drugstore or pretty much any public space. So when someone asks, “How are you?”, I am completely honest with my response: I am OK.
I am grateful for my good health, a career that allows me to work at home and take care of a toddler, a cozy and safe place to rest my head and a refrigerator that holds more than enough food to keep me and my family nourished. However, quarantine can take a toll on your overall well-being, even if you’re known for being particularly resilient.
Having stayed at home nearly 60 days, I’ve navigated the ebbs and flows of quarantine life and discovered seven things that have helped me to survive.
- Eat a healthy, hearty breakfast. One of my favorite plant-based morning meals to cook myself is a vegan omelette, tempeh bacon and a side salad with a slice of multi-grain toast. Add a warm cup of oat chai, and this is my ideal breakfast. If you are a coffee or prefer tea like me, you must get a Stojo cup.
- Drink water throughout the day. I recently purchased a new water bottle with time markers to help motivate me to stay hydrated, and it’s been a game-changer! Not to mention, drinking water consistently has helped with my breastmilk production and keeping my skin clear and healthy.
- Stick to mindful media consumption. Most people would be surprised to learn that as a journalist, I hate watching the news. I believe that traditional news is mostly toxic and depressing, and I especially want to avoid that type of coverage right now. However, I want to stay informed. So I listen to NPR’s Up First podcast each morning, follow and interact with Instagram accounts that bring me joy and consume TV shows/movies that are an escape from this distressing time.
- FaceTime with family and friends. Staying “connected” with love ones is truly a godsend, and I love to see my son JP’s face light up when he sees his Nana, grandpa or cousins on the phone.
- Follow a consistent skincare routine. There’s something quite calming (and spiritual) about cleansing my face and moisturizing with hydrating serums and creams. Plus, sunscreen! Always sunscreen. I look forward to those moments of solitude when I can take care of my skin without feeling rushed. And it certainly pays off!
- Get fresh air. We’re really blessed to have a private backyard area that’s become even more of a refuge during the coronavirus outbreak. Even if it’s just sitting on our bench for 10 or 15 minutes or taking a “Sanity Stroll” with JP around the block, I relish in the moments that we can be outdoors.
- Allow myself to feel all of the emotions. I’ve had mostly good days, but I’ve had at least two days where I’ve had to sit alone and have a cleansing cry. As a working mother, I carry a lot on my shoulders and it can be a bit overwhelming. So I’ve given myself permission to just let go and work through my feelings so that I can get back up and be my best self.
Hey Beauties: How are you really doing during this pandemic? What are some of the things you do to maintain your mental well-being? Let’s discuss! Leave a comment.