Being indoors for long periods without social interaction can trigger feelings of fear, loneliness, anxiety and depression. Alongside the physical issues that COVID-19 has brought, there has also been an onset of mental health challenges. As a mum, you’re dealing with multiple things such as distance learning, keeping your kids occupied and positive, preparing meals, managing the household, your family, your career and somewhere in there taking time out for your mental health. It can be difficult with everyone indoors for a prolonged period and cabin fever catching up, but it’s important you take care of your mental well-being. Here are a few simple tips from Aakanksha Tangri, Founder of Re:Set, on how to Re:Set yourself every day. 

Have a conversation

It’s important you have an age-appropriate conversation with your children about why we’re practicing social distancing. Having them understand the necessity of the hour will allow them to adjust and embrace the fact that we all have to do our part. It will ease the burden on you with the constant questions and allow you a break, and it’s also a great lesson in teamwork for them. Of course, you don’t want  them to panic or get anxious so reinforce your conversations with the steps the UAE and the world are taking to curb the pandemic.

Embrace online apps

In the age of social distancing, it’s still important to have social interaction, albeit virtually. Turn to online apps that work in the UAE and connect with your friends and family. Miss your yoga buddy? Try doing an online yoga class together. Miss trivia nights? Plan a Zoom trivia night with your friends. Continue those coffee dates with your bestie via phone or video. Plan date nights or simple activities such as watching a movie together when the kids have gone to bed. It can be lonely when  practicing self-isolation, but it’s important to still keep in touch with your loved ones for your peace of mind, knowing they’re all OK as well as to feel connected, which will help you feel less alone. 

Find a space and time

This can be particularly hard with all family members at home, but designate a space where you will work from whether that’s the dining table, your couch or even the balcony when weather permits. When you are at this designated spot, you’ll know it’s time for you to work and you’ll have a sense of consistency to keep you going even when everything around you has changed. Designate another space that’s just for your me-time even if it is just for five minutes, whether that’s when the kids are napping or “in class.” If you can take out even a few minutes to pause, breathe or just stay still and sit, those small moments can help you get to the end of the day. 

Think long-term and plan for the future

With the lack of timelines around containing COVID-19, it can all feel like a blur and be demotivating. While that’s understandable, allow yourself space and permission to think long-term and get excited about making plans for the future. What do you want to achieve next year? What are your dreams as a family? What are the steps you can take in the present moment to reach your goals? Looking to the future and everything you still want to do can help motivate you on days you’re feeling low. It can be as simple as telling yourself you’ll go to your favourite restaurant when all this is over or take the kids back home for a relaxing summer or Christmas. Setting long-term goals will give you something to work toward and take your mind off of the current situation. Involve your children in this as well — it’ll keep them occupied and excited, and you will bond as a family! 

Self-care doesn’t just have to be a buzzword

Yes, everyone’s told you to practice self-care, and we get that it’s hard when there’s a pile of laundry you need to tackle or dirty dishes and crying kids. You’re allowed to have low days — give yourself permission for those. However, it is equally important you have coping tools you can turn to. You can only do so much before you burnout, and you can only give so much of yourself. Try and find time to pick up that old hobby you had or maybe nurture the skill you’ve always wanted to perfect. It’ll provide you with downtime and give you a sense of satisfaction. Also, try to do regular physical exercise or yoga if you can — if you’re hard-pressed for time, try breathing exercises. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming. A few simple deep breaths a day when you find yourself stretched too thin. Give journaling a try and write down all the things bothering you — it will give the negative thoughts an outlet to release. It’s also necessary to introspect and indulge in self-love. We’ve put together an introspective list of prompts you can use to journal and make self-love a habit.

Find delight in the everyday

In these uncertain times, it is important to find joy in the every day to stay motivated. We all need to take the time to feel good and break up the monotony. Try practicing positive affirmations about your life. Yes, the world seems chaotic but practicing positive affirmations will help you focus on all the good that’s still happening around you. At Re:Set, we’ve started curating a weekly list of good stories: this one involves baby pandas and a zebra twinning with its keeper! You’re thankful your family is safe, you’re thankful for the healthcare and all other essential workers ensuring our safety. You get to spend more time with your children in the comfort of your home. You get to grab a cuppa with your partner on a daily basis. Focus on the little things going right in your life to help pick you up. Of course, there are also many online resources, such as Re:Set, that are there to support you and offer solutions, education and words of encouragement via community conversations when times get tough. Just try to remember we are all in this together.

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Read more:

Tips to avoid Coronavirus

Coronavirus (COVID-19) What we know so far

Parenting Tips to Help Cope During COVID-19

What new and expectant mums should know about COVID-19

COVID-19: Your questions answered – How companies can ensure they are prepared

COVID-19 and how it impacts your rights as an employee in the UAE

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