How are you doing? No really, how are you? I’m not looking for the perfunctory response of “I’m good, or I’m blessed”. But the real answer to how are you doing in this crazy time? How are you feeling with so much going on and so much uncertainty? Have you been able to stop and check-in with your emotions lately? Because for me it’s been a tough week. Heck, it’s been a tough couple of months. This is why it is so important to check-in with your emotions during quarantine and making sure you are taking care of yourself.
Thank God for counseling. All my counselor had to say was how are you and the tears started to flow. It turns out I was feeling stressed but I was also very lonely. My homework from the counselor? Get out of the house and see some friends.
I Needed Girl Time
It turns out what I needed was time with my best girlfriends. I had been bottling up feelings to “get through” the days and it was wearing me down. Once I got out of my house and spent some time with my friends, I felt so much better. I needed time for myself, but I also needed time to connect and feel connected. Do you know how you are feeling? Have you checked in with your emotions lately? It is probably time to check-in with yourself. So I have compiled a list of 7 ways to check-in with your emotions during quarantine.
7 Ways to Check-in With Your Emotions During Quarantine
Set Up a Social Distance Date
Sometimes all we need is connection. Find a way to spend time with someone not in your household. A friend you do not have to take care of. Spending time with my girlfriend did wonders for my mood and attitude. Now we have a once a week social distancing happy hour on the books. It is has become so important for my mental health that I refuse to cancel.
I know I know, kids. Hide in your bathroom if you have to, sit in the closet. Find five minutes when you first wake up or before you get into bed. Use the time to settle your mind. Check-in with your feelings. If you are on automatic go, go, go, all day every day, you are going to burn out. Start with 5 minutes of mediation and work your way up. Insight Timer and Calm are both really good mediation apps with lots of choices.
Take a Bath
Take a bath…alone. Get in the tub and just be. Add a bath bomb or epsom salts. Leave the phone, iPad, and book and just sit in the tub with your emotions and enjoy the alone time. Try to still your thoughts or meditate. You might be surprised at what comes up for you in that time.
Video Chat With a Friend
Make an appointment to video chat with your friends after the kids go to sleep. Use Facetime or download the Houseparty app on your phone so you can talk to more than one person at a time. My girlfriends and I do this and it is wonderful for my heart, and my mental health. I always feel so much better and more relaxed after a night of wine and gab with the ladies. Video chat is a great alternative when you can’t get out of the house. But seriously….try to get out of your house for a little while.
Get your nails done
Make an appointment to get a manicure or a pedicure. This is another great way to get out of the house AND make yourself feel better all in one swoop. They say if you look good you feel good. Take the opportunity to get a little dressed up. Put on clothes without an elastic waistband and maybe a little makeup. Stop and get a coffee, or tea, to take with you to the salon. Make an afternoon of it. If you are social distancing this can still be done in a safe way. Most nail salons are taking appointments to avoid crowds and seating clients six feet apart.
Go for a walk
Go for a walk. See if your friends or neighbors can get together for some social distancing exercise. Moving your body is crucial for good mental health. Moving your body with friends is even better. If you can’t find someone to walk with you, then walking alone. Use the time to spend with your own thoughts. And if your kids are like mine and demand to come, getting out of the house and walking is good for them as well. I know our kids are having a hard time too and they will also benefit a great deal from moving their bodies. But… try to go after your kiddos bedtimes or before they wake up for some alone time.
Keep a Journal
It seems cliche but Journaling works. Sit down and just start writing. See what comes up for you after 5 or 10 minutes. You don’t need to write about anything in particular. Just get the pen moving across the paper. You might be surprised at what you start to see on the paper and how your mind clears. Sometimes just the act of writing down your thoughts can release the tension and anxiety built up in our heads.
It does not matter how you decide to check-in with your emotions during quarantine, only that you do. The best way is whichever way works for you. We are all struggling through something. This is not a normal time and we cannot expect our minds and bodies to react normally. Give yourself grace. Take it day by day and find a self-care routine that works for you. Because the truth is, you are the glue that holds everyone else together. So you have to take the time to recharge and re-set your emotions and mental well-being before you can take care of everyone else.