• Monica Gupta Mehta

Tips for Self Care During Social Isolation

1. Laugh. Find posts that crack you up, read great novels, watch comedies. My current favorite posts - replace 'children' with 'coworkers' and see what you get. For example: "My coworker asked me to make him a grilled cheese sandwich and then cried for 10 minutes because I made him a grilled cheese sandwich."

2. Protect Time for Self. When creating your homeschooling schedule, make sure to notate on there when you are unavailable. Ask kids to write down questions and move on, or ask siblings for help.

3. Engage Kids in Your Activities. Though the whining can be hard to take, the more you do this, the less whining you will hear. If you really need a walk outdoors and some fresh air, grab their scooter, bike, or the family dog and bring them along!

4. Engage in Your Kids' Activities. There is a lot to be had from doing Cosmic Yoga (combo yoga and storytelling) or dancing to GoNoodle with your child.

5. Exercise. One of the most well documented ways to help with emotional regulation is physical exercise. Sneak in 10 minutes every few hours if you can’t find one solid chunk of time.

6. Get Outdoors. I know, you need to maintain social isolation. But if you can get outdoors with plenty of wide open space around you, the health benefits are astronomical. Here are 12 health benefits of getting outside!

7. Turn Off the News. It is important to stay up to date and current with Covid-19 information, but a little time in the morning and again before bed should be plenty. You don't need to think about it all day long, and your kids definitely don't need to be surrounded by anxiety and stress all day.

8. Sleep. A lot. Studies have shown that those who sleep regularly have improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, and overall mental and physical health.

9. Use Screen Time Well. Most people don't want their kids plopped down in front of the TV all day long. But there are many great educational shows on Netflix, documentaries, kids' shows about healthy minds and bodies (Mister Roger's Neighborhood, Sesame Street's Healthy Bodies series), virtual museum tours, and online educational resources. Not to mention using technology to help your kids' connect to friends and family, keeping them busy and your day more free.

10. Unwind. However you best unwind, protect time in your day for that. This may be reading, knitting, exercising, TV, yoga...whatever works for you, do it. Now is the time to take care of yourself first, so you can positively and effectively take care of your kids.

Keeping your mind and body healthy will also help prevent illness. So please, de-stress, exercise, sleep, laugh and stay healthy!

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