In this surrealistic situation of being confined to home because of Covid-19, I almost lost it. In this blog I share with you three of my best tips for selfcare during the confinement and afterwards.

In the beginning

In the beginning when my husband was sent home with the message to work from home until the end of May, I was still in my own daily rhythm. This changed after about two weeks.

Slowly but gradually I let go of my rhythm and therefor of my needs and wishes, and focused more on keeping the apartment clean, washing, planning meals and doing grocery shopping. The latter I called “going into the war zone.” I also made sure that the dog would get his exercise every day to keep him sane and fit.

I did all this in order to make sure that both my husband and dog were being looked after. That everything was running smoothly just like before the confinement. However, I was denying reality and I was forgetting about myself.

Out of control

Slowly I lost my focus for work. I lost my motivation to take care of myself. And I lost my enthusiasm about our new expat adventure. I felt locked up, not being able to go anywhere. And I felt out of control. I was very much aware of how vulnerable we all were and, even though surreal, how bad the situation in the outside world was.

Put your needs and rhythm first

Finally, I realized that the only way for me personally to survive the confinement, was to hold on to my own needs and wishes. And to my own daily rhythm. It took me about a week to start picking things up again. To start taking care of myself. I was still taking care of my husband, dog and the household, but no more forgetting about me. As soon as I started putting my needs and my own daily rhythm first, the rest fell into place.

Set your priorities

So, I wrote down my priorities: things, habits, needs that I have to have to get me through the day. Not only now during the confinement, but also afterwards when everything is slowly changing into the ‘new normal’. Here are three of my tips that work best for me:

Pampering myself with a mud mask

Tip 1: Writing is golden

The first thing I do is writing my thoughts on paper each day. If it is not possible to do this right after getting up early in the morning, I will do it later in the day because it helps me clear and ease my mind. It also helps me find solutions. I write everything down, no matter whether it makes sense or not. I write until I have no more thoughts and I feel ready for taking on the day.

This really helps to clear my mind and be at peace. I feel more focused for the rest of the day. And it makes me feel good about myself for taking this ME-time first thing in the morning.

Tip 2: Keep on moving

Another thing I need is physical exercise to be able to literally move around. But it also gives me a good feeling afterwards. It does not have to be a hardcore work out. I go with what I feel like doing each day. Most of the time that will be yoga. But I also like doing some Pilates exercises, or I use the home trainer for some interval training.

I also take active rest- days. These are days on which I do not exercise but I go for a long walk. My husband on the other hand aims for a daily run outside to get some fresh air and to clear his mind.

Online classes

Since all fitness facilities might still be closed for a while, I started using an online yoga-app called Down Dog. If you are already into yoga this is a nice alternative to real life classes. Also, a lot of local sports studios like yoga and pilates started live stream classes online. Check your local studio for online classes.

Tip 3: “Because I’m happy …”

The third tip is the tip with the most impact on me: I make sure I do something each day that makes me feel happy. Most of the time that implies something creative, like scrapbooking, painting or drawing.
But I also like to play the guitar.

Or I grab my favorite magazine, make myself a big cup of cappuccino and allow myself a short break on the couch or even on the bed when my husband is having a vtc. This way I can re-energize. Also, in the evening I sometimes take a bath or shower for relaxing purposes and a good night sleep.

Relax moment with magazine and dog

These are my three best tips to meet my biggest needs and to get me through the day, not only during this period of confinement but also before and afterwards. I hope one or two of these tips might inspire you to meet your needs and get you through the day.

Bonus tip

In this blog I share another great tip for staying positive and hopeful: http://leveninluxemburg.nl/persoonlijk/staypositive/

What are your experiences in this as an expat lady, wife, mom? Do you have the tendency to let go of your rhythm, needs and wishes in order for your household/ your family to ‘survive’ this confinement specifically or even in general?

#staypositive and take good care of yourself, because there is only one like you,
Natasja

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