Parents, how are you doing in all of this craziness? Are you holding it together, and could you use some help to do so? Today we want to focus on the importance of self-care. You know, put the oxygen mask on yourself before helping others. It is especially important to take care of our physical and mental selves, when each day can bring new and unanticipated challenges. Here are some suggestions:

Exercise: Schedule in a daily walk with the family, or use that as your “me time”. If you want more rigorous exercise, many companies offering online exercise programs have extended their free trial period. For example, Peleton is marketing a digital app (which offers floor classes as well as classes on the bike), and has extended the free trial to 90 days.

Meditation: Whether you are a meditation devotee or scoff at the concept of sitting still and breathing, we can all agree that taking a few minutes to clear our heads these days sounds like a good idea. If you don’t already meditate, the app Headspace is a great place to start. Created and voiced by soothing sounding Australians, the app offers guidance to all, whether you want to try a short meditation (they have 1, 3 and 5 minute meditations) or a much longer one. It is worth checking out the app just to see all their different offerings.

Virtual House Parties: Have you been jamming with DJ D-Nice? This amazing dj has been spinning records on his Instagram Live account in virtual old school dance “Homeschool” parties at “Club Quarantine”. He is teaming up with Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote organization to do a Couch Party TONIGHT, 3/25 at 6:30EST. During his set volunteers across the country will text eligible voters to help them register to vote. His music and his enthusiasm will help you forget all your troubles. Make it a family dance party!!! If you miss this one be sure to follow him and look out for the next one. So much fun!!!

Calming Playlists: Calming music can help relieve stress, so hope you have been listening to old favorites from your “Quiet Storm” playlists. If you need more music, here is NPR’s Isle of Calm playlist, which you can hear on Spotify, and Spotify itself has many chill-out playlists as well. Not a Spotify subscriber? YouTube has lots of free long-playing calming musical selections as well.

Reach Out to Friends: Take a few minutes each day to reach out to someone you haven’t been in touch with since COVID-19 has taken over our lives. A silver lining in all of this is remembering how important it is to connect with friends, people we care about, even if it is for just a 20 second text chat to ensure that they are ok.

In the next post, we’ll explore how you and your family can care for others in this time of need. Until then, take care of yourselves!