Mommy In Action.
By: Crystal Alba
The holidays this year gave my family and I a whole new perspective on social distancing as COVID hit our household. and it was unpleasant to say the least. We may have missed out on holiday fun but at least we were together and no one had to be admitted to the hospital.
I advocate a lot for self care and mental health but after tending to my family, I realized that I could not advocate for anyone when I needed to prioritize myself and my family. Sometimes self-care is taking a break from social media.
It was hard to tend to everyone who was sick while tending to my younger children. But somehow I did it. I was an on call nurse at home. Despite how grateful I felt to be able to take care of my family, I had my days where I would lose myself. There were days where I was so mad at others that don’t care about this virus and go to gatherings. I judged them in silence for being selfish. I would get jealous of those who didn’t have to go through sleepless nights with their sick children. I would get depressed because I wanted to hug my husband who had to self isolate in his office. I was desperate to help my mother who was also self isolating in her room. I would say nasty things about people who would complain about wearing a mask to gatherings while I had to live in my own house with one on. But I told myself that my situation wasn’t going to get better with a negative attitude.
I had to “declutter” my mind and focus on myself, my family and a positive outcome. So- I deleted instagram off my phone.
Things that helped me regain my strength:
When I talk about meditation to others, I hear a lot of “Oh that’s for the woo woo’s”. I can’t help but laugh when I hear the misconception. In reality, meditation helps restore your mind. It seems hard for people to meditate because it requires concentration as you allow yourself to be still. The daily life in the US is filled with stress because of X,Y and Z. I’ll admit it was hard for me too because I was so used to being on the go or multitasking. One affirmation, quote, saying- whatever you want to call it- that has helped me throughout my meditation journey is telling myself “The Universe will continue on without me”. Saying this to myself helps me understand that I cannot control those around me. I can only acknowledge myself.
Deep Breathing exercises-
So I learned about deep breathing exercises when I was pregnant with my second child. It helped me so much that I recommend it to anyone that is planning to have kids. Deep breathing is like a natural pain killer. Deep breaths release endorphins in your body which leads to produce serotonin- the happy drug that our body produces. The more deep breaths you take the better you feel. Not only does it act as a pain killer but it also increases your energy level. The best time for me to do these exercises is in the morning while I work on my yoga or while I meditate right before I sleep.
Following guided yoga sessions in my living room was a definite energy boost. Since most of the rooms in the house were being used for self isolation, I had to sleep on the pullout bed with both of the kids. My back was not having it. But after allowing myself to become grounded with yoga, my back has never felt better. If you’re looking for someone on youtube, I recommend Yoga with Adrienne! I felt a strong connection with her and learned so much!
I’ve been known to decline help in the past because the idea of being dependent on others just makes me cringe. I’ve always been independent so when it comes time for me to actually ask for help, it’s uncomfortable. This time around has made me step out of my comfort zone as I had to ask for favors such as grocery store runs or running errands outside the home. Most of the time, the help is there. You just have to ask.
Cheers to that:
This new year is filled with a ton of hope. The moment I went through was a moment for me to reflect on what truly matters- health and family.
I hope you all have a promising future ahead of you!