How to Incorporate Mindfulness into Your Work From Home Space

How have the last few months been treating you in terms of work-life balance? Have you been feeling stressed, losing sleep, and struggling to draw the line between work and home time due to the mandatory work from home and Shelter-In-Place orders? Sister, you’re not alone.

I’m here to tell you that although work is important and productivity is a must, you don’t have to be productive 100% of the time while you work at home. It’s important to remember that while we are working from home we are still working in a crisis. Practicing self-care and mindfulness are vital for getting through this difficult time and it’s okay to rely on others for figuring out how to adapt to this “new normal”. 

That being said, as many Shelter-In-Place orders extend and businesses’ budgets tighten, many companies are offering permanent work from home positions for their employees. While some may enjoy working from home or not, everyone’s situation is different. Whether you are deciding to venture back into the office or hunker down at home for a while longer it’s important to approach this transition delicately and with your own mental wellness in mind. 

How to Incorporate Mindfulness into your Work from Home Space
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that I only work with companies and individuals that I trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.
How to Incorporate Mindfulness into your Work from Home Space

To aid in this transition, I’ve rounded up a few wellness strategies from professional “zen artists” who understand the importance of adding wellness to your workspace and work routine. These professionals include organizational experts, wellness architects (yes, that’s a thing), naturopathists and holistic coaches. With these simple strategies in mind, you can take ownership back over your current or future work set-up and ensure your mental and physical health isn’t being side-stepped. Keep reading for wellness strategies to incorporate into your workspace. 

Optimize Your Space for Comfort

While your home or office may not be equipped with ergonomic furniture, that doesn’t mean you have to suffice with an uncomfortable workspace. Ask your employer if you can take office furniture home or “check-out” devices for optimal use at home. While not everyone works the same way, M Moser Associates, Global Design and Architecture Firm, offered a few best practices on this topic. They said, “To create a comfortable and positive work from home space, people need to feel empowered to discover aspects that create comfort and enhance mood and performance in their own homes.” 

They also recommended creating a minimum of three high-performance work environments. This, they say has proven to support a range of benefits including “boosting motivation through freedom of choice, creating mood-enhancing playfulness, stimulating the brain through micro-movements, and providing head space for new ways of thinking.”

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Incorporate Mindfulness Into Your Routine

The next step to incorporating wellness into your workspace is by adding mindfulness into your routine. This can be done by setting strategic intentions before, during, and after your workday. Shawn Johal, Entrepreneur & Business Growth Coach at Elevation Coaching emphasized the importance of taking mindfulness breaks as you may feel that working from home means staring at your computer and phone screens more often. He says to “take purposeful breaks for mindful moments away from the screen. Breathe, meditate, and take a 5-minute walk outside every hour. Your mental health will be in better shape, your family will see you as calmer, and your work will be accomplished with more success.”

Meditation Tips for People Who Hate to Meditate
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Communicate Boundaries and Set Standards in Your Work Place

As millions of employees headed home at the start of the pandemic so did millions of students and family members. You are most likely experiencing challenges you never thought you would and are being asked to set unfamiliar boundaries with family members and roommates. 

To remedy this, business expert Shawn Johal also said to create boundaries for work time. He said to “communicate to your loved ones how your day is scheduled – maybe even give them a copy of your schedule.” This will give you more time to spend with them and you can incorporate walks, breaks, and meals to be spent together.

Level-Up Self-Care and Level-Down Self Destruction

There are many ways to prioritize self-care during quarantine and it seems like that’s all anyone is talking about. However what is less commonly discussed, but just as important is practicing self-care at work. While we commonly associate lighting candles and using essential oils for times of relaxation, their use can have many impacts on improving your workspace and make it more enjoyable.

Naturopathic Milana Perepyolkina recommends incorporating essential oils into your work routine due to its relaxing benefits for the body and mind. Incorporate lavender to relax the mind, bergamot to lift your mood and peppermint to increase energy and mental activity. Whatever self-care activities you incorporate into your work routine, use mantras to limit negative self-talk and spirals of anxiety that can so easily entrap us during the workday.

How to NOT feel isolation while in self isolation
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I hope this piece has inspired you to add some moments of wellness to your work routine and encouraged you to prioritize your mental health during the turbulent time. For more inspiration and ideas on adding wellness to your workspace check out the infographic below with strategies to “zen” your workspace.

Wellness Strategies Infographic
Credit: https://www.ftd.com/blog/share/zen-your-work-from-home-space

Author Bio

Stacy Walden is a writer from sunny San Diego. She enjoys covering topics around productivity and wellness in the workplace. When she’s not writing she likes spending time with her family and friends and traveling to new places abroad.

20 Awesome Etsy Finds That Will Get You Through Quarantine

Etsy is a way to support small business owners during the pandemic.

With the coronavirus global pandemic closing the doors of many businesses, which ones will suffer the most?  The larger, corporate companies may make it through this with minimal impact, but the small business owners are at the biggest risk of losing it all.  Etsy is made up of independent sellers and small business owners from around the world, and they also offer the largest collection of unique and handmade items.  Purchasing one of these Etsy finds is the easiest and most fun way to #StandwithSmall.

Consider joining the #StandwithSmall movement and check out some of these useful Etsy finds.
20 Awesome Etsy Finds That Will Get You Through Quarantine
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.
DIY Craft Kits - Etsy Finds 20 Awesome Etsy Finds That Will Get You Through Quarantine
Work From Home Supplies - Etsy Finds

Etsy Finds For Your Self Care Routine

Stuck at home during quarantine?  What better time to catch up on self care.  These Etsy finds make it easy to focus on you.  Put in the effort during quarantine and come out of the pandemic glowing and refreshed!

Self Care Kit - Stresscase Shop
StresscaseShop on Etsy

A Customized Self Care BoxEach purchase is curated based on your specific needs and includes things like organic teas, natural beauty products, herbs and even healing crystals.

Hair Growth Kit - NaturalSisters
NaturalSisters on Etsy

Hair Growth Products. Spend your self isolation growing out long, luscious locks.  Since you’ve got some time off from constant styling, now is the perfect time to focus on hair health.  

Dry Brushing Kit
BIRCHROSEandCO on Etsy

A Dry Brushing Set.  Dry brushing is a technique that helps exfoliate the skin as well as massage the lymphatic system for better physical and mental health.  This set comes complete with a brush and oil, perfect for your daily self care ritual. 

Hammock Chair
HammocksNica on Etsy

A Relaxing Hammock.  Hang it outside or in and it’s sure to become your favorite place to sit and relax.  Use it while meditating, watching the kids play or while reading a good book. 

Etsy Finds For Your Home Office

As a blogger, I’m used to working at home, but not everyone else is.  It can take some adjustments to find the right home office space.  Whether you need some privacy for conference calls or are struggling to make a homeschooling schedule, these Etsy finds might be able to help. 

Work from home door signs
WoodFinds on Etsy

Work From Home Door Signs. What’s worse than having your kids run into the room while you’re on a video call?  Or having to put someone on hold to answer the doorbell?  These customizable wood door signs might be just what you need. 

Honeycomb Pen Holder
DimensionsonDemand on Etsy

A Honeycomb Shaped Pen Holder. Can’t keep track of all your office supplies?  This 3D printed honeycomb desk organizer has room for all the various supplies you need for homeschooling or working from home.

A Chalkboard Command Center.  
CalendarGirlCompany on Etsy

A Central Command Center.  You might think there’s less to write on your calendar these days.  But you can use this calendar to keep track of your homeschooling assignments, work meetings or conference calls, social phone calls and meal planning so you can limit your shopping trips. 

Etsy Finds For Reading and Writing

Reading and writing are important things we should do everyday while stuck inside the house.  Quarantine is a good time to finally finish your favorite book.  And everyone should be keeping a journal of this historical pandemic so that we never, ever forget. 

A Leather Bookmark.   
OxandPine on Etsy

A Leather Bookmark.  Etsy actually has a huge assortment of bookmarks. Many people have made the switch to online or electronic reading, but nothing beats curling up with a good book and a fancy bookmark. 

A Leather Journal.
ForestNine on Etsy

An Old World Style Journal. I think this leather journal is just perfect for detailing all your pandemic chronicles.  Imagine being able to pass this down to your kids or grandchildren one day? There’s something romantic and adventurous about living through this historical time period. 

A Calligraphy Kit.  
AngeliqueInk on Etsy

A Calligraphy Kit. Learning a new skill is great for our mental health and will keep you distracted while bored at home. Calligraphy is all the rage right now, despite it’s ancient background. 

Etsy Finds For Organizing Your Kitchen

It’s not uncommon for those in quarantine to spend a lot more time in the kitchen.  Whether you’re expanding your cooking skills, cleaning and decluttering or baking bread, these Etsy finds are sure to help out!

A Spice Rack and Jars 
DIYProjectsShop on Etsy

A Spice Rack and Jars. This rustic, reclaimed wood spice rack comes with matching glass jars so you can keep all your spices at hand and on display while you try out those new recipes. 

Pantry Labels 
madeupbymandy on Etsy 

Pantry Labels. While you’re busy organizing your pantry, get a set of matching labels to give it a professional look. And hopefully, your pantry will stay clean after quarantine is over.

Beeswax Food Wraps.  
AlisaYao on Etsy

Beeswax Food Wraps. If you’ve been meaning to start eliminating disposable plastic in your kitchen, quarantine is the right time to start.  It’s healthier for you and for the environment, plus it will save you money and is one less thing you need to stock up on. 

Etsy Finds To Keep You Busy

Etsy is one of the best places to find arts and craft supplies, as well as handmade items.  Whether you want to start crafting, are looking for ways to incorporate art therapy into your life, or just need to restock some of your supplies, consider supporting a small business on Etsy.  

A DIY Organic Soap Kit
Arterno on Etsy

A DIY Organic Soap Kit. Make your own soap at home, and don’t worry about the stores being out of stock.  You can make handwashing more enjoyable with beautiful organic, hand made soaps.  Or craft them as a gift for a healthcare or front line worker in your life. 

A Weaving Loom Kit.
handiworkyourlove on Etsy

A Weaving Loom Kit. Weaving, knitting, crochet, macrame… any of these crafts are great for your fine motor skills and offer a distraction from anxious thoughts.  Try utilizing one of these crafts while meditating! 

An Embroidery Kit
KirikiPress on Etsy

An Embroidery Kit. Make an adorable little critter with these embroidery starter kit.  Another way to keep busy and learn a new skill.  

Etsy Finds For Your Windows

Have you heard of the Hearts in the Window movement?  People everywhere are decorating their windows to brighten their neighborhoods and send messages of hope.  Etsy is a great place to find unique and beautiful decorations for your window so that you can spread joy in your own community.

Stained Glass Heart Suncatcher
enbleuetverre on Etsy

A Heart Suncatcher.  This stained glass art piece resembles a dream catcher mobile and would look stunning displayed in your sunniest window!

Rainbow Heart Suncatcher.
ZorkaVenera on Etsy

A Rainbow Heart. I also love this colorful geometric heart.  I’m sure when the sun comes through this stained glass heart, the entire house is filled with a flurry of color! This seller also makes them in other styles, including gorgeous mandala designs.

Window Clings.  
WindowGemStudio on Etsy

Window Clings. Another great option to decorate your windows is by using decals and clings. These simply stick onto your window and also reflect light through them for a rainbow effect when the sun shines through.  Bonus – they work to deter birds from flying into your windows!  

And finally, if you absolutely must leave the house during the pandemic, make sure you’re equipped with a proper face mask.
Face Mask with filter pocket.
YourCuteWallz on Etsy

Face Mask with filter pocket. Several Etsy shops have started making and selling face masks to keep up with the growing demand.    You can find some that are made of organic cotton, have a filter pocket, or with different designs and ear straps, which tend to make wearing them more comfortable.  (But keep in mind that nothing sold on Etsy is considered medical-grade.) 


These Etsy finds are just a few suggestions of the millions of products you can get to make your quarantine more enjoyable.  And by making a purchase on Etsy, you can rest assured that you’re supporting a struggling independent seller or small business owner through this time of financial uncertainty. For postpartum depression printables, don’t forget to check out our own Etsy shop @RuninTrianglesBlog

Remember to #StandwithSmall and #StaySafe!
Etsy #StandwithSmall
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100 Self Care Ideas That Are Social Distancing Approved

Anyone who isn’t currently practicing social distancing is putting others at risk.

With the COVID-19 Coronavirus on the loose, many people are retreating to their homes and avoiding large groups, i.e. social distancing.  Not all are finding this is easy, with the Millennials and Gen Z’s getting most of the blame.  Whether you’re currently serving a 14 day self isolation, or you’re still working and living life, you’ve likely noticed an increased level of boredom.  Most places are closed, events are cancelled, and even hanging out with friends is frowned upon. So what are you supposed to do during this quarantine? 

Well, my friends, it sounds like the perfect time to practice self care!
100 Self Care Ideas that are Social Distancing Approved
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.

Pamper Your Body

With the added amount of stress due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, your body is likely in less than optimal health.  Social distancing provides us with an unlimited amount of time for self care without feeling guilty.  We don’t have to sacrifice time for self care because we suddenly have an abundance of it.  (Besides, with all the frequent hand washing and cleaning, I’m sure we could all use a little extra pampering.)

1. Soak in the bathtub with a bath bomb or Epsom salts.

2. Take a thermotherapy shower by starting hot and finishing cold.

3. Give yourself a manicure or pedicure.

4. Deep condition your hair. 

5. Apply a face mask.

6. Dry brush your skin

7. Exfoliate.

8. Moisturize.  

9. Give yourself a massage

10. Try acupressure

11. Get plenty of sleep.  

12. Do a detox. 

13. Drink lots of water

14. Make a smoothie or fresh green juice.

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Work on Your Mental Health

The media coverage on the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic has us all stressing out.  All of the stress and anxiety is bound to have a detrimental effect on our mental health.  Plus, having to stay isolated can exacerbate those symptoms. The best thing we can do for ourselves is to use this time of self isolation and social distancing to work on improving our mood and mental health. 

15. Try online cognitive behavior therapy.  

16. Sign up for talk therapy via video conference 

17. Practice meditation.  

18. Listen to music.  

19. Do yoga. 

20. Write in a journal. 

21. Light incense or diffuse essential oils.  

22. Listen to a podcast.  

23. Find a way to help a charity.  

24. Read a self help book

25. Nurture a house plant.  

I tried Online Therapy for 30 Days and this is what happened
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Laugh and Play

Self care should never be all work and no play.  In fact, laughter is a great mood booster and we should find all kinds of ways to laugh and be playful, even while social distancing.  

26. Play a video game or app. 

27. Play a board game.  

28. Work on a large puzzle.  

29. Doodle a mandala. 

30. Watch your favorite movies. 

31. Laugh along with some stand up comedy or a funny movie. 

Self Care Routine for a Stay at Home Mom
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Keep in Touch

We often think of self care as being alone but taking care of ourselves means doing good things for others, spending time with those we love and sharing pieces of who we are.  This might seem hard to do while practicing social distancing, but there are still ways to keep in touch with others. 

32. Call a friend.

33. Video chat with someone.

34. Make a YouTube video.

35. Write someone an email.

36. Send a letter.

37. Mail a care package.

38. Deliver gift baskets to neighbors.

39. Decorate your front window.

40. Host a Netflix watch party.

Hygge Lifestyle
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Spend Time Outside

We need to spend as much time outside as possible while social distancing.  Of course it’s important to stay away from crowds and limit our interactions as much as possible, but accessing fresh air is so important for our bodies both physically and mentally. 

41. Sit in your backyard.

42. Take a nap outside.

43. Lounge in a hammock.

44. Do yard work.

45. Go for a walk around the neighborhood.

46. Go for a drive in the country.

47. Eat a meal outside.

48. Pitch a tent in your backyard and camp out for a night.

49. Paint your fence or deck.

50. Make a fairy garden.

51. Paint some rocks.

52. Have an outdoor bonfire.

25 Easy Outdoor Self Care Ideas
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Declutter Your Space

Decluttering is a form of self care because it’s something that we tend to put off doing.  Then the clutter sits there, reminding us of our failures and causing undue stress.  Use this time at home to deep clean, declutter and minimize possessions. 

53. Deep clean your kitchen and bathrooms.

54. Repaint or redecorate a room in your house.

55. Sort through your wardrobe and donate any clothes you don’t wear.

56. Organize your home KonMari style.

57. Clean out your closets.

58. Sort through your shoes.

59. Sort through your accessories and jewelry.

60. Declutter your cabinets.

61. Clean out your makeup bag.

62. Clean the garage or basement.

63. Go through all your old electronics, DVD’s, CD’s, cables, etc.

Is Decluttering the Secret to Less Stress and Better Mental Health?
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Tap into your Artistic Side

Art therapy is a super important way to practice self care while social distancing.  Being creative means using our brains as well as developing hand eye coordination.  Even if you don’t consider yourself an artistic person, you might be surprised with what you can come up with.

64. Draw or paint a picture.

65. Sketch something outside your window.

66. Color in a coloring book.

67. Create your own story book.

68. Make a craft completely out of recycled material.

69. Build something out of wood.

70. Make your own dough and sculpt something.

71. Build a bird house.

72. Bake cookies, cupcakes or some other type of delicious dessert.

73. Cook a hearty homemade soup or stew.

74. Start an indoor herb garden.

75. Sew, knit, crochet or macrame.

20 Awesome Etsy Finds That Will Get You Through Quarantine
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Learn Something New

Use this opportunity to learn something.  Learning is a way to improve our brain health.  Plus it offers a distraction from anxiety and loneliness and can boost our self esteem.  As adults, we often refrain from learning new things, or we start them but never seem them through.  Learning a new skill or hobby is truly making the most of social distancing.

76. Take an online class.

77. Watch YouTube tutorial videos.

78. Read an instructional book.

79. Watch a documentary.

80. Find a new way to utilize something you don’t use anymore.

81. Take an online photography course.

82. Practice hand lettering or calligraphy.

83. Learn how to play a musical instrument.

How to Start Blogging About Postpartum Depression
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Get Your Heart Pumping

Exercise is one of the most important parts of self care.  There’s no excuses while locked up at home with nothing to do.  If your local gym is closed, check to see if they’re offering online workout videos instead.  And don’t worry if you don’t have a home gym, there are so many different ways to stay physically active at home. 

84. Ride a stationary bike or run on a treadmill.

85. Try some online workout videos.

86. Stretch.

87. Dance.

88. Plank.

89. Run up and down the stairs.

90. Focus on improving your pelvic floor health.

91. Work out with an exercise ball.

92. Skip rope.

93. Climb a tree.

94. Do squats and/or lunges.

95. Jump on a trampoline.

amazing benefits of yoga for postpartum depression
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Be Present 

The world looks a little scary right now.  Try to focus on the positive aspects instead.  We are living in a moment of history, so document it.  Take photos, write about it and enjoy every single moment.  Use your time wisely and continue to have hope for the future.  When this is all over, will you come out of it a better person?

96. Take at least one photo each day.

97. Cuddle with your spouse, kids, pet or even a stuffed animal.

98. Sit peacefully and do absolutely nothing.

99. Work on your bucket list.

100. Make a list of everything you miss doing and plan to do again once this global pandemic is over.


100 Self Care Ideas that are Social Distancing Approved
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How To NOT Feel Isolated While in Self Isolation

Self isolation is the recommended course of action for many during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

Those who have recently traveled, have come in contact with someone with COVID-19, or who are sick are putting themselves into self isolation.  This basically means to quarantine yourself within your home for two weeks.  And further more, social distancing has us all keeping away from friends and public places.  With all of this isolation and anxiety, how does a person avoid actually feeling isolated?  For moms with mental health issues, isolation can actually make symptoms of depression and anxiety worse, so it’s important to have some ways to manage the loneliness. 

During self isolation, try some of these tips to avoid feeling lonely.
How to NOT feel isolation while in self isolation
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.
How to NOT feel isolation while in self isolation

Most people, especially moms, will not actually be alone during their self isolation or social distancing.  Spouses and children will likely be in isolation with them.  It’s hard to say whether this makes it better or worse for a woman with postpartum depression or anxiety.  Having the family around 24/7 might become overwhelming very quickly.  

While it’s great to embrace this gift of family time, make sure that each person is also getting enough alone time to themselves each day.  This could be quiet reading or doing a quiet activity all in one room, or have everyone separate into different rooms for an hour or two each day.  This will surely benefit everyone’s mental health during the isolation period.

If the entire family is beginning to feel isolated from the outside world, then consider some of these options.

Make a Connection

Even though we can’t go out and socialize with our friends right now, we can still make connections with others.  We need to stick together, especially during these uncertain times. This is something we should be doing daily or at least a few times a week in order to maintain our mental health.

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Phone a friend or family member. Simply talking to another human being helps you avoid isolation.

Video chat with a friend or family member.  It helps to see another familiar face from time to time, and not just hear their voice.  This is also a great option for younger kids.

Write a letter to someone.  It doesn’t even have to be someone you know.  Consider writing letters with your kids to senior’s homes, hospitals, government offices, army bases, etc.  It would make someone’s day.

Write an email to someone.  Same as above, but send it online instead.  You can find e-mail addresses for most places on their websites.  Let your favorite local shop know how much you miss their store/business while it’s closed, and can’t wait to be back there again. 

Read a book or watch a movie.  Going on adventures with the characters in a book or a movie is another way to help you feel less lonely and isolated.  Now is a great time to start binge watching that TV series you’ve been wanting to start.

Adopt or foster a pet. If you’re going to be locked up inside the house for weeks anyway, why not foster a pet to keep you company?  You could all benefit from the company during this anxious time.

Find a Distraction

Don’t count the days of self isolation on a calendar, find a way to pass the time.  Keeping the mind distracted is a great way to avoid things like intrusive or anxious thoughts while you are quarantined at home. 

20 Awesome Etsy Finds That Will Get You Through Quarantine
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Cook or Bake.  Don’t do it with the intention of “getting dinner on the table” as that will likely stress you out even more. Spend a day cooking some homemade soup or baking fresh bread or muffins with the kids.  Take your time and don’t worry about the mess. 

Clean.  Self isolation is the perfect time to clean out that closet you’ve been avoiding for months.  Start your spring cleaning early and tackle on the big messes that you never have time for. Decluttering is also a great way to maintain your mental health. 

Craft.  You can find hundreds of crafts you can do with the kids on Pinterest.  Or maybe you’d rather do something just for you?

Learn something new.  Nothing keeps the brain busier than learning. If you’re planning on homeschooling the kids, that will keep all of your brains busy.  Trying to pick up a new skill?  Now is the perfect chance to focus on it undisturbed for weeks!  Interested in knitting? Check out Love Crafts for everything you need including free PDF patterns! 

Leave the House

If you’re in self isolation or practicing social distancing, you should be avoiding other people and public places.  But that doesn’t mean you have to be locked up within the walls of your house.  There are still several ways that you can safely leave the house in order to avoid complete isolation.

25 Easy Outdoor Self Care Ideas
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Spend time in your own backyard.  Good weather or not, spending some time each day in your own backyard is a great way to get some fresh air and sunshine.

Walk around the neighborhood.  You can also go for a walk in your own neighborhood, especially on a sunny day.  The natural Vitamin D not only helps to boost your mood, but the coronavirus doesn’t survive long in the sun. 

Go for a drive.  Why not pack the kids into the minivan and go for a drive in the country?  See if you can spot any wildlife or signs of spring.  Take photos along the way and compile an album.  Stop for a picnic lunch on the side of the road and play some fun family car games. 

Work on Yourself

Having weeks of undisturbed time at home means you finally have the chance to focus on yourself.  This global pandemic is going to change our entire world in ways we never imagined.  Let’s begin to prepare for the aftermath of it by using our self-isolation time to reflect on our lives. 

100 Self Care Ideas that are Social Distancing Approved
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Exercise. There’s no better way to avoid stress, anxiety, depression and isolation than to exercise daily.  Exercise is so important for both our physical and mental health.  You don’t need a home gym, either.  Watch yoga videos on YouTube or turn on some music and dance!

Read self help books. Maybe you’ll actually finish some of those books that you’ve been saving for when you have time.  Or try listening to some inspirational podcasts.

Try cognitive behavior therapy. If you’ve been putting off therapy because of a lack of time, self isolation is the perfect time to try online therapy. By completing an online therapy course, you can emerge from self-isolation with better tools to help you be successful in life. 

Meditate. There are several different ways to meditate, even if you’re not a fan of it.  Download a guided meditation app or simply spend time being mindful and grateful. Practice deep breathing and stretching for optimal health.  Turn on an essential oil diffuser and listen to some soothing meditation music. 

Focus on the positive. Self isolation is not the ideal situation for everyone. You may be worried about your job and bills and having enough food.  Instead, try to find something positive to focus on each day and write it down.  At the end of this quarantine, you can look back at this time and feel the happy moments instead of the negative ones. 

Make plans for the future.  Thinking about the future is a great way to avoid isolation and anxiety about the coronavirus. Sit down as a family and decide what things you’d like to do when this is all over.  Maybe you’ve learned to live with less or have realized where your true priorities are.  This is the time to set goals and make plans for the rest of this year.


Coronavirus and Postpartum Depression – Are You at Risk?

Does postpartum depression put you at a higher risk for contracting coronavirus?

The new coronavirus, COVID-19, is officially a global pandemic and causing all kinds of anxiety and uncertainty.  It can be especially hard on new moms who are already dealing with mental health issues.   Moms with postpartum depression might see an increase in their symptoms during this time.  Yes, it’s a stressful time for everyone, but could moms with mental health issues actually be at a higher risk?

If you have postpartum depression, find out if you are at risk of contracting coronavirus. 
Coronavirus and Postpartum Depression: Are you at Risk?
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.

Coronavirus and Postpartum Depression

Coronavirus and Postpartum Depression


Those most at risk for contracting coronavirus include the sick, elderly and people with a weakened immune system Many mothers with postpartum depression may suffer from a weak immune system, which is what puts them in the high-risk category.  Depending on how recently a mother has given birth, her immune system may not have had a chance to recover properly.  And certain behaviors caused by postpartum depression can affect our immune systems as well. 

Symptoms of a weakened immune system:

    • Frequent and long lasting illnesses and infections
    • Fatigue
    • Digestion issues (diarrhea, nausea, constipation)
    • New or increased allergies
    • Joint pain or inflammation

Think about whether or not you seem to catch every cold or still get the flu despite getting the flu shot.  Do your symptoms drag on for a long time? Do your wounds take long to heal?   These are all warning signs that you could have a weak immune system.  And if you’re likely to catch a cold from someone sneezing nearing you, then you’re also likely to catch coronavirus.

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How does postpartum depression cause a weakened immune system?

Stress

Stress is the number one culprit when it comes to a weakened immune system.  High levels of stress can increase our cortisol levels and decrease our lymphocytes (the white blood cells that help fight off infection).  This imbalance within our bodies makes us more susceptible to viruses, like COVID-19.  Moms with postpartum depression and anxiety often find themselves under a lot of stress.  It’s never easy to manage the kids and a household, while trying to maintain our own mental health. Therefore, they are at a higher risk of contracting the coronavirus.

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Sleep Deprivation

New moms, especially those with symptoms of postpartum depression or anxiety, are not getting nearly enough sleep as they need to.  Chronic sleep deprivation can affect our immune system in a negative way.  Normally while we sleep, our body works to produce certain antibodies that help us fight infection.  Sleep is also our body’s time to recharge and refill.  But when we don’t get enough sleep, our immune system goes into overdrive.  Then it doesn’t work when we need it to the most, like for fighting off the coronavirus. 

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Isolation

Both postpartum depression and anxiety can cause a new mother to distance herself from others, long before the CDC recommended it for the prevention of the spread of Coronavirus.  Moms normally take extra measures to keep baby away from crowds and strangers, in order to protect their fragile immune systems.  But all this time spent in isolation results in the opposite for moms.  Without being exposed to normal, everyday bacteria in the outside world, moms haven’t been able to build up any immunity to it.  Our immune system needs a lot of practice in order to keep it in good, working condition.

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Fluctuating Hormone Levels

While the underlying cause of postpartum depression is still unknown, some theories suggest it could be due to changes in hormone levels after giving birth.  We know this to be the cause when it comes to the baby blues, which is why it’s so common and doesn’t last long.  Postpartum depression is a much more complicated illness, however.  Either way, lower levels of estrogen may contribute to weakening the immune system.  All women who experience a hormonal imbalance of estrogen might be susceptible.  This includes women who are postpartum, peri-menopausal or who have had a hysterectomy.

Unhealthy Eating Habits

Our body needs a steady source of vitamins and minerals in order to stay healthy.  But moms with postpartum depression or anxiety don’t always have the greatest eating habits.  Whether it’s binge-eating junk food or skipping meals all together, these bad habits can weaken our immune system and make us susceptible to the coronavirus.  If food was an issue during your pregnancy (due to hyperemesis gravidarum, gestational diabetes, anemia, etc.) you may already have some type of vitamin deficiency.

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How will coronavirus affect a mom’s mental health?

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    • Those with postpartum OCD might be overwhelmed about keeping germs away, hand-washing and disinfecting everything they touch (more than usual, that is).
    • Stress.  Lots of stress.  Stress about running out of food and supplies.  Stress about entertaining the kids while they’re off school.  Financial stress, marital stress, etc. 
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What to do about it

The coronavirus is so new that not much is known about it yet.  Studies are being conducted on the effects of coronavirus on pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding moms, but they are still in the early stages.  Experts are working hard for answers but until then, it’s up to us to try to keep it contained. 

Here are some things that moms with postpartum depression can do during the coronavirus outbreak to help maintain their mental health.
    • Stop reading all the global news stories. Instead,  stick to the local news coverage, which will keep you updated on the issues that affect you the most.
    • Follow the CDC’s recommendations for prevention of the spread of coronavirus, and bear in mind that these are updated as more information becomes available. 
    • Eat healthy.  Stock up on fruit and vegetables and choose homemade meals over home delivery during quarantine.
    • Use an immune health supplement. Boost your immune system with a combination of Echinacea, Zinc and Vitamin C.
    • Drink lots of water.  Regularly drinking water not only boosts your immune system, but helps to flush out any unwanted bacteria in your body. 
    • Get plenty of fresh air in wide, open spaces.  Avoid crowded parks and playgrounds and take a stroll through nature instead. 
    • Practice deep breathing and meditation. Not only does meditation help to calm stress, but taking long, deep breaths will actually improve your lung function.  Strong lungs will help in the event that you need to fight off coronavirus. 
    • Focus on the positive. This worldwide pandemic is one for the history books!   As scary as the times are right now, we are living in a moment of history.  Try journaling your experiences, or take photos.  Look for ways that you can help out someone else, even if it’s just by making a phone call to check in. 
    • Continue practicing self care.  Increase the amount of self care you do daily, if that’s an option.  In order to keep yourself from getting cabin fever, you’ll need to find time to yourself each day. 
    • Try online therapy. If your mental health is truly suffering during the coronavirus outbreak, this is something you can always do from home. 
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The thought of a global pandemic killing thousands of people across the world is truly terrifying.  With the intense amount of media coverage on the coronavirus, it can get very overwhelming for a mother with postpartum depression.  It’s terrifying because so much of it is out of our control. 

We need to focus on the small things that we can control.  Don’t waste your time hoarding toilet paper.  Instead, work on getting your immune system ready by eating healthy, getting enough sleep and finding ways to reduce your stress levels. In time, this too shall pass.