After avoiding getting COVID for nearly three years, it finally got my family and me. We spent the first two weeks of the year in various stages of the illness and recovery. My husband and daughters had it easy. It was like the 48-hour flu for them. For me, it was an uncomfortably long illness with body aches, fever, a cough that lasted for weeks, and an eczema flare-up on the most random body parts (my shoulders). Since having both of my daughters, I have miraculously stayed healthy. My menstrual cycle has been unpleasant, but the pains did not linger like this illness. It is almost the end of January, and I still have a cough that keeps returning. My saviors to my sanity throughout this whole month of sickness have been my self-love and self-care activities: small activities made me feel like 100% when I felt yucky.
Getting dressed for the day.
No matter how crappy I feel mentally or physically, I feel good when I look good. During the weeks I spent at home with COVID, I dressed daily for the day. I blew out my hair. I wanted to feel “normal” even when I napped half the day. A little normal made the long, arduous process of illness and recovery tolerable.
Moving my body.
Up until three months ago, I had spent the last two years exercising 3-4 times a week for an hour. The adrenaline rush from a 5K run was addictive. I loved the results of pushing my body. Now, I find myself doing little exercises throughout the day to recapture some of that moving my body craves. Today, I did a 30-minute cardio routine I saw on YouTube. It was my first real sweat of 2023. I am determined to fit in a weekly run because moving my body feels good.
Breaking away from social media.
I love my social media: the posts, the stories, and the videos. I love connecting with family and friends. I loved sharing. When I got sick, I lost all energy to engage. I was perfectly fine observing versus creating. When I didn’t have the energy for that, I read my books and stacks of magazines. Reading during the day was such a pleasurable experience. I loved that I wasn’t falling asleep mid-recipe! I loved the simplicity of spending time with my hubby or daughters without sharing online. Disconnecting was a nice way to reconnect with them and me.
When I look at pre-pandemic photos of myself, I think about how much makeup I wore. While I looked fabulous in those photos, I spent so much time putting my face on in the morning! Throughout my career, I went from no makeup to light makeup to a full face of makeup. Post-pandemic, the foundation just felt heavy even without the mask on. Now, clean, protected skin, a little eyeliner, and bright lipstick make up my routine. The best part is that my simplified morning routine is under 10 minutes…which gives me more time to do my hair (see #1)
Connecting with my crew.
To maintain my sanity, I connected with my crew of family and friends via text daily. I vented the lengthy journey of my ailments and my discontent that I even got sick. Connecting with them fed my soul. As someone who loathes isolation, connecting with my crew was essential to my recovery.
Getting sick reminded me that the Super-rarely sick Mom gets sick, and it’s okay. It’s okay to slow down and not have my Superwoman/Supermom energy. At least next time, I will have strategies to push me through recovery. How do you self-care when you’re sick?