As moms we are dealing with homeschooling, the pandemic, the holidays and trying to keep up with everyday responsibilities. This can feel, well, overwhelming. Under normal circumstances mothers are faced with multiple demands, but the duration and chronic nature of this situation is unprecedented.
As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, I provide counseling, spending my days helping others navigate through the stressors of life. Recently, I find myself wondering if I have enough emotional energy to do the same for myself. On a typical day I am trying to work from home, stopping constantly to help my children, juggling laundry, dishes, the dog etc. etc. But recently I began asking myself how am I caring for me? What do I need to be able to be available for my family?
Self-care is not a treat we give ourselves as a reward; it should be part of our everyday, a moment we take to refuel to go the distance and be our best self. So, prioritize making time for you. Here are a few other quick tips.
- Take care of your physical needs- Make sure you get enough sleep, eat nutritiously, and find ways to move your body regularly.
- Practice gratitude- Each day, take a few minutes to think about the things in your life you are thankful for. Try a guided gratitude meditation cultivate gratitude during the holidays and guided gratitude meditation.
- Surround yourself with positive people- Make sure you’re spending time with people who support your goals and encourage you when times are tough.
- Do mini check-ins several times a day- Throughout the day, take a few deep breaths and do a quick body scan. Notice and release tension and ask yourself what you can do in that moment to care for your needs.
- Ask for help when you need it- Don’t overthink it. Be specific,clear and direct and ask for what you need.
- Be kind to yourself- We are all doing the best we can, in this moment in time. Ask yourself, would I ever speak to a friend the way I am speaking to myself? If not, change it.
Robin Hershkowitz is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at New York Medical College where she provides counseling to students. Robin is also a therapist in Psychiatry at Memorial Sloan Kettering, working with young and older adult patients and caregivers. She has over 20 years of experience working in Hospital Systems, Nonprofit Organizations, and Health Services Programs. Robin has earned her Masters of Social Work Degree and a Post Master’s Certificate in Advanced Clinical Practice from New York University as well as being certified in Problem Solving Therapy, trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Crisis Prevention Intervention.
Robin currently lives in Westchester with her husband and two children. She can always be found spending time volunteering at her children's school, local Synagogue or anyplace that asks nicely.