• Hana Kovac

Quarantine Guide from a Mom of Four

Whether we like it or not, our lives have changed drastically within the last few weeks. The pandemic we face can make us feel anxious and stressed. We, mothers, face even greater epidemic - the epidemic of 'burn out' as we have to homeschool our kids, take care of our household, loved ones, cook meals and telework. Words of encouragement: there is an end to all this. And although it might seem like you don't see the light at the end of the tunnel, there is one. Until then, find below some tips that can help you survive these strange times.

Schedules and Homeschooling

1. Some kids thrive better on a schedule (mine don't), so it's a good idea to set up a schedule for homeschooling, meal times, play, if your kids seem distracted easily.

2. Don't try to follow the curriculum at 100 percent, especially if you have more kids. Pick up the most important skills - reading, math, etc. Some subjects, such as history or geography, can be taught simultaneously having all kids around.

3. Keep the meals as simple as possible. This doesn't mean you have to rely on take away and frozen pizza. Stir fry, pressure cooker meals or soups work well.

4. Let kids help with chores and meal prep. This is a great time to teach your kids that moms don't just sit around sipping coffee all day but have an unpaid job at home.

5. To practice physical but not social distancing, use Skype or Zoom. Many teachers organize zoom or Skype classrooms. You can also let your kids chat with their friends online.

6. Spending time in nature is crucial - if you are not able to go out for a walk, go out in the garden, on the balcony etc.

7. Open windows often to let in fresh air.

8. Eat whole food. Now is the time to learn new skills such as cooking, gardening, sprouting.

Meals and Foods to Stock up on

As mentioned previously, now is the best time to learn new skills such as cooking, sprouting, gardening. Try new recipes. Keep the meals as simple as possible and eat the rainbow. As we know, between 60 to 80 percent of our immune system resides in our gut so keeping our gut healthy is the most important strategy to avoid infection. Eat the rainbow - this can be turned into a game - how many colors can you count on your plate? What follows are healthy options to stock up on. If you have the opportunity to visit farmer's shops (farmer's markets are closed in France) or even order a box with fresh, local and seasonal veggies, go for it. If you grow your own, you're covered - spring nature offers several healthy options such us dandelion greens, arugula, radishes, wild garlic, spring onions. If you live in a flat, learn how to sprout seeds. Seeds can be purchased online and in three days, you have a superfood ready to be used in recipes.

Foods to stock up on:

Canned fruits, vegetables, and beans : organic, no added sugar, low-sodium.

Wild-caught fish - canned or frozen: excellent option for quick simple meals packed with omega-3s

Making soups and broths ahead of time and freezing them. Use herbs like cilantro, oregano, and thyme.

Nuts, seeds, and nut butters (peanut, almond, sunflower) loaded with nutritious ingredients to support your body and an option for easy snacking

Frozen greens and veggies - easy to put to your morning green smoothie or a quick option for a meal

Collagen - to put in smoothies, coffee latte etc.

Rest, Self Care and Exercise

Sleep is one of the most underestimated solutions to keep our immune system healthy. Create a routine and go to sleep at the same hour every day. Avoid electronic devices at least 1 hour before going to bed. Between 6 to 8 hours of deep, uninterrupted sleep is optimal.

Exercise: With all gyms closed, it can be hard to stay motivated to exercise. Fortunately, there are so many home workouts you can try, check this out.

Self care rituals: The whole family is happy only if the mother is happy. I'm an advocate of self care rituals all year long, but they are even more important now than ever.

1. Read a book or listen to an audiobook. I love Gabrielle Bernstein's Super Attractor or Untamed from Glennon Doyle.

2. Have an Epsom salt bath with Lavender essential oil. Be sure to limit your soak to 20 minutes, rinse off after, and hydrate well.

3. Meditate, pray, recite mantras. All these techniques help center your mind and soothe your stress.

4. Diffuse essential oils, such as Wild Orange, Lavender, or Frankincense to stop stress in its tracks! To shop for essential oils, check out the tabs Products I Love.

Stay safe, stay home, stay well.

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