Updated: May 21
We're into Week 3 of being at home with kids ALL THE TIME (aka quarantine). It's been an interesting experiment. How are you holding up?
If you're reading this as you're hiding in the bathroom or closet or pantry from your kids, know that you are not alone. I've had plenty of days like that, too. What if I could tell you that I could help with a few essential tips from Ayurveda?
I know, I know. You're being inundated with COVID19 tips. Me, too. Just give me 3 more minutes. And tell whoever keeps knocking that you're pooping. That's code for "give me my privacy for goodness sake" in my house.
I want to share some tips I learned from Ayurveda because it is saving my sanity. Generally, I feel calm and grounded while we lay low at home. Actually, I wish we could all be at home together like this all the time. Kinda.
Note: By saying this, I don't intend to be insensitive towards other people who are experiencing great challenges and losses during this time. That said, I cannot deny that we are thriving to the point of enjoying ourselves (most of the time). I want to also acknowledge that we are in an advantageous position to be working from our home and not financially effected in a major way.
Don't get me wrong, here. At first, I definitely felt a sense of panic when I learned that school was closing for a month (now probably longer). After the initial freak out I reasoned with myself. I just sat with it for a bit and eventually realized that I already knew what to do. We'll do as we've done before during breaks and holidays. I just need to tweak it a bit so the kids are getting learning and more outside time during the day.
We keep a regular routine going. A regular routine is as if you were still going to work and the kids were still going to school - at least on weekdays. Sounds extreme, I know. I also know it's tempting to let routines go in this unprecedented time, but I beg you to hold on to them. This will save your sanity as it has saved mine.
The increased collective Vata energy is palpable lately. It's off the charts because of the mental and emotional charge that's surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Anxiety, fear, overwhelm, distraction, and sleeplessness are all calling cards of Vata when it's out of balance.
A regular routine gives your day-to-day stability through consistency and predictability, that you and your family may need the most right now. A strong but flexible schedule supported by healthy habits will calm the unsettled, unpredictable nature of Vata (a cold, airy energy). This creates a soothing rhythm that will calm your nervous system and everyone in your family. Everyone, exhale ...
The main daily routines in Ayurveda are:
Waking time - Wake up as early as you need to and do the same getting-ready routines for you and your kids. Aim to be ready to start your day at 9 AM.
Meal times - Set at reasonable times so that breakfast happens by 8/8:30 AM. Lunch occurs midday around noon and dinner is done by 7 PM. Try an early dinner if all of you are home. Why not?
Bed time - Prioritize rest. Go to bed early, by 10 PM. Put younger kids to sleep early (between 7-8) so you have more time to yourself and with your beloved at the end of the day. Teens will be the wild card here but you can still encourage them to get ready for bed by 10/10:30 PM.
More ideas for daily routines:
- Be active during the day and wind down/rest at night.
- Spend time outside every day to enjoy fresh air and the grounding elements of earth and water (Kapha)
- Eat during the day, not (late) at night
- Eat most of your food at meal times
- Turn off, put away distractions during meals
- Connect with family members in a meaningful way: go for a walk, just sit and talk, cook and eat all meals together.
- Enjoy some down time in the afternoons (+++Vata time between 2-6): read, do a puzzle, write, etc.
Hold fast to these routines and suggestions that ease Vata. Everyone will eventually be returning to school and work and the transition will be much easier if you do.
But how does one put this structure in place? And how does this work with kids of different ages? Ah, yes, that's where it gets tricky. I was there once, too. You CAN do this! And I can help with a few tips and tricks to make it easier on you and your family.
Join my free webinar: Quarantine Survival Guide for Moms on Saturdays in April from 10 - 11AM CST. I'll be sharing these tips and more - and how to implement them so everyone can start feeling better, sooner. An invite will be going out to my subscribers by the end of the week. Don't forget to sign up if you haven't already!
Here's the Facebook event page.
Ayurveda has taught me that everything begins with routines, which in turn builds healthy habits. Once this structure is in place, everything that's important to you can have it's place. You can start working on healthy meals for you and your family, carving out time for yourself, with your partner and with your family as a whole. Yes, it's possible! Join me for my free workshop to learn the most important things and how to implement them.
Here's a great video for supporting the Vata dosha in a daily routine from Banyan Botanicals. I highly suggest learning how to do the breathing exercise they suggest: Nadi Shodhana or Alternative Nostril Breathing.
Note: As we're entering Spring, the Kapha season, I don't suggest following a Vata diet unless it's a primary imbalance for you. However, enjoying warm foods and beverages still applies until Summer.
Remember, also, that your perspective on this unprecedented time can make a big difference. Doors will open up for you if you can imagine this time as an opportunity to strengthen yourself and your family. When life returns to a "new normal," you'll be ready.
We'll get through this, people! Don't forget to sign up for my free, live webinar Quarantine Survival Guide for Moms on Saturdays in April @ 10 AM CST.