Self-Care for when You’re In Crisis Mode

Let’s be real, you’d have to either be living under a rock with no technology or in outer reaches of space to not know that the world is in crisis mode.

Photo by Eternal Happiness on Pexels.com

The Coronavirus or COVID-19 has hit countries around the world and knocked us all for a loop. You may have kids at home, you can’t go out to meet with friends and family and you may be figuring out how you’ll be working within this new reality. And all of this causes stress to skyrocket.

Here in NYC, schools have been shutdown and major gatherings have been banned. Restaurants and shops have either been empty or closed down.

The streets are empty and as a life-long native New Yorker, I can say that the tension in the air is similar to the days following 9/11/01. We didn’t know which way was up or when (or if) we’d feel normal again, whatever that meant to each of us individually.

You’re probably having all sorts of feelings. Anger, fear, sadness, etc. Know this about your feelings, they are a normal response to an abnormal event. It is the first time that everything has been shutdown for our protection from something that we can’t see. (After doing my own research, I learned about the Spanish Flu pandemic, which took place one hundred years ago during WWI.)

Now, that I’ve been home for a bit and have done my own crisis work, I wanted to share my tips to keep yourself sane while you’re in crisis mode. Keep reading and see what works for you.

Get back to basics.

This global pandemic has left us shaken and uprooted. And the easiest way I find to ground myself is to make sure I’m eating, sleeping and hydrating. As a stressed out mom, it is very easy to get so caught with your own worries about your family and work that you forget to take care of yourself. So make sure you eat your 3 square meals a day, drink lots of water and get at least 6 – 8 hours of sleep.

Enjoy nature. 

Another way to manage stress is to go outside. Even though people are staying home, you can still go outside for brief periods of time just to feel the air and sun. If you’re lucky like me, you can escape to the backyard for some fresh air. If not, take a walk around your neighborhood and just breathe. Fresh air does a stressed out mom good!

Limit access to the news and social media. 

I don’t know about you, but listening to all of the noise about the virus has been way too much for me. I realized as an adult that the news scares me even more because I already do mental health work. It does nothing except sour my mood and drain me. So I’ve learned to help myself by reducing my exposure to the news and social media.

If you’re already on edge like I am, focus on only one media outlet for all of the information you and your family need. Some suggestions for you are the Center for Disease Control, the World Health Organization or your state’s official website. I’ve chosen NYC. gov as my preferred place for the most up-to-date information here in New York. Focus on the information you need to know and ditch the rest.

Stay Connected

One of the best ways to reduce stress and overwhelm is to stay in touch with loved ones. Yes, gatherings are much smaller now, but this is a great time to use technology to your advantage. Get on video call or use the good, old-fashioned phone call to stay in touch with the people you love the most. I’ve been calling my family members and texting or emailing to check-in.

Here’s the thing – it’s okay to feel scared and angry and sad. It seems that the entire world has stopped in its tracks. It’s real and it’s scary. But, we can face this if we do it together. Try these tips to take care of yourself and your loved ones.

Feel free to reach out for more support. Let me know in the comments what’s been working for you and your family.


Need more “me time?” Check out my Free guide “Find time for you (in 15 minutes or Less) and learn my 3 easy steps to having more alone time.

Now’s the time for Self-Care

Now that most if not all of us are sheltering in place due to the COVID-19, we need self-care more than ever! Read on below on why NOW is the time for self-care.


“If you don’t make time for wellness, you’ll be forced to make time for illness” ~ Unknown (Please contact me for attribution).

Someone shared this quote with me today when we talked about self-care.  This isn’t to scare you by any means, but to think about taking the time now to reduce your stress.

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Photo by Juan Pablo Arenas on Pexels.com

According to a 2010 study by the American Psychological Association, moms are some of the most stressed out people. Ever. And are more likely to report headaches, wanting to cry or have upset stomach/indigestion than men.

The thing is, as a mom, you’re responsible for so much: work, kids, home, etc. Even if you have a spouse or partner, you’re still more likely to take everything on. And experience higher levels of stress as a result.

So, if you’re reading this and seeing some of this stress in your life, I’m challenging you right now to consider taking time out for you, for your self-care. Because it matters so much. Because you matter so much.

There’s an illusion at work that has you pushing even though you’re exhausted. It’s called the “I can keep going even if I feel like crap” or “Moms are supposed to give everything for their families including their happiness and well-being.” We’re conditioned from a young age that becoming a mother and sacrificing ourselves is the end all and be all. And that if we take time out for ourselves, we aren’t good mothers or partners.

Listen up, mama, I’ve got news for you.

You were a person before you became a mom and partner. 

Before joining the ranks of women everywhere being called “mama” about 5 million times a day, you were an individual with needs, wants, dreams and goals. You had a life of your own. And it takes a back seat when you’ve got kids, but that doesn’t mean it’s supposed to disappear completely.

For months last year, I kept my head barely above water, focusing on doing my work and flying under the radar. Here’s what happened: I was anxious and exhausted. Living on coffee most of the day and eating only one meal per day. I kept making mistakes, which made me more anxious and led to more mistakes. And my idea of self-care at the time was to stay up late after my boys went to bed to scroll through the search function on Instagram. And then I was exhausted when I got up in the morning. And the cycle began again. No self-care. Just barely surviving.

Then I was fired and forced to take a good, hard look at my life. At how I was living. And it wasn’t good. I was doing NOTHING to take care of myself and reduce my stress. I wasn’t standing up for myself when things got hard at work because I was so tired and so scared. Life caught up with me and stopped me when I didn’t listen to what my body and emotions were telling me. Since I didn’t make time for wellness, I was forced to make time for illness (except the illness was the job itself).

Self-care was a life-saver. Slowly, I started doing things I enjoyed. Like writing, going on quiet walks and even listening to music again. I realized that under all of the stress, anxiety, work and responsibilities, I lost my voice. The simple things in life that made me happy. And honestly, I wasn’t the mom or the person I knew I could be. The one who made me proud to be me.

But, my experience isn’t the only reason I’m passionate about helping you get your self-care. There’s a woman I know who worked hard, had kids, grand-kids and a ton of social responsibilities. She was always running from one thing to the next and I wondered if she ever got any sleep. This woman was counting the days until retirement, waiting for that glorious time when she could happy dance her way out of her job.

One day, everything changed.

Her time ran out. 

She was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer and was gone 6 months later. This woman died without having slowed down long enough to smell the roses. Her illness and passing were the wake up call I needed to take care of myself better. To live my life happier by making time for myself, my dreams and my family.

You may asking yourself, why is this woman’s story so special and why did it have such a profound impact on me? Because, she was my mom.

Here’s the thing I learned from losing her. I learned that the time is NOW. There’s no waiting, no hesitating. My life has been much more enjoyable, good and bad, because I chose to do the things I wanted now. Whether it was a job change, or finishing college or even just making time for myself everyday for self-care. The time in each of those moments was now.

YOUR time is now.

Make it happen. 5 minutes a day for self-care is all you need to start. And if you need more ideas on how to make self-care happen now, check out my free guide “Find Time for You (in 15 Minutes or Less)” here.

What’s one thing you’ve done today for your self-care? Please share in the comments.

Happy week!

What Self-Care is (And Isn’t)

When I first started coaching, I wanted to help other working moms like me get the alone time they needed for self-care.

This mattered to me because I burnt out and ended up losing my job. It was a new role for me and I wanted to do the best that I could. But, I was drowning. I tried to keep up and the more mistakes I made, the more anxious I got. And the more anxious I got, the more mistakes I made.

And the more I wanted to escape. I’d stay up late scrolling through my Instagram feed. I’d be so exhausted in the mornings that I drank several cups of coffee a day to keep going. I lost my appetite (likely due to all the coffee and anxiety) and lived on one meal per day.

I worked hard to do my work and stay afloat. It didn’t work. I was fired and was forced to look at how my life was working for me. At how my decisions were working for me. And they weren’t. I was so stressed out that I had no energy to do anything.

So I took the month after losing my job to reconnect with myself through self-care. I’d get my boys ready for their day (one for high school and the other for daycare). Three days a week, I was alone. With myself, my thoughts, struggles and fears. And as I reconnected with the things I enjoyed that mattered to me (ie writing, reading, walking, practicing stillness), I felt confident and more loving toward myself. I also came up with my definition of quality self-care.

Quality self-care is the little and big things we do to increase joy, increase energy, elevate mood and uplift the spirit.

It’s not just about getting mani-pedis and a massage (though these can be part of a great self-care plan). It’s about the quality of the time you have alone. If your self-care activities are doing the following for you, chances are you’re getting the quality self-care you need. And if not, keep reading to see how you can improve your self-care.

Quality self-care increases joy.

Simple. Self-care is designed to make you happy. You work and family can make you happy, but you are responsible for your personal happiness. Your personal joy is on you. When I take the time to do something kind for myself, I’m happy. Not only because I’m choosing joy, but because I’m actively supporting the growth of my joy. Outside of being a mom and worker. But, by just doing for me.

Recommended activities for increased joy: Taking a time-out, dancing to your favorite song, laughing at funny pictures or memes.

Quality self-care increases your energy.

When I feel sluggish or tired, I know it’s time to ramp up my self-care. And I also know that whatever doesn’t increase my energy is not quality self-care. I tend to go for walks or take naps. Or spending time with a friend that I haven’t seen in ages and talking about exciting things happening in my life (this week I’ve got lunch plans with one of my girlfriends. So excited!). When you’re getting the time you need for you, you’re motivated and energetic. You can walk through stress without losing steam because you’ve already taken the time to energize your system.

Recommended activities for increased energy: Attending doctor appointments, exercising, drinking water, walking. Note: Make sure to consult your doctor BEFORE beginning any exercise program. 

Quality Self-Care elevates your mood.

I touched on this briefly in the last section. Your mood matters. Mood is defined as a state or quality of being at a particular time. Our mood changes throughout the day and goes up, down and all around depending on what happens to or around us. Our mood also depends on how we respond to the things that happen to us.

If it’s Monday, you may wake up in a bad mood because you’ve got to go to work (and maybe you had such a great time celebrating Cinco de Mayo this past weekend). The important thing to know about your mood is that you can change it. You don’t have to keep the same mood that you woke up with. Which is a relief, because who wants to feel crappy all day? I know I don’t. So when you’re at work on your lunchbreak and you see your son’s drawing of his family (with Mami in the center and a big I love you), you feel happier. And when you feel happier, your mood has improved. See? Self-care is possible if you keep it simple.

Recommended activities for elevated mood: Reading kind notes from friends, listening to your favorite podcast, seeing your therapist. Note: If your mood is stuck (ie NOTHING WORKS) or you’re going through some major life changes and are having a hard time, consider finding a therapist to help you navigate those changes. 

Quality self-care uplifts the spirit.

It makes you feel good about yourself as a human being. When talking about self-care, it’s not just about reducing your stress, elevating your mood or increasing your energy. It’s also about your spiritual life. How you focus on building your spiritual connection with yourself. When I think about uplifting my spirit, I think about how aligned my actions are with my current lifestyle or how I’m making a difference in the world. Am I showing up for myself, family, work and the world in a way that feels right with me? Now, this looks differently for all people. For you, uplifting your spirit could mean raising money for a cause you believe in because not only are you helping others, but it feels SO DAMN GOOD to help someone else in need. The reward is in the helping. For me, uplifting my spirit could mean reading an inspirational book (I can recommend The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch).

Recommended self-care activities to uplift your spirit: Reading your favorite affirmation ( ie – “I’m amazing. I’m Strong. I’m powerful.”); de-cluttering and donating gently used items to people in need, raising money for your favorite cause, going to church/spiritual services.

As a mom, you’ve got a million things on your plate. But, those million things DON’T need to live in your brain 24-7. Quality self-care is not about taking time alone to stress over everything you’ve got to do. Or worry that people are going to be upset with you. Honestly, if that’s how you’re feeling, it’s no WONDER you’re still stressed out!

Quality self-care is about taking the space and time to enjoy the moment. To relax. To recoup your energy. To rebuild yourself (emotionally, mentally, spiritually). Your self-care plan is unique to you. Because the things that work for me may not work for you. Try different activities and find what works for YOU.

So that you can have more joy, energy, happiness and peace. Because YOU TRULY DESERVE IT.

Have a great week!

Self-Care Sessions Ep. 4: HZ Coaching Services, LLC

Hiya mamas! And welcome to Episode 4 of the Self-Care Sessions. I’m glad that you’re here.

After doing a few of these interviews, I realized that I haven’t shared much about me here. About the reasons why this website and my business exist.

So this month, I decided to answer the questions myself so you can get to know me better. Please read on for more and let me know what you think in the comments below.

And please feel free to ask me other questions. Whether it’s about self-care, self-love or time management (or just to say hello), I’d love to hear from you. Enjoy!


It's Me!
On one of my many walks

What started this journey for you?

My journey into self-care has been a long time in the making. I was introduced to the concept of self-care when I started therapy while I was pregnant with my older son. My therapist, Alma, taught me that it was okay and perfectly fine to take care of myself. That started in 2000 and my self-care continues now.

What is your mission with HZ Coaching Services? How did it get started?

I’d wanted my own business since my oldest son was in preschool. Waaay back in 2005. I’d researched different types of businesses – online VA work, blogging, community leadership, but nothing really jumped out at me. So I continued working my regular 9 – 5 and finished grad school for counseling (which was one of my callings; coaching is another one).

Fast forward to mid-2018. I was burnt out and ended up getting fired. The stress was horrible. I wasn’t eating or sleeping well and I was SO unhappy. Getting fired was the cherry on the cake. After the fog lifted and I started doing self-care (going out for walks, journaling daily, listening to music) and healing, I realized that THIS was something I could do for other Latina moms. To teach them how to create time for self-care. And once I figured out what I needed to start my business, I jumped in and haven’t looked back since!

Who do you seek to empower with your work?

My focus is on busy working Latina moms. But, I want to empower all moms and let them know that they are amazing. That they need and deserve to take time out for themselves. To give themselves permission to be gentle with themselves. Moms do so much!

Just like with a car, you can’t keep driving it if you don’t put in gas and maintain it properly. You are like that car. You need regular breaks to recover from everyday stress that can keep you physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. There is much more to life than being so stressed out that you can’t enjoy it. And moms already have what it takes to practice good self-care. It’s about just going for it.

What does self-care and wellness mean to you?

I define self-care as: all those big and little activities that we do to reduce stress, increase energy and joy, elevate our mood and uplift our spirit. Self-care and wellness are ESSENTIAL to living well whatever we do. Whether we work at home or not, whether we are in school or not, ALL people benefit from self-care. I believe that the best way to love yourself better is by practicing good self-care.

What’s  one fun fact about you that people wouldn’t know by looking?

You wouldn’t know it, but I taught myself to play the acoustic guitar. I’ve been playing for over 20 years and 12 of those years found me as a music minister in church. I love music!

What can folks expect from you in 2019?

My goal is to start a self-care REVOLUTION!

I want all people to know that they are loved and wonderful and deserving to be happy. I want to continuing spreading awareness about self-love and self-care through my coaching and writing. I’m also planning on writing books about self-care and parenting.

Please feel free to share exciting news with readers. 

Right now, I have a special offer for Mother’s Day 2019 which is right around the corner. It’s for the loved ones in our lives who don’t know what to get us moms. Or for the mom who wants to pass on a great gift idea to her partner and kids. lol Check it out!

It was great to share a bit more about me and why I do what I do. Thank you so much for reading!

Please feel free to share!

 

Heiddi

 

Mother’s Day Special Offer!

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Hiya Mamas! The day is approaching. That wonderful day where you’re the center of attention and you are receiving the applause that you deserve every single day.

The day when you wake up to breakfast in bed, with coffee and then a stealth mission to get everybody decently dressed to head out to your favorite (and crowded) restaurant for a meal. And then back home to get everyone ready for the coming week.

And then it’s over. Your special day is gone in a blink and everyone forgets how special it was. Because the gift stops there.

It happens because….

You end up getting the same things every year – flower, candy or dinner out. It is a momentary change in your regular routine and then you go back to the stress, drama and chaos of your regular schedule.

Now flowers, candy and dinner are all wonderful gifts. They are thoughtful and lovely.

The problem is you eat the candy, have dinner and the flowers will eventually die.

You go through all of that and end up wishing there was more. That you could make those wonderful feelings last longer. The feelings of appreciation and love. Of getting the attention you deserve.

And because I wanted exactly that for you, I created…..

The Mother’s Day Self-Care Special 

Right before mother’s day for many years, I struggled to figure out what to get my own mom. As a teen, I had no clue what to get Mami that wasn’t a trinket that she would just hide in her room somewhere (I know she hid them because I found them later while cleaning out my closet).

I didn’t want to get her the same old tired flowers, candy and dinner out. I wanted to knock her socks off with my gift.

To WOW her and make her eyes bug out. (Seriously, I love giving gifts that people will really enjoy!)

I wanted to do something amazing that she would talk to her friends about. I wasn’t looking for any pats on the back. I just wanted to make a grand gesture for the mom I loved so much. That on her special day, I could thank her for everything she did for me.

And she was no help either. Mami would usually say, “Just get me whatever you want. I’m sure I’ll like it.” And then I was stuck again trying to figure out what the hell to get her. Argh!!

Keeping that in mind, (and because we moms have such a hard time asking for what we want and need), I created a special offer just for YOU!

Really, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Not only will you find time for you and do the self-care you need to reduce stress, increase energy, elevate mood and uplift the spirit, your family will thank me because I gave them a great idea for your Mother’s day gift.

Check out my special offer here and send it to your partner, kids, parents and bff’s. Let them know what you want so you can save them the grief of finding a special gift for you. I already did the hard work so they wouldn’t have to.

Because let’s be real, when they have to work hard, you end up taking over and doing it better anyway. Haha!

Have a great week fellow mama!

Take a peek and get on this special offer quick, the sale ends May 8th and spots are limited!